This year’s Outdoor Retailer Show had a new home and, for some in the organization, a new mission.
With the politically-charged move from Salt Lake City to Denver(opens in new tab), industry and government leaders did not shy away from stressing their public policy partnership in Colorado at the show’s welcome party held at Denver’s civic center. Governor John Hickenlooper also shared with the crowd a list of political victories for public lands, from Colorado’s bipartisan defense of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument to the Legislature’s tense but ultimately successful designation of the Colorado Public Lands Day holiday.
“Clean air, clean water, public lands,” Hickenlooper said, “that’s about the most nonpartisan position you could have.”
In light of the show’s historic relocation and overarching greater purpose, many of the brands in attendance turned their attention to bigger causes beyond just selling product. From women’s rights in the outdoor industry(opens in new tab) to sustainability and conservation, there was a strong sense of purpose and determination in the air as the brands supported their cause of choice.
For example, on the first day of the event, Hestra, Mystery Ranch, Toad&Co, and NetSuite spearheaded a new event. In the spirit of conservation, the happy hour “booth crawl” sponsored by NetSuite held a purpose beyond celebrating the close of the first day. NetSuite, Hestra, Mystery Ranch, and Toad&Co put on what may become a new tradition – the NetSuite Conservation Crawl, which this year supported the Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees fund. From the receptacles for the beer (reusable tin camping mugs) down to the invitations (coasters printed on seed paper, which could be planted to grow into wildflowers), the Conservation Crawl truly earned its name.
As the Nature Conservancy representatives educated attendees on their efforts and beer was served, participants offered up their badge for a scan. For every badge scanned during the happy hour, NetSuite donated $5 to The Nature Conservancy and within just a few hours, the Conservation Crawl captured an amazing 432 unique scans in support of the cause. The support for the cause - both from the NetSuite customers hosting the event and Outdoor Retailer attendees - was extremely powerful, and something that has momentum to continue into Outdoor Retailer Summer and beyond.
Check out more Outdoor Retailer 2018 highlights here(opens in new tab).