It’s that time of year again… Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2016 is just around the corner. With one hectic summer show with too many meetings under my belt, I’m basically a veteran or something, right? These are my tips for making sure you survive your first Outdoor Retailer and keeping your sanity too.
Bring all the business cards.
All the time. Everywhere. No matter where you go or what you do. To the bathroom, to that random bar you’re hitting up a few days prior, to sleep. EVERYWHERE! They’ll come in handy because you never know who you’re going to meet.
Your water bladder is your friend.
When you’re frantically running around from booth to booth with armfuls of swag and Salt Palace map in hand, you don’t have time to deal with pulling bottles out of backpacks and side pockets.
Schedule some downtime.
Or a lot of downtime. It’s totally okay. I didn’t know what I was getting into my first OR. I thought it would be pretty mellow. Wrong. I was so wrong. And somehow I managed to jam pack my calendar with 24 meetings over the span of 2.5 days. Come Friday, my feet hurt extra bad and the amount of talking and mingling I wanted to do with people was zero.
Going alone? Talk to anyone and everyone!
It’s a scary show out there on your own, but everyone is really nice and cool. And they’ll want to be your friend too. I think. At least I will!
Bring a battery pack.
Bring all the battery packs. Your phone drains faster than the speed of light from all the calendar checking, live tweeting, plan making, and routefinding. And with so many things to do and so little time, who wants to be standing at a Goal Zero power station? (No offense, Goal Zero!)
Bonus tip: HAVE ALL THE FUN.
Bonus bonus tip: Go meet all the celebrities and get stuff signed.
Side note: at time of writing, these were the only two photos I had left on my laptop from Outdoor Retailer.