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Trade Shows & Events

What's new and ahead for Summer Market 2014

The outdoor industry's largest trade show is a week away. Learn the latest show news before your trip to Salt Lake City.

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Leading up to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2014, SNEWS is previewing some of the top trends and new products you’ll see at the trade show and Open Air Demo in Salt Lake City, Aug. 5-9. You can access all these articles and more in our O.R. Daily Day 0 edition.

Outdoor Retailer changes every year. Here’s what’s new for Summer Market 2014:

Location, location, location
Although show officials signed a two-year extension to keep Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City through Summer Market 2016, negotiations will ramp up again as talk typically gets going two years out from the contract expiration.

Outdoor Retailer Show Director Kenji Haroutunian said there’s been some positive progress by Salt Lake City and Utah officials in the past few years, including financial support to help pay for the larger, three pavilions for the summer show and legislative support to encourage the development of a new 800-1,000-room hotel near the Salt Palace.

“We’re in active discussions with OIA and Utah officials and all options are on the table,” Haroutunian said. He added that much of the “Collective Voice” public feedback on the issue gathered last year is still valid, also encouraging attendees to share additional and updated opinions at

Open Air Demo at Pineview
For the second year in a row, lower-than-normal water levels in the Salt Lake City area will bring the show’s Open Air Demo (Tuesday, August 5, 2014) to Pineview Reservoir.

Instead of last year’s late change of venue, show officials are now taking account of water levels in the spring to predict and decide early where best to hold the demo.

In low water years, such as this one, the event will go to Pineview. In high-water years, it will go to Lake Jordanelle.

While low water levels also affect Pineview, the mountain water venue reveals gently sloping sand beaches, whereas low water at Jordanelle reveals sharp rocky beaches, officials said.

‘Advocacy Alley’ gets more selective
The usual row of non-profit organizations at the top of the escalators on the east end of the Salt Palace might seem a little smaller this year.

Show officials are being more selective as demand for the space and entry into the show grows. To qualify for the space, which Outdoor Retailer donates, nonprofits must now be more national in scope and have a relationship with the outdoor industry. They also must staff their tables at all times.

“The reality was that a lot of nonprofits were setting up, then leaving their tables to walk the floor,” Haroutunian said. “We’ll still provide them badges into the show, just not space.”

There will be about 20 non-profit tables at Summer Market 2014, versus up to 35 a year ago.

Inspiration Award nominations
Take some time to think about who inspires you in the outdoor industry. Organizers of the Winter Market awards ceremony, including Outdoor Retailer and Adidas Outdoor, want your ideas for nominations at Summer Market. The first call goes out at the Outsiders Ball, or drop your nominations off at the Adidas Outdoor booth (#1009).

Venture Out
The urban outdoor scene is growing and retailers can discover which brands are playing in the city at the new Venture Out exhibit area in Pavilion 2. The 7,000-square-foot setting — designed in collaboration with the Mountain Lab and complete with grass and park benches — will display 20-25 brands and their outdoor-hipster targeted lines. The common space will help inform retailers on the growing category and how best to take advantage of it in their stores.

Tailgating @ OR
If the urban hipster crowd isn’t your thing, and you prefer Coors over craft IPAs, then check out the new Tailgating @ OR exhibit area at the Street Scene outside The Pavilions @ OR. The setting will feel at home in the parking lot and include automotive accessories, coolers, portable power, heaters, lighting, camping furniture, sun shades, outdoor games and more.

Also take note …
Other new or different things to keep an eye out for this year:

>> Café on the Mezz, formerly the ORganics Café in MR 355, moves to the Mezzanine level on the north side of the Salt Palace.

>> The OR Paddle Club (the SUP/paddle tank) outside The Pavilions @ OR has been expanded to accommodate a larger variety of demos.

>> After a successful debut last year, the Psicobloc Masters Series — a race of climbers up a steep wall with no ropes over a swimming pool — returns to Olympic Park. The competition is now billed as Friday evening’s main event, with free shuttles running to/from the Salt Palace and the All Star Industry Jam performing on location after the competition.