Outdoor Retailer Summer Market '05 Update -- Wobbling in formal attire, and talking smack with rubber balls.

Talking smack with rubber balls, Wobbling in formal attire, partying with a mariachi band, rockin' with Roger Clyne and hte Peacemakers, and so many more solid recommendations of what is worth your time at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Summer Market from your trusted SNEWS crew.
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Do you have a trade show event you think is worth noting?
If you have a trade show event that's scheduled, confirmed and more than just an introduction of a new product (as in, entertaining and educational), fire an email to the SNEWS® team at orevents@snewsnet.com. We need them before Aug. 1 when we post our second and final Outdoor Retailer Summer Market preview story.

The SNEWS® team is continually weeding through all the press release fluffery and mounds of show announcements to bring you only the events we believe are really worth the time. To that end, mark your calendars for the following:

Events and must-attend meetings

Kick off Summer Market with the semi-annual OIA Industry Breakfast!

It requires an RSVP by email, but we assure you, the OIA Industry Breakfast events are not to be missed. This one, beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11, features Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods," about his groundbreaking work with today's children and the importance of outdooors. In addition to the keynote speech and a very good free breakfast, each attendee takes home a toolkit -- the second edition of the Toolkit for the Trade Series: Getting Youth Active -- filled with practical tips on how to tap into the growing youth market. RSVP to Cathy Howland at chowland@outdoorindustry.org.

The 10th Annual Wasatch Wobble

Run, walk, wobble, take the bus, carpool, ride a bike, hop, pogo stick, crawl -- it really doesn't matter. The bottom line is get your butt (dressed in appropriate formal attire suitable for running) to the 10th Wobble celebrating a decade of dirt. Please RSVP at Montrail, Booth 1713, and receive a Wobble goody bag. Proceed to DeFeet (Booth 5955) for your custom Wobble socks. A commemorative Layers shirt will be handed out at the Wobble to participants only -- so none of the lame "I got the T-shirt so I can sleep in" crap allowed!

Toss a little rubber smack in someone's direction
Like the Backpacker crew has so aptly stated, "Few things say Outdoor Retailer hospitality better than throwing a carefully-aimed rubber ball right at someone's back." Last year's dodgeball tournament was a hoot -- although some of you did take the idea of smacking and getting smacked with a rubber ball a little too seriously and need to absolutely consider taking some "lighten up" pills if you plan to play this year. For those of you with a balanced temperament and a promise you won't throw temper tantrums, mark Aug. 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on your calendar. Game is on in the north parking lot of Baci (134 West Pierpont Ave., across the street from the Salt Palace). The area will be specially converted to accommodate three dodgeball courts (in conjunction with Utah Dodgeball) along with a hospitality area -- complete with DJ -- for the evening. The tournament will be open to 16 teams of 10, with each team receiving team-specific uniform shirts courtesy of Milliken's VisaEndurance. Six teams will play simultaneously on the three courts to help whittle the field down to its eventual champion, while food, beer and other beverages will be served in the hospitality area for teams waiting their turn…or wondering how they got eliminated. Backpacker has stated that it will not field its own team this year because its staff will split up to play with and help other teams -- code for "we're still recovering from our bruised egos last year" -- so any ideas of advertisers exacting a pound of personal flesh should be shelved. Any company interested in entering a team should contact Backpacker's marketing manager, Kristin Duby, by email at Kristin.Duby@rodale.com.

Feeling good, doing good
The Conservation Alliance Membership Meeting -- which really is a bit of a misnomer since non-members are not only welcome, they are downright encouraged to attend. Still, it is a meeting where membership agendas are discussed (and yes, you will be inspired to become a member if you are not already one, we promise you). Each meeting, an inspirational speaker is scheduled, and this one is no different, with Michael Fay, National Geographic conservationist-in-residence taking the podium. Make your way to your seat at the downtown Marriott, salon F, at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13.

Party Scene
>> The day before the show during the Open Air Demo (and if you are a retailer, you really should be making your way to this new venue to test boats, other gear and generally enjoy a good time outdoors), Yakima will be the official entertainment sponsor of the demo, hosting a reggae band and a place to relax with the comfort of misters to provide relief from the Salt Lake City summer heat.

>> Yakima will host a Mexican-themed "Kick Some Ass Bash" from 5 to 7 p.m., at booth 2519 on Aug. 11, complete with a mariachi band and giant 6-foot donkey piñata that ties into the theme in "Speedy Piñata," one of three short films distributed with the Yakima catalog earlier this year.

>> If you've heard any buzz from Winter Market, you know you DO NOT want to miss the Outdoor Industry Foundation benefit concert by Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, co-sponsored by Timberland, SmartWool and GoLite. Clyne and his band are more than worth the $5 admission price. Yeah, Ed Viesturs will be there too, perhaps summiting the stage and then diving into the industry mosh pit full of industry executives below…and that alone will be a priceless sight to behold.

Seminars: There are a lot of great choices each day of the show, so to make it easier for those of you who can't decide, SNEWS® picks what we feel will be the most relevant, meaningful and impactful seminars to attend.

Thursday, Aug. 11 - noon to 1 p.m.
>> Mouth to Mouth -- A discussion on the Growing Trends in Word-of-Mouth Marketing, held at the Downtown Marriott, Salon E. Anthony Schweizer will talk about buzz marketing, viral marketing, blogs and message boards -- the whole thing is getting complex. What does this new era of communication mean for companies, and how do these new mediums fit into a company's marketing mix? Consumers are talking -- and they're talking about your offered brands in your stores. But is it possible to harness all this talk and turn it into action?

Friday, Aug. 12 - 7:30 to 9 a.m.
>> If you are not going to the W.L. Gore breakfast with Jerry Greenfield, the founder of Ben & Jerry's, to hear about brand building with social and environmental responsibility, then your next best choice this morning is another good one -- A Textile Supply Chain Dialogue: The Global Market Jolt - How to Survive It and Thrive! in the downtown Marriott, Salon E. The FabricLink-sponsored panel discussion will cover a controversial and crucial subject -- the 'Global Market Jolt' caused by the elimination of all quota from China and no doubt the impact of the Yuan being unpegged from the dollar. The main thrust of the discussion will be its current and future impact and how the textile-based supply chain will survive and, hopefully, even thrive. Among the panelists will be Jim Leonard III, deputy assistant secretary of textiles, apparel and consumer products for the U.S. government who, we hear, is a lively speaker. Also, John Mitchell, vice president of business development for Outlast; Kenneth Shelton, textile development for W.L. Gore; and David Parkes, president of Concept III Textiles International.

Friday, Aug. 12 - noon to 1 p.m.

>> Green Steps Association - Session on Sustainability in the downtown Marriott, Salon E, with Scott Leonard of Indigenous Designs. Green Steps Association (GSA) members and non-members are welcome to participate. Topics include: culture, Fair Trade, natural fibers, the role of the retailer and manufacturing practices. A resource panel will be available to address questions related to these issues. GSA will provide resources, encouragement and examples from within the industry.

Saturday, Aug. 13 - 7:30 to 9 a.m.
>> Exhibitors only: Doing Business with the U.S. Military in the downtown Marriott, Salon E. U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and other military services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force) seek to procure various commercial off the shelf (COTS) and modified COTS products from exhibiting vendors at Outdoor Retailer. The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFAR) governs the process by which the military procures commercial equipment and services. This seminar will help explain the sometimes intricate process by which the military procures products or services from a commercial vendor -- and of course, we hope, explain the nifty acronyms the government manages to embrace with passion.

Saturday, Aug. 13 - noon to 1 p.m.
>> Marketing to Women -- A Salomon Case Study on Saturday in the downtown Marriott, Salon E. Who comprises the women's market? Before launching its new women's campaign, Salomon studied the women's market for more than two years. One favorite topic: How women shop for their gear and apparel. Salomon hinted that the findings are very different according to the different archetypes of women who participate in outdoor sports.

Sunday, Aug. 14 - 7:30 to 9 a.m.
>> Keynote Presentation: B2B Panel Discussion in the downtown Marriott, Salon F. Over the past three years, a group of outdoor industry companies have worked to make the communication of information between retailers and vendors a more streamlined, cost-effective and higher-quality process. This cost-saving initiative utilizes XML standards with the goal of having retailer POS systems talk with vendor systems, and vendor systems talk with customer POS systems. The panel discussion will cover how your company can benefit from this innovative initiative designed to make your business more efficient.

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