Publisher's Note:See below, towards bottom: "Several attendees were eager to weigh in on their Winter Market experiences..." So was I, but wasn't asked :( So I told anyway, but wasn't quoted :(:(
Anyway, this is the press release from OIA.
2006 Opens with Record Breaking Outdoor Retailer Winter Market
Exhibitors and attendees focus on environmental sustainability, winter preparedness
and apparel for an active lifestyle
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIF. – More than 14,000 attendees traveled from all corners of the outdoor industry last week to attend Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2006, in Salt Lake City, Utah from January 28 - 31, 2006. A record breaking 754 exhibitors of all sizes attracted a wealth of retailers, buyers and over 362 media who spent the four days testing new products, taking in the fashion shows, attending industry seminars, networking and writing orders.
“This year’s show was a realistic representation of how the market is both changing and growing, as appointments and commitments were plentiful, media presence at the show grew, and the retail segment interest in this market is broadening” said Peter Devin, Group Show Director for Outdoor Retailer. “It is extremely gratifying to have so many quality-focused retailers and manufacturers interested, vested, and engaged in the Outdoor Retailer Shows.”
Environmental sustainability was emphasized throughout the Show and at the Annual OIA Breakfast with an inspiring speech by keynote speaker Ray Anderson, founder of Interface, Inc., a global manufacturer of floor-covering systems. Anderson deemed himself a “recovering plunderer,” and challenged an eager audience to take responsibility for improving corporate sustainability practices. Outdoor Retailer stepped up to this challenge by executing a cardboard collection program during set-up. Exhibitor and sponsor Mountain Hardwear enhanced the collection efforts, and together, OR and Mountain Hardwear collected an unprecedented quantity of recyclable packing materials.
Winter preparedness also proved to be a prevalent trend among exhibitors. Products geared toward preparedness were highlighted by exhibitors with technical apparel such as The North Face and Cloudveil, as well as gear companies such as Black Diamond.
“The Black Diamond brand is all about preparedness, said Craig Hatton, northwest sales representative for Black Diamond. “If you’re prepared, your chances of survival increase exponentially.”
Leading this charge was first-time Outdoor Retailer exhibitor Avalanche Backpack. The Avalanche Backpack System (ABS) keeps users on the surface of the snow in case of a running avalanche. “This product provides a 98% survival rate, so we are very encouraged to see that everyone from guides to training facilities to Snowcat operators are interested in this innovation,” said Anthony Sands, president of Avalanche Backpack.
Avalanche Backpack was one of 64 exhibitors to partake in the 3rd Annual Backcountry Base Camp, held at Brighton on January 27, 2006. Several inches of fresh powder welcomed more than 1,200 attendees to experience telemark ski jumping, snowshoe testing, beacon searching, Nordic activities, guided backcountry tours and more.
Throughout the Show, the tradeshow floor buzzed with talk of the 2nd Annual Fashion Show series. Sponsored by Aventura Clothing, ExOfficio, Gramicci and Spyder, the high-powered runway show attracted a standing-room only crowd twice daily. Models showcased new trends in performance apparel, technical wear and footwear, accessories and casual clothing and footwear in a wide array of colors and innovative fabrics.
Several attendees were eager to weigh in on their Winter Market experiences:
“We definitely benefited from the record turn out, as typically we run a pre-show appointment book of 90+ appointments, and this year we started with a pre-book of 130+ appointments and it only improved with walk-ups as the show progressed. Needless to say we are very satisfied," commented Jay Steere, vice president of global product management and outdoor performance for Timberland.
“After 11 years, this has been the most productive show we have ever had,” said Scott Leonard, CEO of Indigenous Designs. “It’s been gangbusters bell to bell.”
“Best show ever!” proclaimed Kenny Ballard, president of Kelty.