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Rendezvous Addresses Industry Importance

The 12th Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Rendezvous, an annual leadership and learning conference reported record attendance, exceeding last year’s attendance numbers by 28%.

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The 12th Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Rendezvous, an annual leadership and learning conference reported record attendance, exceeding last year’s attendance numbers by 28%.

Every year, Rendezvous attracts hundreds of high level outdoor industry professionals to one location for seminars, speakers, and active outdoor recreation excursions. The event is a forum for industry leaders to learn about emerging economic and market trends, discover new business tools and discuss ideas to advance the industry as a whole. Rendezvous also showcases the outdoor industry connectedness and commitment to outdoor recreation, as well as focuses on environmental and sustainability ethics.

“At every Rendezvous, my staff has a big idea meeting, so we can think and dream the next great innovations in the store,” explains Joe Hyer, supreme commander for Alpine Experience. “It’s worthwhile, and I haven’t even mentioned all the great training.”

This year, OIA selected the Vancouver-Hilton, in Vancouver, Washington, from October 3 to 5, 2007, because of the community’s commitment to outdoor recreation, and the hotel’s sustainable business practices.

Rendezvous sessions provided practical, easy to implement ideas that inspired companies to work differently.

“The speakers were high caliber,” said Kristine Carey, brand manager for Sierra Designs and Ultimate Direction. “Rendezvous gave me an opportunity to learn from different speakers that addressed the market in different areas. It gave me bits and pieces and nuggets of information to take back to the office.”

Future Trends of the 21st Century
Speaker: Jeremy Rifkin, Founder and President, The Foundation on Economic Trends
Jeremy Rifkin discussed his vision of the new economy and explained what the future will look like, given the environmental, social and geopolitical forces at work today. He also reviewed the trends and impacts of the outdoor recreation industry as well as how the industry can shape trends.

Today’s Consumer is a Moving Target
Speaker: Marshal Cohen, Senior Industry Analyst, The NPD Group
Cohen explained how companies such as Apple, Estee Lauder and Merrell use the 5 E’s (Educate, Explore, Elevate, Entertain, and Evaluate) to sustain their consumer base. In today’s rapidly shifting marketplace, brand loyalty has subsided and the consumer-of-the-moment-rules. Many companies are moving to a seasonal calendar, grabbing the attention of audiences based on the holiday. The seasonal calendar approach to product introductions is one example that shows retailers are out of sync with consumer needs. To successfully compete for customer’s wallet share, the industry must connect with them, understand their buying habits, and anticipate their every move.

Authenticitude Is the New Real and Other Keen Teen Insights
Speaker: Michael Wood, Vice President, TRU
Michael Wood discussed groundbreaking research tracking teen trends, lifestyles, media, brands and attitudes. In his presentation, Michael unveiled several key themes to help attendees better understand young people today, where they’re headed and how to make a connection, including: “Obsolessence”, “VIPremium” and “Autono-ME”.

Beyond the Horizon – A Human Powered Circumnavigation of the Globe
Speakers: Colin and Julie Angus, Angus Adventures
Colin and Julie Angus recently accomplished the first ever human-powered circumnavigation of the globe, detailed in their new book Beyond the Horizon. This colossal adventure provided a truly unique view of our world, of Mother Nature and of what we as humans stand to lose if we don’t act now to reduce our footprint.

“My expectations were fully met. The speakers were dynamic and we all found many things we could incorporate into our business,” said John Hutchinson, president of Fontana Sport Specialties.

Topic Snap Shots
Other topics included Reaching Millennials: Hijacking the Unpurchaseable Media with Cal McAlister and Brian Mahr. The duo offered insights to communicate with the millennial generation (born between 1979 and 1994) and shared personal experiences and processes to help make marketing investments.

Speakers also addressed other tough business issues that are critical to the growth and success of the outdoor industry:

•Emerging Economies: An in-depth look into India. India is one the fastest-growing emerging markets and understanding all contexts will help build a framework for a company’s globalization strategies.

•International Trade: Outdoor retailers and manufacturers need to be aware that decisions in Washington, D.C. regarding trade issues, can impact bottom lines, and affect business’ competitive edge and the future growth of the industry as a whole.

•Market Opportunities in the US: The Hispanic market is the largest consumer market in the U.S. The Latino market is large, lucrative, and loyal. It’s a marketer’s dream and major companies are changing their business to capture this new audience as the “Latinization of America” changes the consumer landscape.

From the inspirational speech by Colin and Julie Angus challenging attendees to stretch their definition of adventure to networking with colleagues along the Willamette and Columbia Rivers on the Portland Spirit, every occasion truly made Rendezvous a memorable event.

“Rendezvous allows many networking opportunities and in this ever-changing industry, it’s great to put a face to a name,” said Debbie Motz, executive director for Eastern Outdoor Reps Association.

Dubois Park and the Blandford Canyon Trail, in Vancouver, Washington

The 2007 OIA Rendezvous Volunteer Service Project was the largest single-day service assignment in the history of Vancouver-Clark County Park and Recreation Department.

Approximately 150 Rendezvous attendees spent over five hours on Friday, October 5, 2007 improving Dubois Park and the Blandford Canyon Trail, in Vancouver, Washington. Volunteers consisted of CEOs, presidents and industry leaders from companies such as Timberland, Jansport, and Thule.

Rendezvous volunteers cleared brush along the Blandford Canyon Trail as well as leveled and edged surfaces to rehabilitate and maintain the path. Dubois Park received a mulch makeover and touch ups around the area. Dubois Park is approximately 3.5 acres and Blandford Canyon trail is about .5 miles long.

Sponsorship supported 50% of the overall costs for the event. Below are the supporters of this year – 2007 Rendezvous.

Title sponsors for the OIA Rendezvous are Timberland, Brand Oregon, Oregon Economic, Development Department, Portland Development Commission and The State of Washington.

Supporting sponsors include Generator Group, Holland & Hart, Keen, Merrell, Nalgene, Outdoor Retailer, and REI.

Gold sponsors are Centerstone, Clark County, Jansport, and Redwood Creek.

Silver sponsors include All Terrain, Camelbak, CGPR, Eastern Mountain Sports, FedEx, Hood River County, KINesSYS, Larabar, prAna, Sierra, SNEWs, Sperry Top-Sider, Superfeet, The Whiting Group, TRU, Southwest Washington Electrician’s Union, Woolrich, Yakima, Yellow, and Vancouver Union Roundtable.

Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. The outdoor recreation economy contributes to approximately $750 billion annually to the U.S. economy. A wide spectrum of leading manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers of outdoor recreation equipment and services, as well as other related business entities make up OIA member base. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, cutting edge market research, member cost saving benefits and outreach initiatives to grow participation in outdoor activities and promote healthier lifestyles. Outdoor Industry Association is the exclusive endorser of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow. For more information go to or call 303.444.3353.