Denver, Colorado - (For Immediate Release) In a time when the outdoor industry’s largest annual gathering has been cancelled, along with countless other outdoor events, races, tradeshows and conferences, everyone is asking, what’s next? What now? And from thin air a solution appears. A virtual platform that replicates the IRL experience more closely than any Zoom meeting or webinar has even scratched the surface of. Thin Air is the outdoor industry’s first fully interactive brand-to-media show that elevates product, innovation, story, and reach simultaneously.
Media will engage with brand representatives in the form of hyper-realistic avatars, learning about trends and experiencing product launches while creating content in real time, driving millions of impressions and click-throughs. Thin Air allows brands to reach consumers while they are safe at home studying, researching, and planning their next adventure or big purchase of outdoor gear and apparel. Importantly, Thin Air bridges the gap between traditional media and new media content creators, from podcasters and bloggers, to Instagrammers, TikTokers and other influencers that have traditionally been sidelined from trade-focused shows and have audiences in the millions that know, like, and trust them and the stories they tell.
Leveraging technology ranging from custom in-house code and several cloud providers including VirtWay, Google Firebase, and Amazon AWS, Thin Air is aligned with some of the most powerful brands, organizations, media and decision makers in the global outdoor industry. In fact, says Thin Air founder Erik Boles, Thin Air had already been in the works for several years and has nearly a half million dollars invested in the platform alone.
Thin Air will take place June 24-26, 2020, not as a replacement for the cancelled Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Tradeshow, but as something entirely new.
"Quick adaptation to changing conditions is just one characteristic of a resilient brand", says Gearmunk VP of Digital Strategy Jenna Celmer. "With branded search exploding and market share up for grabs, now is not the time to stop communicating. Embracing technology that can drive sales now will be the difference between which brands thrive and which brands ultimately do not have a seat at the table."
Unlike most virtual presentations that follow a Webinar or Zoom-type format, Thin Air is fully immersive and interactive and allows attendees to engage with exhibitors through chat, talk, and video over the course of three days. By limiting the number of booths to 400, attendees can more meaningfully engage with brands, explore new products, pick up marketing collateral, and schedule post-event meetings, right from their desktop or mobile device.
Brands can also get creative and engage show attendees with scavenger hunts, giveaways, contests, and more. Booths/brands can send real-time alerts to attendees for important announcements being made, and can deliver live or on-demand product overviews with a live Q & A. Brand assets for media will live 360 degrees, 365 days a year on the Thin Air Media Room, accessible to media who have been registered (and vetted by our media department) after the show concludes on June 26, lending ongoing SEO value for attendees.
“Outdoor industry brands have been seeking a fresh, cost-effective way to connect with media and retailers,” said Erik Boles, CEO of Gearmunk, the tech power behind Thin Air. Gearmunk is the world’s first community-driven and video-based gear review and education platform, founded in 2014. “The recent cancelation of trade shows made now the right time to bring this to life, and being a team of outdoor loving tech geeks with decades of experience in digital media and cloud technology positioned us as the ideal group to create it.”
Rising All Ships
Much like traditional tradeshows, Thin Air is bringing in an array of targeted and highly valued programming, including education, data, and product category awards. Gear Junkie -- one of the leading online gear and outdoor news websites in the country -- will be the presenting media partner for the Thin Air Gear Awards. The independent award circuit during Outdoor Retailer has become more respected and sought after each year, and Thin Air will continue that tradition and value-add.
Thin Air founders have been busy collaborating and answering many of the questions and concerns that have become apparent around tradeshows, including issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, show timing, the role of the non-profit community, and how to work with direct-to-consumer brands.
Additionally, ROI on trade shows will no longer be a mystery. We all know the old days of “weighing the paper” have been gone for years, and tradeshows have become more and more a marketing line item. Now, the industry can actually treat it as such, and will have full visibility of impressions, list building, click-throughs, and direct sales. Attendee reporting, activity metrics, and interest metrics are all included for participating brands at the $5000 booth level and above.
According to Brian Solis, “global innovation evangelist” at Salesforce, we are in the middle of a new, Novel Economy. During times of uncertainty, says Solis, business model innovation and digital business transformation must fuel business growth.
“Gearmunk’s unique approach to engagement is the most innovative I’ve seen,” said Hap Klopp, founder and 20-year CEO of The North Face, keynote speaker and member of the Thin Air advisory board. “We built The North Face through deep personal connections, and Thin Air is helping do that for the next generation of outdoor consumers and brands.”
The outdoor industry is reported as a $887 billion dollar business globally, supporting 7.6 million U.S. jobs, many of which have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic response. When the Outdoor Retailer trade show moved to Denver, it reportedly brought with it $57.7 million in business to the city for the summer show alone. Thin Air is poised to eliminate any carbon footprint related to show travel, as well as reduce brand expenses by more than 85 percent.
View the Thin Air Virtual Demo Here: http://thinairshow.com/
For more information, interviews and images, contact:
Scott Kaier, Public Relations Director
About Thin Air
Founded in 2020 in an effort to help uplift the outdoor industry, Thin Air is backed by industry changemaker Gearmunk (founded in 2014 and delivering more than 10.34 million engagements across all channels each month), a radical Active Outdoor Lifestyle digital engagement company that is disrupting the way outsiders and the industry discover and learn about outdoor gear. Visit ThinAirShow.com for more information.
About Formidable Media
Formidable is a New Media agency based in Boulder, Colorado, born from two outdoor industry veterans helping a select group of clients achieve new heights in consumer reach, data-based marketing, earned media exposure, content marketing, custom publishing, trade show impact, event execution, social media strategy, and creative services. With nearly 50 years of combined experience in print & digital media, PR, and active-lifestyle industry brand building, Formidable brings the best of the communications world together in a new agency concept laser focused on elevating great brands in every way. Formidable-media.com