Summer Market Showcases Outdoor Industry

One of the great boondoggle opportunities from working in the outdoor industry is going to trade shows filled with shiny new toys and lots of free beer. This summer, some 18,000 people converged on the floor of Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace Convention Center for the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market —the 27th year for Outdoor Retailer—for just that purpose.

The Open Air Demo kicked off the five-day event on Monday, July 21, at the Pineview Reservoir in Ogden, Utah. Manufacturers and brands from around the globe set up shop for outdoor enthusiasts of every level to test their kayaks, paddleboards, and other watercraft in their natural aquatic environment.

During the next four days in Salt Lake, more than 900 exhibitors—from local newcomers to global industry giants such as North Face and Columbia—showed off their products to outdoor retailers representing nearly 2,300 stores. Attendees took in product demonstrations, design competitions, business seminars, and free beer in the later stages a day—a tactic many companies found useful in attracting potential customers.

The 2010 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market starts January 20 with the All-Mountain Demo at Snowbasin Ski Resort, and then the show at the Salt Palace Convention Center the following days.