The outdoor industry is in major Outdoor Retailer mode right now, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about attending the Outdoor Industry Association’s Rendezvous 2013 in San Diego.
This year, the crew at OIA is designing an educational conference that tackles multiple issues important to the outdoor industry’s future, said Lori Herrera, OIA’s executive vice president and COO.
“We’re really excited about the high-level topics we’ll be tackling, like the future of retail,” Herrera noted. “Diversity has been a very hot topic for the industry,” and another issue Rendezvous will address in depth, she said.
What better place to start thinking about education on how to keep your business relevant than at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market? OIA will offer $50 discounts on Rendezvous registration and will announce the topics it will address at the conference during the annual OIA Industry Breakfast (which will take place July 31 at 7 a.m. in the at the Downtown Salt Lake City Marriott).
Rendezvous this year is “designed to help businesses get ready for the future, determine the trends they should be planning for and creating an innovative environment,” according to OIA.
SNEWS will bring you periodic stories on the various topics Rendezvous will focus on at this year’s event throughout the summer.
New for this year
SNEWS first came across the Ignite workshop platform at a fitness trade show called IHRSA. Essentially it’s a small group of speakers that give quick presentations to inspire the crowd.
The idea, OIA officials said, is: “Enlighten us, but make it quick.” The organization decided to add the Ignite platform to the mix this year in an event called Ignite Outdoor, which will feature four speakers addressing different approaches to brand storytelling. The event will be led by Ignite MC Erika Napoletano, a brand strategist and author.
“It’s a great format and the topic that just lends itself to doing rapid-fire high-energy sessions that can kind of fit and flow together in a 45-minute to hour-long session,” Herrera said.
Plus it allows attendees to participate in the discussion.
“This year we’re focused on interactive education sessions, so it’s not just the experts coming in and telling you,” Herrera said. “We’re finding opportunities for all attendees to share their ideas and discuss what their particular needs are.”
Generally OIA attracts 400 to 450 participants at its annual educational conference. As of Thursday, the conference registration was at about half that, so there are still plenty of openings, Herrera said.
“It gets you out of that day-to-day mode and gives you an opportunity to think about the longer-term vision of where you’re going,” Herrera said.
This is the 15-year anniversary of the Timberland Sponsorship and to celebrate, the organization is kicking off the event with its service project (historically, the service project has been the last thing on the conference agenda).
Herrera said starting the event with the service project would give people a chance to have that bonding experience early on. The Service Project is cleaning of the Tijuana Estuary River Bed, which flows out of Tijuana and back into the States.
“It’s a great opportunity to get to know a few folks and make some lifelong friends,” Herrera said.
Registration pricing is based on the type of membership a company has: Retailer registration is $595; manufacturer registration is $995; and associate member registration is $1,295. OIA is offering a $50 discount for folks who register at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
For more information on the event and registration, visit the Rendezvous website.