Outdoor Retailer Summer Market '10: SNEWS Youth BOB Awards

A new category this year, the Youth BOB Award winners were picked by members of the inaugural SNEWS Youth Reporting Team at ORSM 2010. The youth team members -- 19-26 years old -- were set free to pick what booths they thought were “best” for reasons they considered important to them. See what they had to say.
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A new category this year, the Youth BOB Award winners were picked by members of the inaugural SNEWS Youth Reporting Team at ORSM 2010. The youth team members -- 19-26 years old -- were set free to pick what booths they thought were “best” for reasons they considered important to them, even if that meant they repeated other award-winners (but perhaps for different reasons). Without influence from others, here’s what our youth team members decided:

YOUTH BOB – KEEN

Called the mullet booth, Keen definitely embodied the spirit of a party in the front with plenty of business going on in the back that we youth enjoy. Made mostly of upcycled objects (think old wood pallets as walls, stop signs as shelving, upholstery on chairs that once belonged to cars in a junkyard, and someone even found a door that had “Rock ‘n Roll” library engraved on it), the booth came complete with a spin-the-wheel game, a gong and, of course, plenty of cool Keen schwag (We do like schwag!). The booth was friendly and inviting and the “booth concierges” were happy to show you the more serious intentions of the upcycle-inspired booth and its company’s products. Launching an eco-friendly shoe called “Santiago” that will help members of the Dominican Republic secure funds for entrepreneurial enterprises, Keen plans in its manufacturing to use upcycled 1950s machines that it tracked down in the former USSR, then refinished. In the end, the Santiago will have no adhesives or glues. There was always something fun going on at the Keen booth and, on top of everything, the company even raised money for The Conservation Alliance.

YOUTH HONORABLE MENTION – Hi-Tec

Hi-Tec wanted to reinvent its brand, starting with the slogan “Inspired by life.” In order to do this, it did an outreach to artists around America and chose three based on their quick-draw skills with Sharpie pens. The booth staff wrote down inspirations from passers-by and the artists illustrated them, to be picked up later by the inspiration’s owner. More than just a cool bit of art infused into the show, Hi-Tec was bringing artists, who normally wouldn’t have attended, to a trade show full of contacts. Not only was the company re-launching its brand and entertaining the masses, it was also creating a platform for talented, underprivileged artists to launch their careers.

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YOUTH HONORABLE MENTION – STANLEY

Stanley Thermos has a deep heritage good enough to show off. At the summer OR show, it did just that. The booth, based on a bit of a dive bar, was meant to represent the product. Complete with coasters, a dartboard, a bar and top-shelf product (instead of top-shelf booze, of course), the booth was definitely appealing to the eye. Inviting, welcoming and full of heritage for any age group -- although one that we liked in particular. Attendees shared their experiences with the company’s iconic green thermos -- funny, sad, or both -- then passers-by voted using poker chips on which experience was the best. Reading the Stanley confessions was the best part: Not to miss was one from the guy who gave his girlfriend a Thermos for her 30th birthday instead of something thirty-flirty, as well as one from a guy who relieved himself in his best friend’s Thermos accidentally on a camping trip (accidentally??). With a little something for everyone, this dive was a whole bunch of fun.

--SNEWS Youth Reporting Team members Lorin Paley with Anthony Shaheen and Audrey Goss

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