Outdoor Retailer Winter Market '05 update -- OIWC needs a few good volunteers, Buck talks sex, and we pick the seminars we think are worth your time off the floor…

Do you have a Winter Market 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, we'll only promote it if we deem it to be both entertaining and educational), fire an email to the SNEWS® team at orevents@snewsnet.com by Monday, Jan. 17, and we'll see if we can include it in our next event update story.
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Do you have a Winter Market 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, we'll only promote it if we deem it to be both entertaining and educational), fire an email to the SNEWS® team at orevents@snewsnet.com by Monday, Jan. 17, and we'll see if we can include it in our next event update story.

>> The Outdoor Industry Women's Council (OIWC) is looking for a few good women, or men…. During Winter Market, it needs help staffing the OIWC booth, spreading the word about the OIWC mission and activities, and signing up new members. If you don't have a badge currently to attend Outdoor Retailer and want one, this is your chance. Work a booth, get a badge. More specifically, the OIWC needs assistance during its Backcountry Betty Clinic on Friday, Jan 28, to help check women in for the clinics it is offering on a multitude of activities. In addition, it needs a hand during its Winter Gathering on Monday, Jan. 31, at 6 p.m. Volunteers will be working the reception area. If you are interested in helping out, contact Kitty Bradley at kbradley1@yahoo.com.

>> Pre-show Nordic walking workshops for instructors, retailers and fitness professionals are being offered by Leki at no charge on Thursday, Jan. 27, and Friday, Jan. 28. Meet at the Aspen Room in the Prime Hotel at 10 a.m. on Thursday or 1 p.m. on Friday. Contact Lindy Spiezer at Leki (lindy@leki.com) for more information.

Naturally, all the seminars and events at Outdoor Retailer have worth, or they wouldn't be scheduled, right? Well, OK, maybe worth is a relative term. Our team has poured over the litany of seminars, events, book signings, parties and scheduled debauchery and the following are a few of those we believe are absolutely worth your valuable time:

Saturday, Jan. 29

  • Yee-hah! Pry those eyes wide open and stagger into the Marriott at 7 a.m. on the first day because it is time for the OIA semi-annual Industry Breakfast -- always a blockbuster start to the trade show. Seating is limited to 500, so to ensure your seat at the table, send an email RSVP to: chowland@outdoorindustry.org. The bonus, aside from good grub, is listening to a presentation by Lisa Johnson of Reachwomen.com, talking about the research in her new book, "Don't Think Pink." Listen, learn and begin to understand how to market and sell to women effectively.
  • Yes, it will take you off the show floor, but if you have the time, we'd recommend checking out the noon to 1 p.m. seminar titled "Industry Collaboration on Environmental Sustainability." Geared toward those who are interested in taking an active role in advancing an environmental agenda within the industry, this session builds off of the sustainability session organized by Patagonia, REI and Timberland at the Outdoor Industry Association Rendezvous in October 2004. The goal of this meeting is to discuss ways in which industry companies might work together to improve the environmental sustainability practices of our companies and the industry overall. In preparation of this meeting, the organizers are asking industry folk to take a quick survey -- click here -- and they will share the results of the survey and use it as a launching point for discussion. Please complete the survey by Jan. 19.
  • What could be better than talking sex, drinking beer and hanging with Buck Tilton? Not much we believe, and certainly not if you can do it all on the trade show floor, which you can at 4 p.m. in the Wisconsin Pharmacal booth. Naturally, Buck will be signing free copies of his book, "Sex in the Outdoors."
  • Be sure to make it over to the Union Pacific Depot at The Gateway Plaza for the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market industry party, this year titled "Winter Green." Singer/songwriter Patrice Pike and her band will be playing, and thanks to the efforts of Indigenous Designs, Pride Wright and the Outdoor Retailer trade show staff, they'll be trying to make as much of the party (food, accoutrements and such) as green as possible -- green in terms of environmentally responsible you understand, not green as in moldy.

Sunday, Jan. 30

  • FabricLink continues its offering of solid educational seminars with "How to Develop and Successfully Sell Outdoor Apparel -- A Supply Chain Perspective," from 7:30 to 9 a.m. The panelists include a mix of executives from the supplier, manufacturer and retailer segments of our biz, offering insights and ideas useful for creating and then successfully selling softgoods.
  • Support the Conservation Alliance by attending its membership meeting (no, you don't have to be a member to attend and you won't get the hard sell to become one) from 8 to 9 a.m. We suspect, though, that after hearing about its successes, and plans for the next year, you'll want to become a member and have a direct impact on saving wild lands and wild places.

Monday, Jan. 31

  • It is a toss-up for us. Both Jim Dion's seminar on Open-To-Buy for retailers (which looks extremely useful) and Andy Smith's presentation, "The Power of Mutual Success and How it Worked for Harley-Davidson" are solid picks in the 7:30 to 9 a.m. timeslot. Your decision will depend on what you believe you need to hear more. We can tell you from personal experience that hearing Smith speak is more than worth the time and energy spent dragging yourself into the Marriott so early in the morning. We promise that Smith will have you charged up for the day by the time you step back across the street for the show opening at 9 a.m.
  • Once again, we don't get too excited about noon seminars typically, as they take you off the show floor, but "Creativity in the Retail World: Everyday Techniques That Really Work!" with Peter Downing and Dave Claflin of Spark Communications, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Marriott looks like a winner. "This session outlines several tried-and-true techniques for invigorating the creative process on a daily basis. They aren't BIG ideas. Big ideas tend to stay in the desk drawer and never see the light of day. These are small, but useable ideas that are simple to wield and deadly to the doldrums -- easy to implement and put to use in the kind of situations we all face every day," said the duo.

Tuesday, Feb. 1

  • End your show, if you're still around on Day 4, and we hope you are, on a high note with Andy Smith's keynote presentation from 7:30 to 9 a.m., "How Harley-Davidson Retailers Went from Good to Great." Breakfast, Smith's wry sense of British humor, and practical insights you can apply to your business immediately -- now what could be better than that?

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