Outdoor Retailer has been growing steadily with this year's record attendance of nearly 25,000 visitors. The largest and most comprehensive outdoor sport show of its kind, this year's summer market was especially interesting for designers. OR has been offering designers a special $100 registration pass. This is less than 1/5th the cost for non-buyers or non-exhibiting manufacturers at $535.
This brought a special community of designers together through the IDSA rapid fire sessions put on by Jason Belaire (IDSA Western District VP and Board Member) and the 5th annual Product Underground presented by Alite Designs, Boreas Gear and JAM Media Collective. A few years ago this event was held in a small basement. This year it moved to the Jeanne Wagner Theater venue within the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center with a full house.
At the show there was the usual assortment of new outdoor equipment, new off the wall designs from entrepreneurs, and innovations from crowdfunded start-ups. In years past there has been a steady increase in solar, battery, power up tech and stand up paddle boards. This year I was surprised to see a lot more personal mobility like the Onewheel and the Boosted Skateelectric.