Outdoor Retailer's second run of its digital trade show went live today, kicking off with a flurry of education sessions and thousands of attendees registered to show up. Unlike the group's traditional in-person shows, which take place over the course of a week, OR Winter Online will run until March 19, with events spread over a 10-week period.

According to show organizers, the show currently has more than 1,800 retail buyers registered, as well as 250+ working media, 450+ designers, 130+ importers and distributors, and 200+ sales reps. In total, OR leadership said that more than 5,000 attendees have registered so far, and more are being added each day. By comparison, the in-person show typically draws about 25,000 people. One hundred sixty exhibitors are currently operating digital booths, with some big names in attendance: Fjallraven, Asolo, Helly Hansen, Hestra, Smith, and others. Many of the industry's largest players, however—such as Patagonia, The North Face, Columbia, and Black Diamond—have chosen to sit the show out.

The opening keynote was delivered this morning by Lindsay Peoples Wagner, the editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, who spoke about how outdoor brands can better commit to DEI practices in years ahead. Other presentations today included a data-driven look at how products are selling across the industry from the NPD Group, and an update on climate advocacy in 2021 from Snowsports Industries America.

The opening of the show comes just as Emerald, OR's parent company, announced its acquisition of PlumRiver LLC, a provider of software-as-a-service technology for streamlining wholesale buying processes for brands and retailers.

"The acquisition will accelerate Emerald’s strategy to provide 365-day-per-year engagement for its customer base regardless of location," the company said in a release. The acquisition of PlumRiver could help Emerald protect itself from future losses due to cancellations of trade shows.

As for the show that launched today, directors are hoping it marks the beginning of a more robust version of OR's digital show and a step up from the version that debuted this summer.

"We're excited Winter Online is now open, and it kicked off with good conversations on diversity and climate advocacy, plus we got a first look at industry data with more to come," show director Marisa Nicholson told SNEWS. "It's all just beginning. We hope everyone uses these early days to explore the event, start making connections, schedule meetings, and learn the ins and outs in order to take full advantage of Winter Online. There's a lot of opportunities ahead, including the Summit Days later this month, and this really is a great resource for everyone in the outdoor and snowsports communities."

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