The Summer Outdoor Retailer Trade Show Summary

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

The last few days were spent in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is that time again, where I hang out at the trade show. Well it is not really hanging out. Here is the run down for a sponsored climber like myself and the glam of going to the show.

Days before I have to arrange a free place to stay. It normally consists of calling up Andrew Burr and finding out whether or not I can crash at his place. If he is out then I go to Ari Menitove and then down the line to whomever might actually be getting a hotel room.
I don’t remember not staying with Burr and Ari and this summer was no different. Two of my best friends who live in town are always the best to stay with and I also get to see their kids and families.

After the lodging is taken care of I normally verify meeting times with the marketing directors of the companies that I am lucky enough to represent. I have to send emails and make sure that some one is getting me a pass to enter the Show. It is not free to attend and I don’t really think that I would actually pay for entrance when I could be spending that time climbing. But since I am in the game and representing companies and since its part of the yearly sponsorship, I am happy to be there and chat it up.

So the day before arriving at the show is normally the end of a busy schedule and this year was the same. I trained at 5am in the morning with the group that I train in Grand Junction, then came home to take care of my boys (Jane had to work), then I trained the 4, 5, and 6 pm sessions at the gym (including my wife) and then set off to SLC at a early 730pm.

Luckily for me my friend and film maker Chris Alstrin wanted to go to the OR this year, so I had a driving buddy. It is nice to have someone to go with because after a long day, you really don’t want to fall a sleep on the pass in the middle of Utah.

Finally, we arrive after midnight and road ice creams from Price, Utah. We creep into Burr’s house brush out teeth and head to bed.

In the morning it’s time to hang with the Burr family and see the girls and his awesome wife. After some breakfast and packing we are on the road to the show. We park at the city park and carry our goodies into the show.

After immediately bumping into friendly faces and taking a few moments to chat, Chris heads his way to seek out leads for future film making jobs and I head to CAMP, SCARPA, ARCTERYX and Sterling for meetings.

What goes on in a sponsor meeting you may ask? Well, you talk about:

  • product and how it has worked or not worked,
  • potential new products,
  • future plans about climbing and trips and goals,
  • events that I will be attending/speaking/teaching,
  • the need for media such as photos or video,
  • and finally about each others families and work.

We do finalize contract stuff, but that is usually not that long, it’s way better getting to know the marketing director that all the other stuff.

Then I have time to sign/give away posters, walk around the show and chit chat with all my friends. It doesn’t take long (just a few steps) before I bump into someone that I know. It is only after wandering around that I see that this year there are 3 HUGE posters of me at my sponsors booths! What an honor!! SCARPA, CAMP and STERLING each have giant posters and two of them are facing each other. We joke and called it “pizem alley”.

In the end, lots of plans are made to climb with other folks and after two straight 12 hour days from breakfast to late night dinners, I head home to my first day of work at my high school in Grand Junction.

Once I got home from this trip, my back hurt so much from all the walking and standing that I was laid up for 24 hours unable to move. Dang the Show is way tougher than sending 5.13!

Till next time,

piz : )

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