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As a professional in the events industry for over twenty years (Curious? read my bio here), I’ve followed many and led a few trends in this space. I’ve seen major shows rise and fall, even entire trade shows collapse for various reasons. I’ve helmed shows that took market share, and one that lost. To say it one way, I’ve seen many trends in my career as an event professional, but I see a rising trend today that is particularly disruptive.
The rapid growth of intimate, hyper focused and invitational events has been on my radar for some time; think Struktur, Grassroots Connect, Paddlesports Retailer, Outpost Trade, Climb Smart, Women’s Climbing Festival, or ‘b2both’ events like Outdoor PressCamp or Outdoor Blogger Summit . These events, and many more, represent a new wave of experiential gatherings that focus energy on core topics relevant to the greater outdoor recreation world.
One of the media events that I’m particularly excited about, and involved in, is Outdoor Blogger Summit. Outdoor Blogger Summit represents the future of this new crop of hyper-focused, small-batch, high touch events. While media coverage is still a strong value proposition of trade shows, it’s no secret that the big show is not the venue to have relationship-building conversations with media. It’s a volume effort, shooting for hundreds of contacts that will eventually sift down to a dozen good leads and several key relationships. OBS has already sifted around a dual value proposal; curated audience plus ample time and managed experiences specifically designed for real human connection.
“Micro events are exciting because you used to have to sift through thousands, even tens of thousands of people, to have a meaningful conversation with a few key buyers. Today, you can go to a micro event where everyone fits the customer profile,” said Stephen Nold, executive director for Tecc Society, a group of buyers and suppliers for the event production industry.
This year’s OBS stages in Bentonville, Arkansas from Oct. 27-29. Bentonville has been the topic of many feature articles lately, named by Outside Magazine in 2016 and 2017 as a top outdoor recreation destination. Over the three days of Outdoor Blogger Summit, brands will spend quality time getting to know editors in organized group sessions, games, competitions and technical breakout meetings. Further, the conference is designed to be an educational platform so that both brands and media can stay on top of digital media trends.
“In today’s digital world, keeping up with best practices in digital is no longer a nice thing to have; it’s essential for survival for any brand, retailer or media outlet,” said founder of OBS, Yoon Kim. The 2017 show will feature speakers like Stephen Regenold, editor of Gear Junkie, Jen Altschul, producer of Dirtbag Diaries, and SNEWS’ own Kristin Hostetter speaking on topics such as ‘How to go from 0-100k Pageviews in a Year’,and ‘Advanced Podcasting Tips and How to Break into Freelance Writing for Major Publications’.
Now in it’s third year, Outdoor Blogger Summit launched in 2015 and was strategically co-located with SH/FT, a conference dedicated to public lands advocacy in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. OBS 2016 was also held in Jackson Hole and after nearly tripling attendance, the event has outgrown the co-located venue and has found a new home in the Ozark Mountains (Bentonville).
The event has grown to become the premier (ie: only) digital marketing specific conference dedicated to the outdoor market. The event aims to help brands and media stay on top of the fast-changing digital landscape and attracts marketing professionals, traditional media, social influencers, athletes, filmmakers, podcasters and vloggers. Today the show boasts an attendance of over 100 of the top outdoor content creators and brands.
As of this writing, Outdoor Blogger Summit has 16 slots open before being completely sold out.
For more information on how to participate in this or next year’s show, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.