Outdoor Retailer Show Preview

Outdoor Retailer is taking the show outside.

For the upcoming edition, slated for Aug. 4-7, the Salt Lake City-based trade event will exhibit new brands in a dedicated tent space beside the Salt Palace.

“We heard from our audience and through the years of surveying attendees that the most important thing is new exhibitors,” said show director Kenji Haroutunian.

Roughly 150 new brands across all categories will fill the space in the New Exhibitor Pavilion, located just outside the North Entrance doors on South Temple. Many newly launched brands will attend, including Barefooters and Freewaters.

The added space is the latest example of the show’s rapid growth.

After seeing a 16 percent jump in overall attendance in 2010, Haroutunian said the show is on track to hit 22,000 to 24,000 people this summer, a record for the event.

And while the growth has meant more attention and more business — as well as increased interest from the athletic and action-sports worlds, among others — Haroutunian said it has sparked discussion among the show’s organizers about who OR needs to serve and how large it can get. “We’ve got to be smart,” he said. “It’s not necessarily bigger as [much as it is] better. How big does it need to get? As they get larger, shows often [overshadow] themselves. We’re asking ourselves, ‘What are the relevant sectors?’

Calender of Events

Open-Air Demo
8 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 3
Jordanelle State Park
Buyers and media put the latest in outdoor footwear, apparel and gear to the test at this all-day showcase.

OIA Industry Breakfast
7 a.m.-9 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 4
Salt Lake City Downtown Marriott, Salons A-J
Keynote speaker Marian Salzman, CEO of ERWW PR and ER Life PR, presents “Deciphering Consumer Trends and Their Impact on the Outdoor Industry.”

OR Bike Valet & Bike Share
8 A.M.-6 P.M., THURSDAY, AUG. 4, to SATURDAY, AUG. 6
South Plaza of the Salt Palace
Local commuters can take advantage of valet services, and out-of-towners can use the complimentary fleet of Electra Bikes cruisers for transportation during the show.

OR Industry Party
6 p.m.-8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 4
The Courtyard in front of Abravanel Hall & The Art Center
A night of food, drinks, volleyball and music.

Eco Index Update & Equipment Subgroup Status Report
12 p.m.-1:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5
Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown, Salon E
Those in attendance will receive an update on the current state of the Eco Index project.

“Footwear: What’s New & What’s Next”
8 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 6
Salt Lake City Downtown Marriott, Salon Deer Valley
Jennifer Ernst Beaudry, Footwear News’ outdoor editor, moderates a discussion with top players in the footwear space, including Frank Gibbons, footwear buyer for Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters; Doug Smiley, footwear buyer for City Sports; Pete Worley, president of Teva; and Jim Zwiers, president of the Outdoor Group at Wolverine World Wide Inc.

All-Star Industry Jam
9 p.m.-1 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 6
Club Elevate, 155 W. 200 S.
Donations go to Buffalo Field Campaign, a nonprofit that protects the buffalo of Yellowstone National Park.

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