Outdoor Retailer returned to an in-person format last summer, proving, for starters, that the industry could do so safely. Marisa Nicholson, show director, says it also reaffirmed the overwhelming preference to meet in person. “Nothing replaces the value of in-person meetings, and that was evident,” she says. “You could feel the energy.”
On the heels of that success is OR’s Snow Show (Jan. 26-28) in Denver, CO. Exhibitor attendance is up over the previous show, as is the expected buyer attendance. Of course, pandemic and supply chain issues remain a factor. “Businesses are faced with making tough decisions that are impacting their ability to attend,” Nicholson says. “For those able to be together in Denver, the show will offer a valuable opportunity to reconnect, to learn, to discover what’s new and to build relationships.”
To that end, Snow Show will feature all outdoor, footwear, winter sports and sourcing brands together on the Upper Level of the Colorado Convention Center. “That includes a really strong lineup of footwear exhibitors, including Merrell, Bass Outdoor, Baffin, Danner, Dansko, Born, Kamik, Minnetonka and more,” Nicholson says.
Show highlights include Venture Out, a dedicated area for modern outdoor, which will house over 30 exhibitors. In addition, the Fresh zone of first-time exhibitors will make its debut. Also new is the Resource Center, a hub offering free trend information, market research and consumer data. “Experts will be available to answer questions and offer advice, giving attendees simultaneous insight to support business decisions,” Nicholson says, noting representatives from Fashion Snoops, NPD Group, Outside Looks and WGSN are scheduled to be available. Match, a program piloted last summer with select customers, will also be in place to help attendees make connections. “Attendees can make connections in advance of arriving and facilitate meetings on-site,” she says.
Snow Show will open with the Industry Breakfast, featuring a keynote on “The Art of Impossible” from bestselling author and peak performance expert Steven Kotler. Seminars on a variety of topics, including design trends, sustainability, climate action, colorways, gear innovations, advocacy efforts and retail operations are also in the offering. Winners of the fourth annual OR Innovation Awards will also be announced. “We had more than 150 submissions to this year’s awards across all categories, and we’re excited to see who wins,” Nicholson says, adding that OR’s mission as a place to discover all that’s new in outdoor, as well as a place for the industry to come together continues. “OR is an opportunity to support your business, to celebrate each other and to help make the industry stronger.”