Well like most of you we have been busy little beavers here at OR central lining up the hundreds of little details that make a great show go off. With the end of year, planning for next, holidays and oh by the way a pretty big show approaching, it's been a whirlwind, for sure. Sounds good, you say, but where's the beef? What is happening this month in SLC?
Plenty, to put it mildly. Where do I start?
UPDATE- Haiti needs our help. OIA is recommending working through http://www.americares.org to funnel contributions, especially of gear that will be necessary in urban rescue and portable living arrangements. This is the time to shine as an industry for outdoor recreation. Other groups with people and programs on the ground or very soon will... http://www.medicinesglobal.org , or super easy text the word 'Haiti' to 90999 to put $10 to the American Red Cross.
The All Mountain Demo would be a proper place to start. Get to Snowbasin on Wednesday the 20th of Jan and treat yourself to an all-mountain cornucopia of latest gear to test on both lift-served, groomed nordic and off-piste terrain. All the major brands will be there and two new events will highlight the expanded scope of OR Winter; the Transworld Business Retailer Rumble (pitting dealers against their vendors in a fun downhill run, whether sliding sideways or two-plankin'), and the Nordic Challenge, which will be more treasure hunt/orienteering fun on the x-country gear that will be available. Fantastic prizes (including hotel rooms at next winter show!) abound... so step on up.
At the show in town, I'll only bore you with the nitty gritty details, some of which can be plucked from the online event schedule. so suffice to say there will be new features to partake of, new intelligence to absorb, new technology to understand and implement, new best practices to fold into your already strong business acumen. There are some key avenues to explore as you enter the SPCC and Salt Lake in a few weeks... all at your fingertips at the show and in the weeks that follow...
The COMMUNITY - This Winter Market opens the season with not just a peek at the products and innovation that the brands bring to OR each January, but a never before seen gathering of powerful brands alongside the athletes, advocacy groups and media players that round out the entire winter outdoor rec business. New media players like Transworld, New brands like Venture Snowboards (+150 others), and senior brands like Columbia Sportswear returning to the show floor are just a few community highlights you'll see later this month in SLC.
The EDUCATION - a timely and powerful lineup of seminars, panel discussions and presentations will manifest at OR Winter, powered by the Outdoor Industry Association as well as the OR special event team. Social Media is a big topic these days, specifically how successful businesses are using it to fuel sales and contact with customers. Late breaking, a panel of journalists and media experts from the industry will vet the 'death of media... long live (new)Media!' on day 3 in the morning. The full lineup of presentations can be seen here.
The NETWORKING - Starting with the AMD Bash at Snowbasin (where the PRIZES are awarded!) and running continuously through the show are opportunities to network with peers from around the world, as well as with leaders of brands that will make your registers ring next year and beyond. Athletes and advocacy groups can bring depth and purpose to any events you are currently hosting, and bring fresh ideas and influence to your community. Your customers need to know who and why, not just where and what they need to recreate with! Focus your networking intent on the ZONES at show, including the Climbing Zone, the Endurance Zone, the Design Center, the Backcountry Village... all of these areas are owned by the community of orgs and businesses who consider it their home, offering a great meetup (or tweetup) spot to kick off new relationships or solidify current partnerships... or just cool your heels or get a little stretch in on a rock wall or treadmill (while testing something cool and new).
The CULTURE - SEE NOTE FOR HAITI ABOVE! This industry is all about facing adversity with confidence and clear thinking... let's show the other industries what we can make happen on the ground, and do our part.
From the TNF Masters of Snowboarding Comp to the Transworld Shop Challenge at AMD to the Backcountry Village events and the OR All Star Industry Jam, the OR Winter show reveals the soul of the marketplace... we do business, we do it well, but we know how to bring a city to life and play as hard as we work. That ethic rests at the center of our lives, personal and professional. It comes to life in the creativity that is flowing all around the OR show, day and night, for nearly a full week. This Winter show will unveil new partnerships and creative treatments on and off the show floor in the booths, in the Zones as well as in the bars, restaurants and clubs.
UPDATE- Haiti needs our help. OIA is recommending working through http://www.americares.org to funnel contributions, especially of gear that will be necessary in urban rescue and portable living arrangements. This is the time to shine as an industry for outdoor recreation.
It's a great place to feel our culture, but it's a great place to expand on that culture, and be more inclusive as we enter 2010. Let's invite everyone to play as we do, to simply start. No attitude to contend with, no judgement, just have fun on the snow, ice, trails that are flat or vert or watery... just get out there, and get some gear to make it even more fun.
This should be the theme of Outdoor in 2010; Inclusivity. And this is what you'll get an eyeful of at OR Winter.