Looking Back at Summer Outdoor Retailer

What is Outdoor Retailer?

Last month, the Scream team attended the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market here in Denver, Colorado. The four-day-long event, which brought in over 30,000 attendees this summer, is the largest gear and apparel trade show in North America. For the first time ever, the summer show was held in downtown Denver as opposed to Salt Lake City. The show’s new proximity to our office was beneficial to us as it allowed all of our employees to be at the show to help represent our clients.

The Outdoor Retailer trade show was created as a way for outdoor manufacturers – large and small – to interact with and showcase their newest products to various outdoor retailers who would then hopefully place bulk orders for those products to eventually be sold in their stores. Although the show is geared towards manufacturers and retailers, many outdoor publications and local media also attend the show in order to get an inside look at next year’s gear and apparel.


Florence Williams, author of “The Nature Fix,” was the keynote speaker at the Outdoor Industry Association Breakfast on Day 1.


What We Do At The Show

One of our most important jobs at the show as a Public Relations agency is to act as the liaison between our clients and the media. To do that, we set up one-on-one meetings with the media, show them our client’s products, and then encourage them to feature clients in future issues of their publications. Scream Agency has been representing clients at the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show for over 20 years. During this summer’s show, we had over 50 meetings with media representatives split between our clients MPOWERD and SOLE. We are proud to say that only a week after the show’s end, we have already received several media hits regarding our clients’ new products, all of which have been a direct result of our work at Outdoor Retailer.

Scream Agency employees put in many hours during the show, but a lot of our work actually begins weeks before the show even starts. For clients like Sherpani and Ollydog, we were busy starting in the beginning of July writing press releases about their newest products, acquisitions, and brand extensions. We then pitched those stories to the Outdoor Retailer media list to entice the media to stop by our clients’ booths during the show to learn more.


(L-R) Previous Scream Agency client/polar explorer Eric Larsen caught up with Scream Agency intern Heidi Ledermann and founder/CEO Lora Ledermann.


Brands For Better

Perhaps our largest project leading up to the show was getting ready for our “Brands For Better” happy hour event. At the end of the show each day all attendees are invited to take part in happy hour events happening at various booths throughout the Convention Center. For the past few years, we have put on a wine event with the help of two of our clients: SOLE, an eco-minded active lifestyle footwear brand, and their cork recycling partner ReCORK.

As a Certified B Corporation, we wanted to create a happy hour event that promotes sustainability and raises awareness for brands who are conducting their business in environmentally-friendly and ethical ways. At this summer’s show, we gathered 1% For the Planet members, current B Corporation brands, and speakers who are forward thinkers to participate in TED-style lightning talks about how they have used business as a force for positive change. We served the wine in stainless steel reusable wine glasses, and all of the corks used at the event were recycled by ReCORK who will work with SOLE to make insoles and sandals from the recycled cork. We also gave all proceeds from the event to Big City Mountaineers, a nonprofit which focuses on providing inner-city youth with outdoor experiences.

Thank you to all of our speakers and to all of the companies who donated products to be given away during the event’s raffle, including SOLE, ReCORK, MPOWERD, Wallaroo Hat Company, tentree, Conscious Company Magazine, Bare Republic, Miir, fitbit, Mountainsmith, Altra Running, Proof Eyewear, RYU Apparel, Health Warrior Superfoods, and Black Rock Oceanfront Resort. The event had a great turnout, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of these companies.


Rachel Zurer, Editor-In-Chief of Conscious Company Magazine, spoke to the crowd about sustainability at the Brands For Better event.


Last Thoughts and Takeaways

The days spent at Outdoor Retailer can be exhausting when talking to media all day, walking around promoting our event and our agency, and going hours on end without sitting or getting a bite to eat. However, the days spent at OR are also some of the most exciting days of the summer. At Scream Agency, we try to balance work and life, and that balance can be seen at OR where we get our client work done while also having a bit of fun.

When off the clock, we took advantage of all that Outdoor Retailer had to offer. Events like the Industry Party and the 5Point Film Festival “Night of Stoke” kept us entertained while the Industry Breakfast and ongoing speaker series educated us and informed us about the state of the outdoor industry. We caught up with old friends and past clients, and we made new friends and connections with new companies.We laughed over drinks and Bocce Ball tournaments with clients, we tested the latest outdoor equipment at the demo experience in Confluence Park, and we had many conversations about outdoor adventures and protecting mother nature.

Overall the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market was an incredible experience. We are happy with the work we did at this summer’s show, and we are looking forward to the next Outdoor Retailer in the fall!


OR attendees tested the newest outdoor gear at the Demo Experience in Confluence Park.


We were excited to leave the show after Day 1 with our arms full of great products.

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