Winter Outdoor Retailer Wrap-Up

16 02 2010

Twice a year I exhibit at America’s largest outdoor sporting goods and apparel trade show in Salt Lake City.  This year’s winter show was held January 20-24.  I look forward to these trips for a number of reasons.  First, the obscene amounts of beer…second, connecting with absolutely awesome outdoor peeps, musicians, athletes and industry leaders…third, finding new retail accounts and business partnerships….and fourth, the obscene amounts of beer (ok, I know I already said that).

Thousands of outdoor gear heads flocking into the Salt Palace

This was the fourth Outdoor Retailer show that Naturally Bamboo has appeared at.  I really feel like after this show about 90% of people in this industry know who I am and what my company is all about.  In fact, Channel Signal, an outdoor new media company highlights Naturally Bamboo’s social media presence at the Winter Market Outdoor Retailer Show here.

Monitors were placed all over the show displaying the Outdoor Retailer conversation. Can you spot me?

I have to give many thanks to my new friend Amy Jurries, from The Gearcaster, for taking the time to interview me during the show. I also got to meet Ryan Dionne from The Gear Junkie and he just recently posted a Q & A session that we did together regarding some drama surrounding bamboo processing.  Read the full story here. Ryan and I had a failed attempt at a Colorado/Minnesota beer exchange so I need to see him again soon so we can be re-united with Dale’s Pale Ale & Surly.

David Sweeney from Channel Signal and Ryan Dionne from Explore It/The Gear Junkie

Although getting some good publicity was awesome, the best part of the OR show was getting to meet many of my outdoor twitter friends in person.  Social media (facebook, twitter) has allowed me to make friends all over the world that probably wouldn’t have come into my life without it.  My 2 roomies (and dear girlfriends) @repgirl and @theclimbergirl and myself all came to know each other through twitter and now we will forever watch eachother’s backs.  The first night of the show we organized a tweet-up, which is an event that twitter friends meet in person.  Oh I hope I don’t forget anybody: @thegearcaster @theclimbergirl @maldaly @eliz_castro @highsteph @thegearjunkie @dvdsweeney @bradwerntz @bryankuhn @urbanwilderness @explore_it @jc_climbs @trevorclark @joytripproject @wude72 @krisversteegen.  Here’s some pics from the Salt Lake City tweet-up!

Amy Jurries @thegearcaster, Sara Lingafelter @theclimbergirl, me, and @bryankuhn from @pembaserves

Elizabeth Castro @eliz_castro, Sara, Steph Davis @highsteph, David Sweeney @dvdsweeney @channelsignal, and me

What I loved best about my trip was meeting these incredible athletes, business/social media geniuses and all around good-hearted individuals.  These are the kind of people that inspire me to push myself past my comfort zone and take risks.  I know I’ll never be a free solo climber/basejumper like Steph or climb Mt. Everest like Jamie Clarke, but after listening to their adventures, it sure does make me want to do more stuff outside.

Steph doing a free solo climb

Find out more about Steph through her blog and watch this amazing video of her outdoor lifestyle.

Sara and Jamie Clarke @jc_climbs (professional adventurer & Everest summiteer)

Jamie has created an social network connecting active people…join here. You can also follow Jamie’s bid to summit Mt. Everest once again in April 2010 at Expedition Hanes Brand.

Some other fantastic new/renewed friends that weren’t at the tweet-up but I spent time with during other parts of the show:  Chris Hiller from Truman, Minnesota @camperchris (he practically lives right in my backyard!), John Peacock @jpeacock from the Gear Junkie, John  Besmer @plntprpgnda,  @brockforeman (my Team Minnesota bowling buddy), @betsycurtin (my bowling rival), @outdoorretailer (Kenji, Mr. OR show director extraordinaire), @larrypluimer, @thepiton,  @canoelover (man with a heart of gold), @ibexwool, @writerlou,and @johnhorsnell.  I know I’m forgetting people and I’m so sorry if I have!

Me, @eliz_castro and @trevorclark

@bradwerntz (Pemba Serves), @canoelover (Darren from Rutabaga) and @theclimbergirl (Sara from Waypoint Outdoor) doing a social media panel

@wude72 (Travis) talking about how people like his tweets about his 3 year old wiping boogers on the wall

Watching the Vikings NFC Championship game with Kenji (OR Show Director) and Ryan Johnson (my OR sales rep)

Showing off the new Uberlite Dry Sack from Granite Gear (it looks like it's floating it's so light!). My pal Cheri insisted the GG dog pose with us.

Happy that I got to hang with an outstanding environmental organization @1percentFTP.   My girl Sara got to choose the winner for a Jackson Hole ski vacation during the 1 percent for the Planet CD release party.   My new favorite band @barefoottruth provided the musical entertainment.

Bought my $10 CD....get yours at: http://music.onepercentfortheplanet.org/ (features Jack Johnson, Mason Jennings, G. Love & more!)

Sara got to draw the winner of the ski trip...she did have my card in her hand and dropped it:(

Another highlight of the show was getting to know the crew from Keen.  I got invited to a private movie premier of “Nature Propelled”, an environmental documentary that you MUST see.  The movie was sponsored by Keen, Kavu and Clif Bar, stars Seth Warren, a former professional kayaker and features music by Barefoot Truth.

Will getting a lift from The Yoga Slackers

Did you notice that Will (singer/songwriter of Barefoot Truth) is wearing a Naturally Bamboo shirt?  He traded me his CD for a shirt….I was honored.  I’m happy to say we are still in touch and are working on Barefoot Truth/Naturally Bamboo partnerships.  This is what the shirt says:

Barefoot Truth performing during PrAna happy hour

Keen's Hybrid Life Booth

Keen made happy hour happier by having the lovely Miss Sara bartend (in a bamboo dress no less!)

Me & Sara dancing at the Teva party

My itty bitty booth

All right, I can’t think of anything else to say right now, except is it time for the summer show yet?