Outdoor gear is meant to be used outside, so why do we keep gathering in convention centers with artificial lighting and climate control to discover new products and build the relationships that keep our industry thriving? The disruption caused by the pandemic in 2020 gave us the opportunity to re-examine everything about The Big Gear Show, right down to challenging the use of a traditional venue. For 2021, we’re taking The Big Gear Show outside, and here’s why
We’re Outdoor People
We were drawn to the outdoor industry because we love to be outside, and we’re pretty sure you do, too. The pandemic reshaped priorities about workspaces, business travel, and recreation. Many aspects of the world are returning to normal, but that doesn’t mean we should go back to doing everything the way we used to. If you’re going to leave your home, office, or store to travel to a retailer show, let’s make it a memorable trip to an exceptional outdoor destination. Let’s work where we can also play and draw inspiration from beautiful surroundings.
Outdoor Gear Should be Tested Outside
Context is everything, and to have an authentic experience with a new product you have to see it and touch it and test it in the environment it was designed for. You can talk about a mountain bike or you can grin from ear to ear when you take it out on the trail. You can read about new paddle boards or you can put them in the water and paddle out. Better yet, retailers can test products and brands one after another to compare features and performance and make the best choices for their customers.
The More You Test, The More You Know
Consumers look to retailers for recommendations and expert guidance on outdoor gear purchases, and hands-on experience allows retailers to speak with more authority and authenticity about a brand’s product. As a retailer, expertise and wisdom create relationships with loyal customers who come to the store instead of buying online. Three days of product testing is an intensive learning experience that gives a retailer a competitive advantage at home.
Fresh Air Brings Fresh Ideas
Where have you had your best ideas? Where do you go to think and find creative solutions to life’s challenges? Where are you the happiest? It’s outside in the fresh air and sunshine, right? The world has changed, and it will take creative new ideas and activations for brands and retailers to be successful in this new reality. We’re not going to find innovative solutions toiling away in the same old places. We’ll find inspiration outside, like we always have.
The Big Gear Show is going outside because being outdoors aligns with our values. Our industry is dedicated to getting more people outdoors more frequently and helping them experience and appreciate nature. The best way we can honor our values is to live them, and that means creating opportunities for all of us to spend more time outside, too.