(This story was updated on 6/7/2023.)
Outdoor Retailer announced today that it has revamped the show floor layout to be organized around activities such as camp and hike, climb, run and cycle, and more.
The new format debuts at the upcoming June show in Salt Lake City, and will continue going forward.
The activity segments are:
- Camp and hike
- Overland and travel
- Run and cycle
- Water (summer)
- Snow (winter)
- Retail services
Venture Out, which features modern outdoor brands, and Stewardship, the section focused on advocacy organizations, remain a part of the show and will add integrated education spaces.
A new area, The Hub, will serve as a connector and gathering space.
We followed up with Outdoor Retailer SVP and Show Director Marisa Nicholson to ask her a few questions about the floor changes.
Why reorganize the show floor by activity?
Outdoor Retailer SVP and Show Director Marisa Nicholson: We changed the layout to create a more curated, shoppable, and user-friendly experience. It helps buyers find certain products or categories, and for exhibitors it helps easily connect with the right buyers and find new retailers.
For everyone, it’s more intuitive and aids in the exchange of ideas – from sustainability, to collaborations, to innovation, and overall inspiration. While we’ve always had some elements dedicated to specific activities, we’ve now more formally organized it to support both pre-show planning and navigating the show floor on site.
Our goal is to grow each of these zones and engage the communities each represents.
How did you choose the categories to highlight?
Marisa Nicholson: We looked at how retail stores are presented both in brick-and-mortar and online – it’s all very similar to how many retailers and brands work day-to-day. We also researched past exhibitor and category buyer trends.
We know not every brand is going to fit exactly into a certain activity category. For those exhibitors with products that fill multiple categories, we’ll work with each to determine where on the floor will help them maximize their ROI and best reach their goals in participating.
Were retailers and/or brands requesting this change?
Marisa Nicholson Discovery is the top reason both attendees and exhibitors come to Outdoor Retailer – it’s No. 1 on our surveys show after show. So, the goal with the redesign was to assist buyers and media in finding new products and new brands for their stores, and to help exhibiting brands and reps meet new retailers buying in their category. It will also help guide media in developing stories.
One of the unique functions of Outdoor Retailer is that competitors have always exhibited across the aisle from each other at the show. We’re a community first and being together allows for the collaboration and cooperation that’s needed to improve business and grow the industry. You’re sharing best practices, new discoveries in sustainability or manufacturing, and building relationships that together help move the needle.
Effective business doesn’t happen in silos, and Outdoor Retailer exists to help make the connections and build the relationships that lead to success.
Editor’s note: To find out more about the changes, including a revamped website, new icons for each activity zone, and enhanced exhibitor listings, head to outdoorretailer.com.