Skipedia attended this week’s London International Ski Trade Exchange forum, moderating and presenting at several sessions.

There was such a huge amount covered over the two days, it’s impossible to do justice to it all, but here’s a taster of what was under discussion:

Ski 2 The Moon

  1. There were 90,000 downloads of Skitracks last year at 69p, but the Ski To The Moon app, with the same functionality, is free – Dan Charlish, Snowcamp

ski 2 the moon

Does Snowsports UK need a unified body?

      1. In principle there should be a unified body – Tim Fawke, Snowsports England
      2. There is an opportunity for information sharing – Tania Alliod, BASI
      3. I don’t think there’s a need for a unified body – Frank McCusker, Ski Club
      4. There’s a lack of organisation on the travel side of the industry – Mike Jardine, SIGB
      5. Tour operators are working to their own needs and are not interested promoting destinations. They should have more responsibility. Ultimately they’re focussed on the short term. – James Box, Iglu
      6. The Sochi effect has had a huge impact on the domestic market: we’re seeing an increase of up to 20% in participation on UK slopes – Tania Alliod, BASI
      7. We’ve seen a 23% increase in disabled participation at our events since Sochi – Rachel Davies, DSUK
      8. We have to co-fund a separate marketing body – Patrick Taylor, Skiplex

The Brave New World of Content Marketing

  1. As moderator and presenter in this session is was harder to take notes, but we have recently done some work for Le Ski and you can view our case study slides on this here:


Ski Tech Showcase

  1. Ski Fit – introduced the concept of ‘Prehabilitation’ – different exercises designed to bring a clinical benefit to regular exercise – now available as an app. We learnt it’s very hard to balance on one foot while squatting…listex
  2. Fat Map – this looks like a great piece of design work, that allows you to view ski runs and mountains in 3D on a mobile device. It’s hard to see it working commercially: we lost count of the number of times they cited the ‘Pas de Chevre’.  If this product is going to sell in volume, they need less ‘Pas de Chevre’ and more ‘Verdons’. The less exciting, but significantly larger ‘punter’ market is perhaps where they should be aiming their message.
  3. Antix – this sounds immediately like it will work. This app is billed as an ‘Automatic GoPro Editor’ and it’s free to download.  The revenue model is a mix of Freemium with paid-for upgrades and a strategy to monetise the footage by working with brands.  Brilliant idea and one that we will definitely be testing this winter.


Europe at Work

  1. This [the ski hosting ban] all happened back in 1996 and – with no fuss – ski leaders were up and running again a year later – Dan Fox, Ski Weekends
  2. Having more competition in resorts has raised the level of customer care by the ESF – Chris Radford, Henrys Avalanche Talks
  3. Our members are telling us: ‘We don’t want to go to France’ – Jonny Cassidy, The Ski Club of Great Britain
  4. There’s only a small number of the BASI membership earning a good living in France – Tanya Alliod, BASI
  5. There has been very little uptake on the free ski guiding we have been offering – Lulu Cottle, Magic in Motion
  6. Skipedia’s view: If the leading tour operators spent as much as they have done on the doomed Le Ski court case on a campaign to bring people back into skiing it would have a greater benefit to the industry as a whole.

The Sharing Economy – Threat or Opportunity for Snowsports?

  1. There is a threat that owners will decide to do their own marketing and P&V wouldn’t have as much stock, but we guarantee revenue, so we’ll see who makes that choice – Cathy Rankin, P&V
  2. There’s a bigger threat to ‘agence immobiliere’; they are most at risk – Cathy Rankin, P&V
  3. We look at Airbnb with a lot of interest: we’re happy they are there as they’re bringing attention to an alternative, that you can do something different. The ski market is mature and skiers are more experienced travellers. Airbnb fits the mould of ski very well.  We’re envious of the noise behind them, but we’re glad they’re there. – Adam Walsh, Interhome
  4. It does mean we are diversifying. Our staff already provide linen, cleaning, maintenance for our own apartments, but we’re also going to offer that for private owners – Cathy Rankin, P&V
  5. There’s a difference between the Airbnb-type businesses and the genuine sharing economy like Snowswappers and Couchsurfing – Richard Barker, Kicking Horse Powder Tours

Who are your customers and what do they really want?

  1. NPS is interesting information, but most people don’t understand it – Chris Radford
  2. So much data is poorly captured, with a surprising amount of human error – Shannon Watson
  3. Defection rates are endemic to any industry – Chris Radford
  4. Over 16500 households are members of the club – Ella Clark, Ski Club of Great Britain
  5. There are only 3 questions you should ask in a CSQ: 1) What should we offer? 2) Are we doing it? 3) Will you buy it?- Chris Radford
  6. Customer data analysis needs to be a constant strategy not a one-off project – Shannon Watson
  7. It’s proven that no industry grows without attracting more customers: you can’t just sell more stuff to existing customers – Chris Radford
  8. You need to get your team to buy into the process of gathering data at the point of sale – Shannon Watson

Does snowsports have an image problem

image problem

  1. There’s been a complete shift in terms of funding: it used to be Alpine who had everything and Freestyle nothing and now it’s the other way round – Emily Sarsfield, Skier X athlete
  2. Snowboarders and skiers are very different people – Jez Sladen,, The Snowboard Asylum
  3. I grew up on Ski Sunday and Crackerjack – Dom Killinger, In The Snow Magazine
  4. I cannot tell you the difference it makes Jenny Jones having come 3rd not 4th at Sochi – Betony Garner, Team BSS
  5. The best marketing strategy anyone can have is to encourage advocates for skiing holidays – Cathy Rankin, P&V
  6. And finally, the hardest working man in the ski industry – Dom Killinger from In The Snow Magazine – was so busy in meetings he failed to notice his car drifting away down the River Thames…



By Iain Martin