OUTDOOR RETAILER SUMMER 2023 RECAP
Outdoor Retailer welcomed more than 7,500 attendees and over 720 global brands to Summer 2023 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, from June 19-21, 2023. The outdoor community came together to do business, discover what’s new in the industry, learn through education sessions and from one another, make new connections, and leave inspired.
Several key events highlighted the show. The weekend prior to Outdoor Retailer marked the debut of Outdoor Adventure X (OAX) – a consumer adventure festival at Snowbasin Resort featuring outdoor activities, clinics, camping, live music, and more. On Night 1 of Outdoor Retailer, the local community joined the outdoor industry for a Block Party from Visit Salt Lake. On the second night, the 13th annual Outdoor Retailer Inspiration Awards celebrated people and programs dedicated to get more people outside. And the show closed with a community stewardship project with Utah Open Lands.
The recipients of the 13th annual Outdoor Retailer Inspiration Awards were unveiled during a ceremony on the second night of Outdoor Retailer Summer, June 20, 2023.
Hosted by Timmy O’Neill, the joyful ceremony recognized people and programs advocating for wild places, equitable access, and empowering more people to connect with the great outdoors.
This year’s winners:
Individual: Becky Rom
Emerging Leader: Cassie Abel
Nonprofit: Adaptive Adventures
Summer 2023 Registered Lists
The stores, designers, and media who registered for Outdoor Retailer Summer 2023. Please note only one company is listed even if multiple attendees are registered per store or company.
Exhibitor + Attendee Quotes
“Immersing ourselves among passionate individuals and cutting-edge brands at Outdoor Retailer was such a refreshing experience for us. It reignited our belief in the transformative power of outdoor adventure to unite and inspire. It felt like stepping into a vibrant community of like-minded enthusiasts, fueled by collaboration and progress, all working towards a future that’s sustainable and inclusive. We are incredibly grateful for the invaluable connections we forged and the unwavering support we received from the outdoor community and the Outdoor Retailer team. We can’t wait to see what exciting adventures lie ahead in future OR shows!”
– Joanne Bienskie, Alpinistas
“Returning to Salt Lake City felt like returning home to the outdoor industry. Perhaps it was a place in time, but just felt right to be there and my hope is that those vendors not attending can realize that at OR you find the strength and vibrancy of the industry. Outdoor Retailer serves as the platform for connecting with industry professionals and enthusiasts. By participating in the show, big outdoor vendors can showcase their latest products, innovations, and technologies. This was always so exciting. It gave the industry vibrancy, authenticity, and chutzpah for that matter. Retailers didn’t always buy the latest and greatest, but OR pushed innovation and technology. It doesn’t appear to be that anymore and not the fault of the organizers but of those vendors that have faded out. The show always attracted a diverse range of attendees and created an invaluable opportunity to generate brand exposure, establish partnerships, and provide valuable networking. We were connected, we were unstoppable, and we were a family. I appreciate all that has been done and we will continue to help lead the charge in a return to this show being the premier show in the outdoor industry. Being part of it is a commitment to the outdoor industry, the outdoor community, and to the development of the industry. The outdoors create community and the outdoor industry is family – that’s what we all want to build. So, I plead to all those vendors to return – to return to the roots of success for both vendors and buyers.”
– Shelley O’Neill, Boy Scouts of America
“As a buyer, I found a lot of new stuff. I thought the energy was good and the vibe was mainly positive. That said, I think a lot of veterans of OR lament the loss off the show we used to have. For me, at my age, I missed the conversations I would normally have with colleagues around the country, more than concerts and parties. Overall, still the most viable show for me in the United States to find new and relevant product. Not in any sort of punitive way, but nonetheless in a real way, I will end up spending less money with some of my current companies, in order to bring in products that I found at the show.”
– Brian Mildenstein, Fin & Feather
“For me, one of the most valuable things about attending is that you always make a connection — or maybe you learn something new about someone you already knew — but you always walk out of this show smarter than when you walked in. I think these shows are important for the community and I don’t think enough people recognize that.’
– Mike Hattrup, Black Diamond
“I thought the new layout was beneficial, and I found new brands and placed several orders with them. I used the Match program and it worked well. One good example was with Garmin where I met and talked with my rep’s area manager and it was beneficial. I love the education portion and probably just need to block that time totally off. I would love to see more paddle sports there and that is a huge part of business for lots of us. ”
– Ed McAllister, River Sports Outfitters
“OR gave us real traction, not only in launching our products on the American market but also by giving us the opportunity to meet up with everyone from renowned suppliers to our end-users in all parts of the world. We had intense and productive days and are excited to have started several dialogues that will bring us further in our journey.”
– Janne Hakonen, Nordshield
“We went to the show to find new brands and stay connected with existing brands, both of which we were able to do. For some of our brands, it was the first time we have met face-to-face and it was great to be able to foster those relationships through in-person meetings. We made brand relationships that will last for years to come!”
– Jeremiah Steff, The Flying Kiwi Outdoors
“OR is so important to me as a buyer, not only to seek out new products and meet the people behind the brands, but for the education and seminars which are invaluable! Favorites are always Circana, WSGN with Q, and the retailer roundtable. The information and discussion about our industry/community is the number one thing that brings me out each time, these sessions fill out my show calendar. It was exciting to see the show buzzing and picking up again after the pandemic stretch. I met a lot of new and interesting people, networked, had lots of meetings and learned so much. I did find some new brands and suppliers that I have picked up and met with brands I’m currently working with. Big mention to all of the friendly pups I met on the show floor too!”
– Hayley Parry, Mt. Hood Meadows Resort
“The collective passion for our shared spaces is what makes the Outdoor Retailer Summer show a must-attend event. As a first-time exhibitor, the spirit of innovation and collaboration showcased the best qualities of the outdoor industry.”
– Laura Rogers, Common Tiger
“I get the most out of speaking with the people who know the brands the best, and that often only happens in places like OR. Hearing the stories of the brands, like the generations of knife-makers at Helle or a chef leaving a Michelin-star restaurant to make camping food, really provides an invaluable understanding about what makes a brand or product special. So, we’re always very excited and grateful to have those conversations.”
– Storr Erickson, Hatchet Outdoor Supply Co.
Take a look at the highlights and stories from Outdoor Retailer Summer 2023 in the show recap videos and news coverage in The Daily, plus tune in to recorded education sessions from WGSN and Surefoot.