The Snow & Outdoor Trade Association, known as SOTA, was formed in the mid-eighties by a small group of independent wholesalers who wished to show their product to retailers in the outdoor industry, primarily from all over Australia and New Zealand.

They welcomed newcomers and over the years the show grew, gradually outliving various venues. What started in a truck, grew to a hotel room in Canberra, then the Basketball Stadium and the National Convention Centre. SOTA grew into two shows - one in May in Canberra and one in October in Melbourne. In July 2002 due to the overwhelming success of the May show and changes in demand from both buyers and exhibitors the October show was discontinued. Over the years many options have explored to ensure the SOTA Show remains at the forefront of the outdoor industry in Australia and New Zealand, this lead to the newly created Outdoor Retailer Australia trade show in Sydney.

Outdoor Retailer Australia will continue in the finest traditions of the SOTA Show by bringing together the industry at one location for the biggest showcase of outdoor equipment and supplies in Australia and New Zealand.