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London Ski & Snowboard Festival Is Back

It’s returning to Battersea Park this October.  The new organisers are promising a ‘snow sport event like no other’.  So what’s new?

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The London Ski Show – as it used to be known – was once an institution, a firm date in the diary for snowsport fans.

But over the years visitor numbers declined and major exhibitors pulled out.

It was held at a variety of locations in the course of its 46-year history and, in 2015, it moved to to Battersea Park.

A big revamp – including turning it into more of an alpine experience than a major exhibition – failed to rescue it from the chop.

In March 2020 Telegraph Events decided to pull the plug:

A few months after the announcement, came news of the National Snow Show, a new event planned for the NEC in Birmingham on 23rd and 24th October 2021.

At PlanetSKI, we heard some months ago of plans to bring back the London event and saw a draft floor plan.

It was initially going to be a three day event.

Draft Floor Plan

Draft Floor Plan

Now Smart Group, a hospitality, catering and event management business with more than 20 years of experience, has officially announced its resurrection.

The 2021 event is scheduled to return to Evolution London in Battersea Park for four days between 28th and 31st October.

London Ski & Snowboard Festival

They’re hoping to attract 18,000 visitors and 120 exhibitors.

One of the main exhibitors will be Norway Home of Skiing.

NHOS at the London Ski & Snowboard Festival

NHOS at the London Ski & Snowboard Festival. Image © PlanetSKI

“This is EXACTLY what we need – a re-launch on ski for both the consumer but also for the industry as a whole after the dreadful shut-down of the past two seasons,” said Trevor de Villiers, the CEO of Norway Home of Skiing, to PlanetSKI.

“People are desperate to enjoy the mountains again and I believe that the timing in October is ideal to create an exciting ski atmosphere for our customers.

“NHOS has been at the forefront of this event and has fully committed to participating in its usual grand style, showcasing the very best of the Norwegian ski destinations – we can’t wait to be back in London together with our new partners SMART hospitality, who are promising to deliver a Ski Show with a difference like never seen before.”

NHOS at the London Ski & Snowboard Festival

NHOS at the London Ski & Snowboard Festival. Image © NHOS

Another exhibitor is the Tirol.

“It sounds great and  we are already in the process of planning and we are also very excited about how the Ski- and Snowboard-Show in London will be different this year, in any case the programme already sounds promising,” said the UK marketing manager of the Tirol, Elena Protopopow.

“It is also a great opportunity for Tirol and its partner regions to meet all the important contacts again, to communicate with each other and to be present.”

The Tirol at the London Festival

The Tirol at the London Festival. Image © PlanetSKI

The Tirol at the London Festival

The Tirol at the London Festival. Image © PlanetSKI

The UK’s largest ski operator, Crystal Ski Holidays will also be there.

“We’ve all seen ski holidays take a massive hit over the last year, and we can’t wait for things to open and for the chance to get together at an event like this,” said Kelly Robinson from Crystal Ski Holidays to PlanetSKI.

“For us, it’s about reuniting the ski community, welcoming new skiers into the community and celebrating the mountains,” she added.

Crystal Ski Holidays

Crystal Ski Holidays

Other exhibitors include Inghams, the Warren Smith Ski Academy and Snow-Camp.

However some potential exhibitors we have spoken to are surprised at the late timing of the announcement as budgets have been set and money already allocated to other marketing and sales areas.

“It is set to be an immersive, dynamic and experiential snow sport event like no other,” the press release claims.

It will be interesting to see how different it will be to what’s gone before.

Certainly many of the things on offer have a familiar ring about them though there are a few new ideas.

The big question is whether it will succeed in drawing the crowds and making enough money to survive.

The Festival will be split into two distinct sessions – Avant for the daytime and Après for the evening with tickets available for the whole lot or for individual sessions.

Avant

  • Exhibition including the top worldwide resorts, holiday companies, ski gear, technology
  • Fashion shows
  • Competition on the ski jump
  • Entertainment
  • Cook Off
  • Street Food & Bars
  • Ski & board tests and children’s lessons on real snow

Après

  • High energy après party, bands, DJs, dancers.
  • ‘Mad Max meets Eddie the Eagle’ on the 140ft ski jump with dare devil performers.
  • Tobogganing by torch light
  • Alpine bar culture and street food

Après event at Evolution London, Battersea Park. Image © London Ski & Snowboard Festival.

The festival is billed as hosted by former alpine racer Chemmy Alcott, a four-time Winter Olympian and BBC Ski Sunday presenter for last winter.

“She will be taking to the stage to discuss key topics such as mothers returning to skiing and how to get kids into the sport,” the press release informs us.

“Chemmy will also be joined on the stage by some of the biggest names from snow sports covering inspirational and educational topics.”

The main attraction is set to be the ski jump – a fixture at the Festival in recent years which has showcased the skills of members of the GB Winter Olympic team and up-and-coming freestylers.

The team will be back at Battersea this year.

There will also be a dedicated Parkour area.

“As a group of ski and snowboard enthusiasts, we have worked hard to combine a perfect balance of engaging retail and exhibition space, alongside the high octane après atmosphere, ensuring guests are truly transported to the mountains for the day,” said Chloe Jackson, Managing Director of Smart Group.

Fingers crossed that all Covid-19 social distancing rules are lifted by then, as is currently planned.

There has been some reaction from our readers already over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page.

Mainly about its location:

Jonathon Miller-Cole: How about having it in different places each year and not London?

Stuart Jones: Classic london again. Does anyone know most of the population lives elsewhere.

What’s your view of the revived show?

Do you welcome it or feel ski shows are perhaps past their sell-by date?

Feel free to add your comments on the PlanetSKI Facebook page.

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