New from the floor…Outdoor Retailer 2018

With a new home, a new talent landscape, and new product trends, this year’s Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show had a fresh feel for 2018. The Noto team was onsite meeting with friends old and new. Here’s what we saw:


PRODUCT TRENDS:

New this year from the product perspective were a few trends that seemed to span the show. While OR has always been a friendly place for canine companions, there were even more products for our furry friends, and not just from pet-specific companies. Olive green was the color trend this year, popping up on accessories, apparel and footwear across the show, including Canada Goose, TOPO Designs, and our favorite, Hydro Flask.  And a venture through the Venture Out section on the ground floor showed a large number of up-and-coming lifestyle brands, featuring whiskey, blankets, eyewear and more, including B Corp friends Green Goo and bambu.

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP:

The landscape of the show is changing in other ways. This year more than ever before, there a growing base of women in leadership. Take Sue Rechner, new President of Merrell and Michelle Wardian, President of Outdoor Research, along with Amy Roberts, Executive Director of the Outdoor Industry Association and Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia.  More women rising to the top of outdoor companies, and organizations like Camber Outdoors are creating a platform for women and mentoring opportunities to continue to build the pipeline of women prepared for executive level roles. Camber Outdoors hosted a breakfast event on Saturday, where Ann Krcik was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for starting to host spaces for women to get together at trade shows, eventually co-founding OIWC, which evolved into Camber.

PUBLIC LANDS AND CONSERVATION:

With the show relocating to Denver in protest of the public lands policies by its former Utah home, a focus on public lands and conservation was a big theme both on the floor and the sessions. The OIA Industry Breakfast on Thursday morning featured Paul Hawken, author of the book Drawdown, speaking about how we can tackle global warming and reverse it, using solutions that already exist. And the Conservation Alliance Breakfast on Friday was the stage for a presentation by Kevin Fedarko & Pete McBride on Hiking the Grand Canyon, and the efforts to keep the natural wonder free from development. Another big change was the combining of Outdoor Retailer with Snow Show, which resulted in a lot more ski and snowboard brands attending, and a more robust talk on the current state of climate change and conservation efforts.

From our perspective, the Winter 2018 Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show was a big success.  See you back in Denver for the Summer show!