Trade Shows…ODT Style

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I have been doing trade shows for the better part of my professional career. When I was in the freight and customs brokerage business I would walk shows to look for prospective customers, I wore a jacket, sometimes even a tie, it sucked. I walked everything from SEMA to the CA Gift Show, I learned how the companies would market themselves, usually in an uncool but appropriate for the industry way. At SEMA and AAPEX for example this was common place.

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The car industry has made “booth babes” the norm, the expected, commonplace, and well, kinda cheezy and played out.

The next phase of my career I was in the promotional products industry, I owned a company that supplied Distributors who then in turn sold the product to large corporate clients like State Farm, HP and the like, its called the ASI or PPAI industry. I worked our booth for the better part of a decade reating relationships with the heavy hitters in the industry, it was a very corporate audience, dress was business casual or professional , this might help paint the picture.

All Biz Gear

All Biz Gear

While it wasn’t all bad by any means and we certainly found ways to have fun, get attention and stand out from the crowd, we were still confined by the standards and norms of the industry.

Well, then I started Outdoor Tech and our first trade show was SIA, it was, well, not super corporate. Production value of the booth were taken to the next level, the party WAS the show, on the floor, kids were hammered, athletes were doing dumb shit all  over the place, everyone was puffing, ON the show floor. It took a few years for me to make the full time transition out of the corporate show world, but I realized then, if you have to do 7 or 8 shows a year, you might as well make it as fun as possible and be a part of putting on a show, at the show.

Making your booth, products and marketing standout and having fun isn’t easy, trade shows are a grind, physically taxing, and you have to be “on” at all times, day and night. All the more reason you need to let go a little, make sure it’s organized in advance, and when it comes times for the show, let the games begin. Don’t give away a tote bag, give a vibrator like Trojan did at CES at got this response.

Photo Cred to tech.co

Photo Cred to tech.co

That leads me to Summer 14′, ODT Summer Show schedule:

Outdoor in Friedrichshafen,Germany

Agenda Long Beach and Agenda NYC

Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City

Surf Expo in Orlando

Interbike in Vegas

THAT ISN’T AN EASY SCHEDULE FOR ONE SUMMER!

Now back to the first photo , I have wanted to use this particular method of trade show marketing since a friend of mine drove traffic to his booth at a show I was at in Atlantic City in the midst of the Anthony Weiner scandal. I finally decided to get off the pot and get’er done and I called my buddy, Robbie, first he laughed at me, then he asked if I was serious, and then he asked if I knew HE PRODUCED the urinal screens in his facility in Texas. It was too perfect, so Purple G got our order, and we became the official sponsor of the Surf Expo urinals, the unofficial sponsor at Outdoor Retailer, and a new tradition was born at ODT. People loved it, it was fun, and certainly was a conversation starter.

Here is the short list of ODT Trade Show lore promos or events:

Bloody Mary Breakfast in the Airstream (a long standing and highly popular one)

Beer Bong Races and Marathons (with Charlie in his Unitard)

Shoelaces (seems innocuous, but we usually throw them at people and litter the isle with them, people love it)

Condoms for #SummerofHelmet (and my 13 & 15 year old nieces giving them out saying “have a safe summer”

Urinal Screens

So next week we go to a new show, one we have never done before, Surf Expo in Orlando, come see us at Booth 1475, see what trade shows are all about, ODT Style.

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What’s Next??

“Strange Rumblings in Shangria LA”

Globe Surf movies are always pushing the envelope, and this super-16mm film full of waves and babes blew my mind.  The surf world is always one step ahead of the game. trailer:


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some cool DJ guystrangerumblings-3 Cali-surfer-bros enjoying a nice merry-go-round pre-screeningstrangerumblings-4 strangerumblings-5 strangerumblings-6 strangerumblings-7 The nicest people you’ll meet from Dank Donuts (& coffee)strangerumblings-8

Actual Amish hipsterstrangerumblings-9

My roommate and Jess (total babe)strangerumblings-10 strangerumblings-11 strangerumblings-13 Blake Michel, who is putting together a lil surf edit for us soon.strangerumblings-14 strangerumblings-15

The future of surfing right here….
strangerumblings-16 strangerumblings-17 strangerumblings-18 strangerumblings-19

What are we yelling about! (drunk).strangerumblings-20

Who are these girls? Do I remember? (no)strangerumblings-21 strangerumblings-23I killed it with the lens focus on this one.  The legends that made the movie happen.

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Globe made a Strange Rumblings line of clothing!

Thanks for reading my blog post (if anyone actually reads this)

-Ryan

Outdoor Tech at OutDoor Friedrichshafen in Germany

Outdoor Friedrichshafen 2014

We sent Bobby and Charlie on a long plane ride from Los Angeles to Europe to man the booth at Outdoor Friedrichshafen. It’s a big outdoor sports show for Europe so naturally, we had to go.

The show went from July 15th to the 18th and apparently, was pretty good. Obviously the booth looks amazing so once the show started going, a lot of people stopped by to check out all the #stuffyouprobablywant. Not only were people loving our new Big Turtle Shell wireless speaker, they were into an authentic brand has a real lifestyle.

Bobby, Charlie, Jovan

We make friends wherever we go. It’s amazing how root vegetables, beer, and sausage can bring strangers together. Above is Bobby, Charlie and a guy named Jovan in an extremely blurry pic.

Below is an advertisement for the Ehrlich Brothers. Unfortunately Charlie and Bobby were unable to attend.

Ehrlich Brothers

Indeed it was glorious. Until next time Germany, auf wiedersehen.

Global Domination for the Big Turtle Shell

Ever since our Kickstarter campaign for the Big Turtle Shell®, we have been busting our asses to get all those backers their wireless speaker. They aren’t just getting the Big Turtle Shell® (which is awesome just by itself), they are getting a case for it, a 4 pack of mounting straps, and a Calamari 3-in-1 USB cable (stretch goals, yeah!). That’s over 1500 boxes of goodness that we get to ship out. This is so rad, we can’t even explain it.

It turns out, the Big Turtle Shell® is going global in a big way. Check out all these countries that we get to ship the greatest Bluetooth speaker ever to:

Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brazil
Brunei
Canada
Chile
China
Denmark
France
Germany
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Kenya
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Mexico
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Slovenia
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Vietnam

Thinking of all the music, movies, calls, and other audio that is going to be wirelessly streamed through the Big Turtle Shell® is pretty amazing. We want to say a big thank you to all the backers from Kickstarter that helped us get the Big Turtle Shell® finished. The Big Turtle Shell® is something that we have been wanting to do for a long time and thankfully, you made it happen. We had a feeling that it was some #stuffyouprobablywant.

I’ll leave you with a behind-the-scenes picture from when we filmed our Kickstarter video.

behind the scenes

The Buckshot Wireless Speaker Wins Good Design Award

This is Eamon from Blonde Robot (a distributor in Australia). As you can see, he is pretty stoked that our Buckshot wireless speaker just won the Good Design Australia award in the consumer electronics category.

Buckshot Wireless Speaker Good Design AwardJust like Eamon, we are incredibly stoked and thank the Blond Robot team for accepting this award on our behalf. You can check out the Buckshot details on the Good Design website.

The next time you Blonde Robot guys fly in to say hello, drinks are on us.

One Week Away from the War of Rails 2014

You guys and gals better be getting amped for the War of Rails. It’s going down next week! Here at Outdoor Tech, we are stoked to help sponsor this event.

During the day we will be showing our latest gear and maybe even giving away some of the #stuffyouprobablywant. In the evening, we may be hanging out at some local places enjoying some adult beverages. You should really come chill with us.

Here are all the details:
Date: February 28th – March 1st 2014
Time: 8:00am – 4:00pm Pacific, Friday and Saturday
Live Stream: Saturday, March 1st 2014 11:30am-4pm Pacific
Location: Bear Mountain Ski Resort, CA
Tickets: Free to watch.
Confirmed Invited Athletes:
1. LJ Strenio
2. Kyle Smaine
3. Sandy Boville
4. Khai Krepela
5. Shay Lee
6. Hugo Pelletier
7. Tim Gage
8. Dominic Laporte
9. Brendan Trieb
10. Karl Fostvedt
11. Matt Walker
12. Charlie Owens
13. John Kutcher
14. Alex Dorszynski
15. Torin Yater-Wallace
16. Cory Vanular
17. Maxamas Hill
18. Kieran McVeigh
19. Joss Christensen
20. Steve Stepp
21. Maxmillium Smith
22. Dale Talkington
23. Pat Goodnough
24. Sean Jordan

War of Rails 2014

 

Here are a few edits of what went down last year:

Bear Mountain Edit

Monster Energy Edit

 

Here is a map so you can come hang out:

 

We will for sure be giving out free high fives. That’s pretty much worth the trip up the mountain.

SIA 2014 RECAP

 

My first trade show I have ever attended was a full of laughs, screams, rumbles, grumbles, jumbles and fumbles. This was also my first time ever in the growing city of Denver, CO

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Steam always rising on these cold, cold streetzsia2014iphone-23 lil tilt-shift from my iphone view from the roomsia2014iphone-18sia2014   sia2014-40 sia2014-45This guy from Alpine Initiatives had a Yowie (Yeti) tattoo!  Secret giveaway: if you send me a photo of an ODT related tattoo you will get free sh*t from us.sia2014-39 International Sales Bobby Ali explaining his privates to some bearded fellows.sia2014-42sia2014-38   sia2014-43Zander Blackmon stopped by to show us his new hair-dewsia2014-35 The boys of Strange Brew came by for some free beers and laughssia2014-34 Free protection was always available!sia2014-33 Friend of ODT Rob De Luca ladies and gentssia2014-32 sia2014-31 sia2014-30 sia2014-29 sia2014-28 Crippled sales rep Alex Albers has one functioning knee after his incident during our visit to Dew Tour when he skied into a tree!sia2014-22 sia2014-21 sia2014-20 sia2014-19 Bern TM Lando always being weird and creepy.  He’s good at it!sia2014iphone-12Po-lice tryna roll upsia2014iphone-20Electric’s booth was killer. Stuff I probably want. sia2014iphone-21delicious refreshment at Whole Foodssia2014-18 Team rider Cole Drexler being a poster-boi at the Line Skis Boothsia2014-17 sia2014-16 sia2014-15 New colorways!sia2014-14Thumb drives!sia2014-13

The Moment Skis crew was hard at work pushing their handmade skis!sia2014-12 sia2014iphone-15sia2014-36sia2014-37sia2014-11 sia2014moresia2014more-6And then it was Saturday…The Beer Bong races commenced….sia2014more-5our COO Charlie flew out just for the day to run the Beer Bong contest
sia2014more-14 sia2014more-13 sia2014more-12 sia2014more-11 sia2014more-10 sia2014more-9sia2014iphone-19 aftermath of Beer Bong Races.

sia2014more-8 sia2014more-7 Caro came straight back from ISPO in Germany with a terrible illness, but managed to make it out to the booth for a few hours.sia2014more-4 sia2014more-3Tara from PR was a big help!
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Bobby rockin’ the (extremely) limited edition hoodie.sia2014-9 View from the hotel!sia2014-8 sia2014-5 sia2014-4

sia2014-3Dentist?sia2014iphone-6The show ended with a BOOM (Capri-sun courtesy of Celtek’s sack lunches which included a hand-made PBJ)
sia2014iphone-16In copper this board was on the wall of bar.
sia2014iphone-11 The on-snow booth at Copper Mtnsia2014iphone-4Neil from Candy Grind using his Safe5 while snowboarding
sia2014iphone-10 sia2014iphone-13 sia2014iphone-9….and while drinking the Ole Smokey Moonshine cherries.
sia2014iphone-7 sia2014iphone-2Copper Mountain has some gr8 tree runs and terrain so I didn’t have to dip into the park too often.  However, it is nearly impossible to find the terrain park at first.  Colorado is cold and beautiful.

GUEST POST: ODT TEAM RIDER KC DEANE

ODT team rider KC Deane checks in with a story from the trip to Japan that landed him on the cover of Skiing Magazine’s annual photo issue:

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Arriving in Japan is an interesting experience.  Groggy from the red eye flight you roll off the plane to symbols and no comprehension of what is being said. I feel it’s different than any other place that I’ve travelled to ski before. Making your way to custom, mandarin symbols grace most of the signage and some of the last english that you will hear is people about to embark on their own journeys, just as we were about to begin ours. We grabbed our bags and the crew that consisted of myself, Grant Gunderson, Adam U, Sven Brunso and Carston Oliver headed out of the airport headed by bus to catch a train from the outskirts of tokyo into the central train station.  Dragging more gear than should ever be packed by one person we navigate through hundreds of thousands of people in the subway. Within 3 hours you can be in the bustling center of Tokyo, then in the middle of the mountains in a small town.  After much pointing smiling, and a seemingly short game of charades, we are pointed in the right direction and make our first train to the Nagano Prefecture which is roughly 3 hours outside of Tokyo. As Sven Brunso put it, “The train station was a sea of humanity. I felt like a Salmon swimming upstream. Everyone seemed to be going in the opposite direction of where I needed to go. You eventually have to just walk against the flow and people eventually move at the last minute. ”

We stepped off at the small station of Myokokogen to cold clear skies, and the smile of local Bill Ross.  After years of coming to Myoko it was the first time we had showed up and not been instantly covered in snow upon our arrival.  Loading Bill’s van we pack in like sardines and make a short drive to Hotel Korakuso which would be our home for the next 9 days.  Bill gave us a quick briefing of the conditions and to our surprise they were expecting day or two of clear skies to welcome us and for Sven to get a lay of the land. He also mentioned that it hadn’t snowed in almost week, which is quite uncharacteristic for Japan. Arriving at our hotel, half a world away, we had arrived at our destination tucked in the Kubiki Alps, Myoko.

4 am, jet lag has taken full effect and everyone is beginning to rouse.  As the sun peaks over the mountains and into the Myoko Valley  we head to the lobby we find Gunderson and Brunso already suited and ready.  Sven is clearly anxious and buzzing with excitement to get out on the hill. “No need to rush. The snow isn’t going anywhere. Even the lift served terrain here never gets tracked out, so soak it up and take your time.”, reminds Adam as we pull our boots on.

The bottom of the ski hill is just a quick five minute walk through the one main street in Myoko, and you are at the base of Akakura Kanko which lays in the shadow of Mt Myoko. The resort is a small area with 4 lifts that access 2,600 vertical feet of the most amazing trees you’ve ever skied, and with a quick 30-40 minute tour you find yourself perched above Akakura and the Myoko Valley open with spotted Dakekanda trees, or in america known as Erman’s Beech.  As we ascend Sven is blown away by what he sees, and for me as well I am happy to find that even though it hasn’t’ snowed in nearly a week, the trees are nearly void of tracks and our own seemingly private ski area is just as we had left it. Dropping in I heard Sven ask, “Why there aren’t any tracks? Has it been closed? Can we ski here?.”  I just laughed and said welcome to skiing in japan as I dropped in. With the sun out we took advantage of the visibility and set a skin track from the top of the resort.  Even if the snow is not deep it is good to take advantage of seeing the sun.  In Myoko, and the Nagano prefecture they average only 8 days of sun a year, which is good for skiing deep snow but tough to do long tour missions up high above the valley, and for us shoot bluebird powder photos. Typically touring consists of smaller adventures with short 30 minutes skins to access the large amount of terrain above the ski area as well as the terrain above the small town of Tsubame which sits just to the north of the ski hill in a small valley.  Laps from the top of the ski hill drop you down 2000 feet into the town, followed by a quick 15 minutes traverse back to Akakura onsen resort. From the top lift of Akakura Kanko, or Akakan we made our way to the peak of Maecyama which is a sub peak below Mt Myoko.  As we gain elevation Mt Myoko comes into view and you can see the steep and rugged mountain, with giant sulfur gas vents protruding from it’s flanks.  With our first day coming to a close, Gunderson tucks his camera away to log some turns of his own.  Before the rest of the crew knows it, Grant is laughing and throwing plumes of snow as he disappears into the trees.  Arriving at the hotel, Gunderson is there, beard caked full of snow grinning at Sven, “Welcome to Japan buddy! Oh and did I mention that this isn’t even good yet?”

The following morning the clouds hung low in the valley as we slowly made our way through town. After 3 days of skiing our crew had hit so many of the features we were in need of a reset, usually it snows so much that it isn’t and issue. By mid day snow flurries came and the light snow had arrived.  With the faint smell of sea salt the flakes came down and began to blanket the hill. Snow flakes began to get bigger and bigger and within a few hours it looked as if white leaves were falling from the sky.  As the day came to an end there was almost half a meter of new. Sven said,” I looked at the forecast the day before we left and it showed scattered snow showers for ten days. I was pretty bummed out. The first day was totally bluebird and I was confident that there wasn’t going to be the deep powder I came to Japan in search of. Three days later clouds were socked in and by morning we had a meter.”   This went on for 4 days before we saw the sun again. Finally we awoke to the clear skies, meter upon meter of fresh snow and the mountains basking in the early morning light.  We had all pretty much lost track of time at this point.  The days melted together in a haze of deep snow and jet lag. Free from the race to the powder that you experience at home, you begin to relax an settle into a different pace and as we walked to the hill, sun shining, fresh snow, no one raced to get the first chair.  As we headed up the now familiar lifts it seemed as though you feel as if Akakan has become your second home.

4:30 am, wide awake to the drum of heavy equipment. It was only sunny the day before.  Pulling myself out of bed I peaked out the window to see it dumping yet again. A great part about Japan is with the frequent snowfall it doesn’t give much time for the snow to sit in the sun creating a very solid snowpack.  Digging a 3 meter pit to the dirt we found no hard layers.  It was as if you were brushing down the side of cement wall.  The stability is great because it gives you confidence to work into some of the more exposed lines. In Japan it is really easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when there is a ton of snow and you’re skiing hot laps in a ski resort.  Sometimes pulling off the groomer into that gully with all the rad pillows in the wrong place, even just 20 meters uphill or downhill of where you thought you were going, can be the difference between a mellow pow lap and realizing halfway down a pillow line that it doesn’t go, and then having to scratch around to find the one place that doesn’t air 50 feet into an uphill gully wall landing.  Every year it feels like with the deep snow it gives you confidence that you can jump anything, and with the stability, ski anything.  With at least 4 meters of snow that had fallen Carston Oliver and I wanted to ski some of the more rowdy lines we had looked at when it was clear.  Within the ski resort there is a narrow canyon that although it is only about 300 vertical feet is steep and has all sorts of lines with spines, mandatory cliff drops at the end.  Confident that I had our line picked out I dropped in and skied to a safe point to wait for Carston.  Ripping steep pow turns we were hooting and hollering, Carston made it down and as I took a few turns I quickly realized that we were off our lines.  Holding onto a small tree stuck into a 50 degree spine I realized that we had dropped in too early and were cliffed out on top of a 60 foot drop that Carston had hit the previous year.  Considering our position there was no way we were backing out and getting up 50 degree slope in this deep of snow.  Confident in the depth of the snow and the fact that  Carston had hit this before we both made the drop for our exit.  Although we came out unscathed it was a quick reminder of how fast you can find yourself in a serious situation.

As the trip comes to a close I find myself bathed in sunshine and skiing deep snow yet again. Seems like ages ago that we were in the hustle and bustle of the Tokyo subway as we stand over the valley watching the sun dip low in the winter sky.  As I watch the crew drop one after another I find myself standing solo contemplating my last turns here in Japan.  The air is crisp and cold as I tip into my run, my first turn I drive my skis deep into the snow and cover my face in an ice blast.  The sound of my breathing, and the rustle of my jacket is the only thing that finds my ears.  This is skiing in Japan.

How About Some Free Bluetooth for Your Snow Helmet?

Wireless Ski Helmet AudioWouldn’t it be rad if you could skip a track when you are carving down the mountain? I really wish I could just answer a call without having to take off my snow gloves. Can someone please make a universal wireless audio drop in kit for my snow helmet? And make sure its okay to get wet, it wouldn’t be too useful in the snow if it cant get a little wet would it?

 

Chill bro, we did it. They are called the Chips and they are the first universal solution for Bluetooth helmet audio. Yea, you’re stoked.

This is Exciting

You can win a pair. Yea, we are giving away 1 pair per week until the end of September. That’s a lot of Chips to give away. Yup we know and you’re welcome in advance.

Here is how to enter:

  1. Take a pic of you with your helmet on. preferably, in a situation where you dont normally wear your helmet.
  2. Post said pic to Instagram or Facebook or Twitter. Use #summerofhelmet.
  3. We pick a winner once a week.

See how simple we made it! Of course, you can always wait until they are available to purchase and just buy them. That would be cool too.