Two weeks ago we attended the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, UT. For those not in the know, Outdoor Retailer is the largest trade show in the outdoor industry where over 1000 brands around the globe come to convene and show their wares for the upcoming selling season (Fall 2013 in this case).
When you say trade show to most folks they think boring, stale convention centers and people walking around like zombies listening to sales pitches, but the OR Show is a totally different beast. With some of the most talented, renowned athletes in the world, brands on the cutting edge of technology creating gear you can wear and use for fun in the wild, and many of the larger outdoor brands striving to have the coolest, most exciting, show-stopping booth, you can imagine it is an indoor playground for outdoor enthusiasts who are in the industry. This winter, Vasque was debuting its expanded insulated collection and the new, lightweight backpacking boot, the St. Elias GTX, all due to hit stores in August 2013.
Day 0 – All Mountain Demo:
A first for Vasque Footwear, the team headed out a day early to man a booth at the All Mountain Demo in Solitude. Touted as the day for testing the newest ski and snowboard gear on the mountain, we were a bit intrigued to see how a booth for testing insulated boots would be received. Before the demo, we were excited to secure the title for Vasque and Red Feather Snowshoes as ‘The Official Snowshoe Footwear of the All Mountain Demo’ promising more brand visibility and accessibility to the guides leading the snowshoe trips throughout the day.
Getting up early that morning, team Vasque grabbed a quick breakfast, some hot coffee, and headed to the Demo to set up our booth in the balmy 16 degree weather.
With tent and banners up, boots out on display and the team outfitted in our Vasque logoed Headsweats beanies and ArcTeryx insulated jackets, we were ready to go at 9. As soon as the first shuttle dropped off, we had buyers and media lining up to try the new Vasque Insulated Collection. One gal came by to use the new Skadia UltraDry in the Nordic Challenge; she came back 2 hours later and said the boots performed perfectly in the race. We were not only getting Vasque boots on many different people but we were also getting great feedback from them on the performance of the boots. A win-win! The day was a success: we were interviewed by the local news station, sent a National Geographic correspondent off with a pair of Vasque boots for his upcoming trek in Kazakhstan, and met many new contacts.
Day 1: The show begins:
Vasque's Booth with some of 2012's PR Hits showcased
Day one of the show when all the red carpet is down and the booths are perfected. The Vasque team gathered for a quick sales meeting to get revved up for the week and discuss products and events that are happening throughout the duration of OR. Tonight was the big retirement party for Vasque’s parent company, Red Wing Shoe Company’s CEO, Bill Sweasy. A fun night at The Depot was had with music by the grammy-nominated Marcia Ball and the opportunity for all party attendees to choose one of five non-profits to donate $100 to as a party favor.
A couple photos of the Vasque Booth:
Day 2: Day 1 down and only 3 more days to go…
Today Vasque hosted a fundraiser party for the Mt. Washington Observatory where we are the “Official Footwear Provider” for their staff. To make sure the party had a fun vibe with good music, we had a local band, the Puddle Mountain Ramblers, who entertained the crowd with a few original and old favorite bluegrass tunes in the booth. Beer was served in Vasque logoed frosted glass mugs for a $5 donation to the Observatory. In addition to the fundraiser, Vasque gave away a trip for two to Mt. Washington Observatory and Resort at the event.
The Puddle Mountain Ramblers put on a great show
The evening of Day 2 hosted the Outdoor Inspiration Awards where our own Bill Sweasy was awarded the individual award, due to his long time involvement in outdoor advocacy and for founding and working with the Red Wing Environmental Learning Center (RW-ELC). The Outdoor Inspiration Awards annually recognize individuals, groups and companies that motivate others to become active in the outdoors through their stories of personal achievement and an unending passion for the outdoors. To read more about Bill’s involvement with RW-ELC and Big City Mountaineers, read our most recent press release regarding the award he received.
Bill Sweasy with his wife Carol, accepting his Outdoor Inspiration Award
The week in Salt Lake was a big one for Vasque and Red Wing CEO, Bill Sweasy. The Winter OR show was one of the best to date.
The Vasque team ~ Until next year!