Ever feel like you are sending out the messages via your facebook or twitter accounts, but aren't getting a clear response? Reminds one of print ads and other hard to measure promotional media (er, say Trade Shows, for instance).
Success in Social Media means emphasizing the S.... SOCIAL. How many of you step into a party and jump on a table to start shouting your brand story to the (astonished) crowd? How many of you enter that same party and sit down interviewing people and taking notes feverishly? Two wildly different approaches to the party... and equally different results from it. Social and Listening are almost synonymous, or at least the trend positively together ("that guy is antisocial!" = "that guy didn't hear a word I said!").
As you implement or contemplate your Social Media strategy, how you process the information coming back to you will determine how hard you are listening to customers.
Interested to hear more? Check out this podcast I discovered... good reminder for those of you that do, and definite spur to action for those that want to.
What's that you say?
Well the 21st annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market is now a wrap. I'm afraid I will never get around to thanking all the dozens, no HUNDREDS of people who contributed to the success of the little show that could... btw there are great links below for HAITI help and to video and stories on OR Winter 2010 if you want to skip over my nostalgic storytelling...
My first visit to a Winter show was when I made store manager for Adventure 16; I had just gotten my ears wet for a few months running a little backpacking shop in the San Fernando Valley when I was whisked off to Las Vegas for the SIA show, where there was a small representation, in a back, dank ballroom, of outdoor brands we needed to see. The ski show was a glam-fest, which wasn't that odd to me given my L.A. roots (my dad attended Hollywood High School, even). It was clear, even then, that our little market was an afterthought to the burgeoning fur-lined high heel fashion show going on in the main hall.
So fast forward to last week, and the Winter Market born in 1989 has grown up into an electric, thriving beehive of commerce on it's own, celebrating and gathering brands and dealers selling outdoor gear for real use in the natural environment, both on and off the resort. At the 2010 version of OR Winter, Jeremy Jones' POW (Protect Our Winters), Transworld Business, Trew and Venture Snowboards presence on the show floor for the first time showed a new inclusive atmosphere that joins resort and backcountry focused businesses together, really for the first time.
More images, stories and video from the show will be posted up as the show shrinks in the rear view mirror, so feel free to chime in under 'comments' to guide fellow readers of this blog to other legit content... beware spammers and flamers, got my finger on the delete button just for you.
Check out the following links to see video spots and hear about the show from different viewpoints...
http://www.outdoorretailer.com/winter_market/show/livefromor (featuring Timmy O'Neill MC!)
HAITI SUPPORT UPDATE - see below for several different industry initiatives to choose from to support efforts on the ground in Haiti
Exhibitors are invited to donate show products - logistics will be provided by Terramar, Sierra Trading Post & Eric Larsen (THANKS for your strong efforts at show to pull this together!)
Logistics will work like this:
1. At the end of the show, participating vendors will package and ship their relevant show product they are donating to:
Sierra Trading Post
5121 Campstool Road
ALL PACKAGES MUST BE MARKED: ROBIN JAHNKE /
2. Product must arrive at Sierra Trading Post's warehouse within 10 days following the show
(that would be by FEBRUARY 8, 2010)
3. All products must be labeled HAITI RELIEF.
4. Sierra Trading Post will ship to
Haitivia the Red Cross or another reputable relief agency.
Doctors United For Haiti - option for gear donations not flowing through Port-Au-Prince
Paul Fish, of Mountain Gear, has recommended this outfit to get critical gear on the ground going around the main squeeze zone of Port au Prince, using private transport delivering straight to doctors on the ground in Haiti. There is a detailed list of gear needs evident on the following sites:
Coordinate gear for this approach via;
Mountain Gear, Inc
6021 E Mansfield Ave
Outdoor Industry Association
Working with AmeriCares (http://www.americares.org/), the OIA is calling on members to dig deep to support those areas devastated by earthquake in Haiti.
AmeriCares has disaster workers on scene and is planning immediate relief flights and sea shipments from their headquarters in
. Their immediate product needs are:
Medical Supplies First Aid Kits Bandages and Soaps
Face Masks – Medical Water Purification Headlamps
Tarps Work Gloves Hydration Containers
To donate this urgently needed product/equipment contact: Randy Weiss at AmeriCares at (203) 658-9527 or email@example.com. All donations will be delivered by air and sea directly to the region by AmeriCares.
If you are a gearhead and want to see the latest posts on gear reviews from the show, check these links out... more to come.
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.
Last night I had the pleasure of visiting an art opening, of sorts... not with edgy paintings or strange sculpture installations (like the ones that are the rage in my old East Culver City neighborhood) but one that featured climbing videos from the '30's, hand-written letters and quotes from legendary figures of Yosemite climbing, some of Yvon's personal gear, and interactive displays of how camming devices and pitons worked (fun for the kids). This was the opening of the new 'Granite Frontiers' exhibit at the Autry, running from June 12 thru October 4, signalling a coming of age for the once 'daredevil' and 'circus trick' sport of rock climbing in America.
The black suits and ties were donned by some of the 300 or so patrons in attendance at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, in Griffith Park, but most were in casual wear, especially the climbers that managed to get invites to this posh affair. Most notable though, were the green felt hats donned by those in attendance who contributed significantly to enrich not the coffers of the museum, but the history of climbing in The Valley; John Long, Dean Potter, Royal and Liz Robbins, Don Reid, and many other legends of climbing. Appropriately, all the glorious food (pumpkin ravioli, even) was served on fully compostable pressed wood flatware and plates, and there was nothing plastic anywhere to be seen. Free food and open bar? They knew how to get the climbers to show.
Pretty cool slideshow here, but there is nothing like an in-person viewing of this 3000 sf testament to the creativity and boldness of those that came before, and even current events like Hans and Yuji's 2 hr. 37 min ascent of The Nose last Fall are covered. Huell Howser was even in attendance, the ex-NFL TV personality of 'California Gold' and other travel and adventure exposes.
Love this, which captures the essence of the exhibit;
.''These determined free spirits, vagabonds, and visionaries of one of the West's last truly wild experiences guide visitors to the edge of infinity to experience the exhilarating rush and harrowing perils of this most extreme of Western adventures
Check it out if you can. If you can't, at least check out the historic video clips they put up on the site.
I'll work on bringing it to the shows someday...
If you came to the Industry Breakfast (hosted by OIA) at the winter show, then you heard Ken Burns speak eloquently about his latest film project, 6 years in the making: 'The National Parks; America's Best Idea'. This national PBS special will run for nearly two months starting this September 2009, and will inspire millions of viewers to take advantage of a uniquely American resource that their taxpayer money already pays for; access to wild lands and protected natural treasures. OIA has even made available to retailers a resource called a 'Retail Tool Kit' that shows you how to capitalize on the PBS special airing this Fall.
Be sure your salespeople watch it and talk about it, and wrap your local programs and advertising around it... especially if you are reaching out to new audiences in your region this summer. As we say on the Left coast, 'gotta surf when the waves are up'.
This is a wave you can see coming a mile (and a few seasons) away. Take full advantage of it!
The rocking Woolrich Fashion Show at the Industry Party !!! You'll never see that brand the same way again after watching this. Three of the models were actually dancers from HSM3 (for those of you who aren't parents of young kids that's High School Musical 3). It seems a brand can be both authentically hip AND heritage.
The second season of Project OR .... the winning design was pretty dang cool, but check out the also-ran designs for some serious out-of-the-box thinking from the designers of the future.
Exclusive Podcast interview with filmmaker Ken Burns.... must listen to this! "Land and Water set aside not for kings, not for noblemen, or the very rich, but for everyone." America's best idea for sure, my country tis of thee... thanks to James Mills and the Joy Trip Project.
KSL-TV footage of BD AvaLung Live Burial; see Kenji emerge from under the snowpack Alive! Bruce Tremper also with some sage words about Avy safety, a big deal this year in-bounds and out.
Winter Market 2009 OR Show Daily Digest Online version shows fresh content live from the show floor, in paperless glory.
SHOW DIRECTOR'S SPECIAL SHORT
This Winter Market was a testament to an industry that intutively knows how to 'move into the challenge' of a tough economic period; no hand-wringing, sky is falling dialogue here. From Mike Wallenfels' revelation at the opening breakfast of projects that the OIA is taking on to serve the industry up more powerful business tools, to line showings firing at 3pm on the final day in several booths, the show revealed a vibrant and forward facing marketplace chock full of innovative new products and an embrace of technology leaning into the second decade of the millenium. We should all be proud to be part of this market, and be motivated to do our part as individuals to increase participation, support the advocacy groups that support our collective mission, and remind ourselves why it is we do this thing called Outdoor.
Take a look at some of the recorded evidence of what I'm talking about above, and feel the pride swell inside... then get out there and get more people fired up about the Outdoors and getting their taxpayer share of it! Ken Burns is going to do his part in September... it's our legacy as Americans to enjoy our open spaces preserved for the PEOPLE. All of us.
We're going to try and deliver you more up to date stuff, more often, as the show nears (Next Thur-Sun). More short bytes as they happen and blow by blow at the big trade show in Salt Lake City, UT.
Bring hats, gloves, socks, boots, toothbrush yadda yadda you know what to bring. Boots and skis and poles... there's 6 ft. base at Snowbasin, more up Little Cottonwood. Transceiver, fresh batteries, if you're backcountry bound. Goggles and shades.
Here's something cool if you have some old ski gloves to recycle (polyester knit) and you can put 'em in your ski bag on your way to SLC (actually don't have to bring 'em you can mail 'em off)
Linkup party with Nuwa, Fabriclink, and Texbase