The Beer Marathon at Outdoor Retailer 2014

Some people think trade shows are boring. Those people probably don’t come by the Outdoor Tech® booth. Not only do we have all kinds of rad stuff like bluetooth speakers, headphones, earbuds and other wireless audio devices; we have fun. A lot of fun.

For example, we went to Outdoor Retailer this year and held our first Beer Marathon. It’s pretty simple, you consume 26.2 ounces of beer in the fastest time and you win a prize. Keep in mind, you are going head to head with an opponent. #exciting

Outdoor Retailer Beer Marathon

You can’t blame us if you didn’t go. We got the word out everywhere. You probably want to make sure you follow us on Instagram and Twitter. We for sure let everyone know what we are up to.

Beer Marathon Card

So what is the Beer Marathon?

Step 1: Beer Pong – Sink one and pond it.

Step 2: Quarters – Sink one and pound it.

Step 3: Beer Bong – Take that funnel full of beer to your domepiece.

Since you are going head to head with someone, the person that completes the Beer Marathon first, wins some #stuffyouprobablywant from Outdoor Tech®. It may sound a little confusing but Charlie explained the rules before every match.

Charlie's In Charge

Obviously, this is exciting. You may be knocking stuff over just reading this, calm down. Seriously, count to 5 and breathe.

Check this video to see the rules and an example of some overexcitement.

Maybe it’s the pumping music from the Big Turtle Shell® that got Buck all giddy. I don’t know but pull yourself together man, we are trying to conduct some business here.

Wireless Speakers

Okay, okay, you want to see a real match? Watch this video and enjoy.

Hey, it’s not just a guy thing. Girls can compete too. #CrossingGenderBoundries I honestly think this event will be featured on Drunk History sometime in the distant future as a defining moment in equality. Watch this battle between two ladies.

After a few hours of head to head competition, the final results are….

Beer Marathon Final Results

Listen, if drinking isn’t your thing, that’s cool. You can still hang out. Our booth isn’t always super crowded with people. Here is a pic taken early one morning. It’s from that 30 minutes of calm right after they open the doors. But after that 30 minutes or so, yea.. it always gets super crowded with people learning about our brand and how rad our products are.

The Calm Before the Storm at Outdoor Retailer

All videos were shot on a GoPro, damn those cameras are pretty rad. Did you notice that the GoPro booth was across from ours? It looked like they were having a lot of fun watching all the commotion in our booth.

Go ahead and leave a comment to let us know which video was your favorite or just share this with 20 of you favorite bestie’s.

Trade Shows…ODT Style

urinalscreens

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.

DSC_0284_2

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.

sia2014_rh-74

What’s Next??

Agenda Long Beach 2014

We went to Agenda in Long Beach again. We have a booth every year and it’s always a good time. Luckily we had Ryan Hackbarth with us this time to take these photos.

What is not shown is how we ended up on someone’s boat in Shoreline village. Nothing special, just drank some beers and discussed business stuff. So exciting.

See you next year Agenda.

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.

What’s The Agenda For Long Beach

Agenda Long Beach

It was pretty cool to have the entire Outdoor Tech team at Agenda Long Beach. It wasn’t just good “team building” but we needed all hands on deck to deal with the crowds. The waves of people that kept coming were met with smiling faces, high fives, and a whole lot of answers for their questions.

I answered a lot of questions about the Privates Wireless Headphones. Yes, everyone liked the fact that they are Bluetooth and have a built in microphone. When I told them about the touch control features, well that’s when people started to lose their shit. You see, the Privates have a track pad on each headphone side. Think of it like a mouse-pad on a laptop. That’s how you control the audio volume and skip tracks; yea… it’s pretty amazing.

After many lengthy conversations in the morning, the collective rumbling of empty stomachs signaled the need to refuel. When Charlie asked if he should get a pizza about three different people replied with a synchronized “Yes”.

Pizzanista at Agenda Long Beach

The fact that Salman Agah was cooking up these pizzas with a busy army of workers was fitting for Agenda. I geeked out on that, but I didn’t start spazzing out until I took a walk.

Ed Templeton and Chad Muska  - Circa 93

That’s a picture of a picture (so meta) at the Toy Machine booth. Ed Templeton and Chad Muska. I wonder how Muska’s part in Welcome To Hell would have fit if him and Ed didn’t have that falling out right before the premiere.

People at Agenda

I headed back to the booth. By now, there were more people but not everyone was here to talk about business. Some were just looking for freebies; we indulged them. As 6pm drew nearer, things started to thin out and the foot traffic seemed to disappear. Maybe everyone wanted to go home early to get ready for all the cool parties that would be taking place later that night. Yea brah!

agenda at night

Channeling My Inner J.J. Abrams

After the show, drinks were drunk and food was eaten. The hotel lobby bar was pretty packed. The bartender was not prepared for the amount of functioning alkies that were in attendance. Charlie, Caro and I had a pretty simple order. A beer, a scotch & soda, and a vodka martini extra dirty. The “deer in headlights” look that was returned was not comforting. The man returned a few minutes later with Charlie’s martini. He asked Caro and I what we had wanted again. Caro revised his request to match Charlie’s, I also revised my order to a gin and tonic (it was a strategic move that ended up working quite well).

Caro asked what I thought about the show. I said a few things, “It’s a necessary evil” probably summed it up best. Let’s just say that I don’t think too many companies are trying to figure out what the ROI on the show is. There are some intangible qualities to the show that don’t translate easily into contributions to the bottom line. It’s all good though, I got some gin and tonic’s; thanks again Caro!

OT Winter Tradeshow Tour Episode 1: Vegas

CES is an interesting show.  It’s not at all for a brand such as ours.  It’s more of a khaki shorts and Sketchers type of atmosphere.  But perhaps, just perhaps, that’s why we make such an impact.

I’d like to go on record and say that Las Vegas is a terrible place.  It’s a shit salad of tacky carpets and cigarette butts, peppered with saggy boobs and fat people.  Fattys.  We did, however, rent a pretty kick-ass house, and that’s where our story begins…

Having spent the previous night as any sensible pair of twenty-somethings might, watching cartoons, swigging a Costco-sized bottle of Glenfiddich and making an absolute disaster out of the game of billiards, we  arrived at our temporary home on our second night in town to find the front gate wide open and the door unlocked.  Imagine our terror.  We’d been joking about meth-heads pretty much our entire stay in Las Vegas, but it looked like the joke was about to be on us.

Adam had arrived that morning, so there were three of us at this point.  We all crept into the dark house.

“Hello…? Please don’t kill us, Mr. Meth-head,” we whimpered.   Nothing.  We made it to the back room and each retrieved an example of the perfect self-defense weapon: the pool cue.

For some reason shower curtains scare the shit out of me.  I used my pointy stick of ultimate protection to violently push them aside whilst flailing backwards and screaming like a girl.  All was quiet.  3 more showers to go.

Unfortunately enough, there were no crack-heads to stab us to death, so we had to go to the tradeshow.

 

Stoke level was high, possibly the highest I’ve seen since our young brand began.  Imagine, you’re navigating a sea of boring Consumer Electronics companies when you stumble across our glorious hand build mountain range and Airstream Trailer.  We were a breath of fresh air in the smog of microchips and laptop video cameras (We were next to the Trojan Vibrator booth though… so there was that).  Top it off with some witty commentary and innovative products, and you’ve got an oasis.

Featured above:  The Chips – The first universal solution for helmet audio.  Stoke level was off the charts.

Trade shows are both boring and repetitive, yet at the same time hilarious, should you find yourself with the right people.  What began as a critique on the occasional show-goer turned into an American commentary of ridicule and hilarity.  I tend to abide by a doctrine of not talking shit, but this went out the window just a few hours into it.

First came the guy that wanted to sell us a remote for a remote.  Then the guy who questioned what use the Turtle Shell (our wireless speaker) could possibly be so long as headphones existed.  Then the guy who had you engaged in a conversation about how he overcame premature male pattern baldness before you knew what was happening.  They would always approach casually, with their badges turned around so you couldn’t see who they were, hands in their pockets, snooping, lounging about under their cloaks of anonymity until you gave in with a sigh and asked them how they were doing.  Then they’d bite you, tear you limb from limb like zombies determined to drag you into their soulless worlds, force-feeding you information and opinions you could not, from the very depths of your soul, find a way to care any less about.   There was never anywhere to run.

Soon it all started blending together.  Anyone who’s been to a tradeshow knows what this is like- One minute you’re giving the sales pitch and the next you’re fumbling around Vegas’ Foundation room, pouring yourself greyhounds and talking to whoever will listen.  You’re building the booth, then you’re ripping it down, then building it again but you don’t have everything you need, so you’re in Home Depot searching for it, and then you’re back in the convention hall, but you forgot something so you’re back in Home Depot.

Coffee turns to beer then back to coffee then to scotch, people expect you to remember their names and time just slips away in a tornado of flat tires, bars, robots that wash windows, bad room service and dead batteries.  You have a sense that you know what you’re doing, when in reality you’re just pacing around, inserting and excluding yourself from different surroundings and situations so quickly that everything just becomes a steady flipbook of wardrobes and expectations, each with a defined entrance and required form of identification.

Still, it’s a fun ride.  We found crack pipes for sale on the tops of convenience store counters, Old Vegas cocktail menus with witty, misleading drink names and sad, empty little bars with tiny red lights that washed over you, Sadie-Hawkins-in-the-mid-eighties-style.

Keep an eye on the blog for more stories from the OT Crew’s winter tradeshow tour, and as always, stay stoked.

Agenda Tradeshow: Day 1 Recap

It’s our first time to Agenda, and to be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect.  It’s earned itself the title of the show for the coolest of the cool brands… and that’s probably true.  A lot of ‘coolies’ around with tattoos and thick glasses.  I myself don’t need glasses, but I have wanted a tattoo of mighty mouse on my right bicep since I was 13.

Regardless, the first thing i noticed at the show was how clean the bathrooms were. This is not common, especially during setup time.  I’ve been to quite a few trade shows in my day; during booth setup the bathrooms are generally left totally unattended.  As i’m sure you can imagine, by the time your booth is looking good, the bathroom looks like a truck stop massacre.

It’s definitely a cool scene, I was not disappointed on day one.  If you’re in the Long Beach area, you should definitely make it a point to come down and check out the show.

We’ll post some more about what OT’s debuting at the show for Agenda Recap Day 2.

Dates and Address are below:

agendashow.com

January 5th, 2012
9am-7pm
January 6th, 2012
9am-6pm
Long Beach Convention Center
300 E. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach,CA 90802