Outdoor Retailer Show Recap

Earlier this month, GLBN staffers Zoe and Lisa were proud to represent the Great Lakes Business Network at the largest national convening of outdoor brands and organizations at the Outdoor Retailer snow show in Salt Lake City, UT. Hosted in partnership with the Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor Retailer brings together industry experts, buyers, retailers, athletes, and advocates to educate, connect and conduct business. Our main goals for attending the show were to increase our brand recognition among a national audience, recruit new members, and raise awareness of Great Lakes issues. We found the experience to be unique and valuable and wanted to make sure to share it with you.

The layout of this year’s show positioned our GLBN booth in the middle of the showroom floor, grouped with other advocacy groups. We enjoyed connecting with our neighbors and learning about their work – including the National Clean Up Day Group and Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

Our display incorporated GLBN outreach materials like info brochures, stickers, coasters, the 2022 accomplishments guide, a list of our business members, and a Great Lakes trivia game with spinning prize wheel. Additionally, we asked people to complete our action alert asking President Biden to shut down Line 5, and entered participants to win a piece of art donated by GLBN member Plastic Beach Collections. This generated a lot of attention and momentum around our Line 5 campaign. The most popular items at our booth were, without a doubt, the swag donations we received from GLBN member businesses. Info cards about your businesses, magnets, stickers, and little samples kept traffic flowing our direction. Thank you to all of the members that sent items for our booth. We encourage all members to consider this opportunity in the future. We’d love to help promote your brand at future outreach events!

Team GLBN enjoyed connecting with all of the companies and teaching people about the GLBN, our campaigns, and how businesses can get involved in environmental advocacy. One thing that stood out was the way nearly every brand centered sustainability. Businesses that didn’t use recycled materials, manufacture with clean energy sources, or participate in community partnerships were the outliers – a trend we loved to see! 

Our top highlight was hosting a GLBN happy hour at our booth, which turned our area into a hub for networking and drew many businesses to our advocacy corner. It was wonderful to meet so many passionate Great Lakes allies and to see some familiar faces, including Wes Adams, owner of GLBN member SciotoMade who attended the show this year.

Outdoor Retailer exposed the GLBN and our issues to thousands of outdoor brands and allowed us to reach a new audience with our advocacy. We recruited several new members, brainstormed new partnerships, and raised awareness about the great work GLBN businesses are doing to support environmental protection. Our team will continue to seek out new venues to promote GLBN and our member businesses this year. Please reach out to staff if you know of an opportunity that would be a good fit. 

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