Please click on the specific question that you would like answered. If your question was not answered on this page, or if there are additional questions you think would be helpful to include on this page, feel free to contact us.
Who is WWSRA?
The Western Winter Sports Reps Association (WWSRA) is a not-for-profit, membership-run association that has been successfully producing regional trade shows and demos in the outdoor, snowsports, and active lifestyle industries for 70 years. Over this span of seven decades we have worked with 6000+ reps and thousands of retailers in a dynamic and ever-changing environment.
At these events, sales reps rent booths where they show and demo the latest gear to employees, buyers, and owners of retail shops and answer any questions they may have.
How do I contact WWSRA?
We are located in Longmont, CO (outside of Boulder).
Please always feel free to contact the office with any questions, suggestions, or concerns.
I never receive any communication from you, what's going on?
The most efficient way to communicate with a mobile and active membership is by email.
In addition to frequent email updates, we send out a printed calendar of upcoming events to our members and retailers each year. If you have been missing out on communications, please contact us with your updated information so that we can include you!
How can I communicate with my regional Board Members?
Click here to view contact information for the WWSRA Board of Directors.
How do I become a sales rep?
The best way to begin a successful sales career is to get a job with an established firm and learn the ins and outs of the repping business. One way to do this is to establish a relationship with your local retailers; they will be able to recommend reps in your area that are looking for help or who will be good sources of information for you. You can also use our Reps/Lines Available resource to find current openings and other industry resources.
I am an independent rep and need health insurance. Can WWSRA help?
A great alternative to the traditional health care insurance plans, this is a community health share plan that can be a great solution for health-minded individuals, families, and businesses.
As an independent contractor and/or sales rep some of the key benefits are:
- The ability to choose any doctor, in any network, without referrals from a primary physician
- Go to any doctor, in any state or any country, without worries about being out of network
- Affordable premiums and options for individuals and/or their families
As a member of WWSRA, $100 of the $125 Setup /Admin Fee will be waived! Therefore, it’s only $25 to get started, plus your monthly membership fee per your respective age group.
Click here for a great piece on how medical cost-sharing works and why it’s beneficial.
To learn whether this Affordable Care Act compliant plan is a good fit for you, please visit WWSRA.MyMPB.com. The 11 min. audio on the front page at the lower right describes the membership as well as how and why it works.
For questions, concerns, or to determine if this program will meet your needs, please contact WWSRA's Health Care Advisor, Wendy Scipione, at 720-259-1555 or by email at WendyS@MyMPB.com. Wendy will answer all of your questions and help you proceed. Please do not call WWSRA with specific health share plan questions.
WWSRA Membership Questions
What are the benefits of joining WWSRA?
In addition to producing regional rep shows, WWSRA also offers the following services & benefits to its members.
- Reps/Lines Available Services
- Retail Database Services
- Show attendance information
- Free Legal Advice & Sample Contracts
- Health Care Resources
Who is eligible to join WWSRA?
WWSRA membership is available to individual, independent sales reps who sell winter, active & outdoor sports products in the Western United States. Company principals, manufacturers, etc are not eligible for WWSRA membership. Click for more info.
How much does it cost to join WWSRA?
The membership initiation fee is $500 for a 1099 Rep and $750 for a W-2 or Factory Rep and annual dues are $150. WWSRA is a not-for-profit association. The membership and show fees are the only source of income available to operate the office and produce the shows. All revenue is applied directly to show costs or reinvested into the association.
How do priority numbers work?
After acceptance into WWSRA, a new member is issued a "member number" which is generally used in assigning booth spaces at the regional shows. This system is based on seniority; the longer you've been a member in good standing, the higher your priority is when requesting your preferred booth space.
However, this priority is not guaranteed in certain situations. For example, if your contract is received after the registration deadline, or if you have an outstanding balance with WWSRA, your priority number may no longer be taken into account when assigning space. The final location assignment decisions are made at the Director's discretion, who may also override priority number seniority for the betterment of the show (i.e. strategic product placement to ensure good traffic flow throughout the show.)
I haven't paid dues in over a year, what is my membership status?
After a year of not paying dues, your membership is dropped. However, your membership can be reinstated within two years of dropping membership by paying any dues or fees that are in arrears in addition to current membership dues.
If you are not currently participating in WWSRA events but wish to continue receiving association communications, as well as retain your priority number and the ability to join events at a later time (without paying the initiation fee again) you can become an "Inactive" member. (See next question.)
How does Inactive Membership work?
An "Inactive" member meets the general qualifications for membership but pays only 50% of membership dues and retains his/her membership number, which can be of great benefit should that member choose to re-enter the winter sports, outdoor & active lifestyles industry. An Inactive member enjoys all membership benefits EXCEPT for voting rights and show participation.
I'm already a WWSRA member but am not currently carrying any lines, what are my options?
We recommend that members who are not currently involved in the outdoor, snowsports, or active lifestyle industry change their membership status to "Inactive"(see above). This way you retain your priority number and can still enjoy all the benefits of a WWSRA membership at a lesser cost.
Trade Show Questions
Why aren't you mailing out contracts anymore?
WWSRA has saved over $3000 annually in postage fees by now having contracts online only. WWSRA members who wish to pay by check may print the contract off the website and mail the contract in. These savings are passed directly to you in the form of consistently low show fees.
If you have not been receiving e-mail communication from us, please contact the office with your updated information so that we can be sure to include you in all email communications!
How much does it cost to participate in a show?
Cost of exhibit space is based on the amount of space used. Costs vary among shows, but are generally charged by the square foot. (The average is about $3.35 per square foot, $325 per 10x10.)
Trade Show Comparison
WWSRA Shows are priced at cost, with an additional $0.60 per square foot allocated to overhead costs, including all office operations, insurance, website maintenance, credit card fees, advertising, staff salaries, marketing, parties, etc. WWSRA trade events are among the least expensive around!
On-Snow Demo retail attendee fees are $20 for pre-registration and $50 for onsite, indoor shows are always FREE to pre-registered attendees. Please encourage your retailers to pre-register for WWSRA indoor shows. It's easy, and it's FREE!
Some sample costs for non-WWSRA trade events
WWSRA shows average from $300-$350 per 10x10, which typically includes pipe & drape, electrical, tables & chairs, wastebasket, ID sign, and carpet. Equipment provided varies from show to show. Additional exhibitors (assistants, principals) are $40 each at most shows. Most WWSRA shows are 3-4 days in length, with a one day setup.
What are the registration deadlines for this year's shows?
Plan on registering early even if you aren't sure how much space you'll need; it is better to cancel your space by the cancellation deadline at no cost than to miss out on the show altogether because you waited too long to register. Please see individual show pages for deadlines.
How do I share my space with another rep?
If you want to share a space with another rep, you can register for the space using your own priority number, indicating on your contract that you will be sharing with whoever the other member is. The other member would then also send in a contract, indicating that they are sharing a space with you. They would pay only the member fee, and would be responsible for reimbursing you in whatever way you both agree upon for the cost of the booth. The person whose name is on the contract for the space is ultimately responsible for the cost of that space.
You will both be listed in the show directory independently.
DO NOT ABUSE THIS SYSTEM! Both members must be at the show and actually sharing the space; this is NOT an opportunity to use a better priority number to secure a booth for a friend or colleague and then let them have the entire space.
December vs January – Which show should I do?
Which show should I attend and why do you have two shows so close together? Also, why can’t we just do one show?
In the simplest of explanations it boils down to this:
- Softgoods vs. Hardgoods
- Early sampling & deadlines (BEFORE January 1) vs. later sampling & deadlines (AFTER January 1)
- Softgood accessories vs. Hardgood accessories
- “Outdoor” vs. “Snowsports”
- The differing cycles of all categories that WWSRA covers
Most softgoods deadlines are BEFORE January 1 and all hardgood deadlines are AFTER January 1, regardless of when they are sampled. Most hardgoods brands are not sampled in full until after January 1, particularly when it comes to ski hardgoods and accessories.
Please note, this is a generalized statement, but accurate for most brands.
What is WWSRA doing and why?
As the national cycle (SIA/OR and now just OR) has worked to establish their timing for shows, the regional associations have been asked for solutions on a regional level that accommodate the incredibly close, yet diverse set of needs across the outdoor/snowsports/active lifestyle industries. As rep associations, we cover an enormous cross section of categories from skis, snowboards, camping tents, climbing gear, outerwear, apparel to footwear, SUPs and skateboards. If a product exists in the outdoor, snowsports & active lifestyle space and sells to those style of retailers, they are a welcome part of our organization and we have all mutually benefited from that inclusiveness. And while we absolutely love the diversity within our association, we are faced with the challenge of navigating all of the different needs and cycles.
It is our role, as your association, to listen to our membership, assess everyone’s needs, and come up with solutions, options, and more importantly opportunities for our membership to show their products on a cost-effective, regional level, when and where it is needed.
Are the options and opportunities always going to work for everyone, exactly when and where they need it? NO! But with over 1100 members, 2500 retailers spanning 6 regions, we are committed to finding the best solutions to support the majority.
This year we are encouraging both reps & buyers to sign up for shows early so that you can all mutually assess your individual needs in real-time, with accurate data about who will be where and when. We will also be working to be flexible on our end to help you all get into the shows if circumstances change at the last minute. We are not miracle workers, but if you communicate openly with us we’ll always do our best to make it work for you.
What can you do as sales reps & retailers?
- Talk to your manufacturers about sample ship dates, order deadlines, YOUR regional show dates and where they would like for you to exhibit.
- Talk to your retailers about when you are ready to show vs. when they are ready to see you.
- Talk to your reps, communicate with them what your needs are and be proactive in telling them what shows you would like for them to be at.
The staff at WWSRA cannot tell you where you should exhibit. In addition to this, as a member or retailer you ARE NOT REQUIRED to attend every show we produce. Nor can we tell an apparel rep that they HAVE to exhibit in mid-January, past their deadlines, any more than we can tell a hardgoods rep they HAVE to exhibit in early December before they have samples. We also can’t make any assumptions about where specific reps & retailers will be. We can only loosely advise you based on past experiences and what we are hearing/seeing within our industries.
We all need to be proactive, inquisitive, and have the necessary conversations to help us all make the best possible decisions for our own unique businesses. Many, if not most of us, may have to exhibit in and attend multiple shows while everyone gets accustomed to our “new normal” and defines what works best for us individually. This is the case in particular if you cover multiple categories as a rep or a retailer. We also must be tolerant and understanding of those that differ from us in needs.
There are several ways to view this and while we know this is going to be challenging and exhausting for all, we challenge and encourage everyone to view multiple shows as an opportunity to be part of your community to experience something and someone that is new to you.
Our Northern California & Rock Mountain shows in Feb/March every year are two of our longest running shows and are specific to ski hardgoods, accessories, resort wear, and rental business. That said, they are open to all and we welcome any member/retailer that has business that falls within those timelines!
If you have picked up any of Outdoor Retailer’s pieces on their future show dates or have looked at the OR & GOA websites you will notice that they both jump around the June calendar for the next few years, along with taking 2 full weeks out of play for regional shows. With the Memorial Day & 4th of July holidays sandwiching June as well it limits choices and forces the regionals to jump around. We are working diligently with our facilities and forecasting out as far as we can to try and secure dates, but we will need our exhibitors and retailers to remain flexible, understanding, and communicative as we work through the next few years.
Our challenges as an industry are endless and evolving and we are committed to working with you to find solutions.
We will always be here to talk, so never hesitate to reach out.
– Cami, Rachel, Katie & your WWSRA Board of Directors