Dear friends and colleagues,

First, I hope this note finds you healthy and safe and in good spirits during this surreal time in our lives. The ripple effects of the coronavirus on our industry—on all industries, really—is equal parts terrifying and heartbreaking.

But we will get through this together.

As my team and I work on a never-more-relevant Spring/Summer issue of The Voice, we’re starting to field questions about distribution of our award-winning magazine in the seemingly inevitable event that Outdoor Retailer gets cancelled. We distribute thousands of copies at the show, and we love seeing so many of you reading it there.

We want to ensure that you still have access to our physical magazine—especially at such a critical time when the industry needs deep reporting, careful analysis, and zero BS. And we want to be of service to our beloved community during this crisis. 

We can't make masks, but we sure can create content to help us navigate this storm. That's why we’re opening up a free one-time subscription to The Voice to make sure everyone who wants a copy gets a copy. All we’re asking is that you cover the unexpected cost of postage: just $2 for a single issue and less if you choose to get more copies for your staff. The digital version will also be free, and we ask only that you register to receive it.

Aside from analysis on coronavirus impacts on our industry, here’s a look at just some of the stories we’re working on for the next issue.

Is China worth the trouble? Coronavirus aside, there are plenty of other reasons it might be time to get out of China. We dive into supply chain vulnerability, growing labor costs, pollution, counterfeiting, human rights, and more.

Investigation: Fake pro deals Rampant pro deal abuse has tremendous trickle-down effects on brick-and-mortar retailers. We go undercover to see how easy it is to score deep outdoor gear discounts from both third-party pro-deal companies and brands. 

The Disruptors The outdoor industry is changing fast, here are 5 people disrupting the normal course of business. Learn from them or get out of their way. 

The very best outdoor companies to work for From workplace culture and perks, to leadership opportunities and pay, from health and wellness to service and volunteering, these are the cutting-edge outdoor companies that might have you updating your resume. 

TV50 & Trends Our curated list of the most promising 50 products of Spring 2021 (submit your products for consideration here).  Plus a look at some of the biggest over-arching trends in the outdoor industry: durability, transparency, and affordability.

Other topics include:

A report about the health and efficacy of OIA

A debate about the Backpack Tax

A hard look at the sustainability efforts of trade shows

Human resources advice for small companies

And more!

I also feel compelled to be transparent. We, like so many of you, are worried about our business. In particular, I'm concerned about the loss of ad support from the outdoor industry. It, and it alone, allows us to run our lean team and continue to bring you the news. I'm so grateful for the support our partners have shown us in the past, and up until a few short weeks ago, I was bullish on our future based on the feedback our partners—and future partners—have shared. 

Woman with long blonde hair, white shirt, navy blue vest and scarf smiling, in field with tall grasses

We're all in a strange and scary place, but no matter what happens, we need to keep dissecting our industry, sharing our ideas, and looking in the mirror to find ways to grow and improve. We feel The Voice is poised to do that now, more than ever. We hope you'll come along for the ride.

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or great story ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at khostetter@aimmedia.com. For advertising inquiries, please contact Casey Vandenoever at cvandenoever@aimmedia.com.

Stay healthy and safe,

Kristin 

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