I set a goal for myself that I would someday make it to Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailer Show. It only took a year-and-half to make it happen, which was surprisingly fast to me! It was a last minute decision, yet, everything lined up perfectly, which for me is always a sign that something is meant to be.
My head is still swimming from all the gear I saw and all of the people I met. I went as a volunteer, not as a blogger, so I didn’t make any appointments with vendors, but instead took it all in. After spending three solid days on the floor, I still didn’t get to see everything, hello, prAna Rejunivation Room, totally missed you!
I did make it to the 7AM breakfast put on by the Conservation Alliance that featured Aron Rolston who spoke of his life-altering accident that caused him to cut off part of his arm with a dull pocket knife. I haven’t been able to watch 120 Hours because I don’t have the stomach for it, but what a gifted speaker Rolston is. The audience was at times laughing, wincing, tearing up, and then laughing again.
Another event I didn’t want to miss was the “Kiss My Klout” panel with Yoon Kim (Viral Thoughts and Blogs for Brands) Sara Lingafelter (Verde PR), Mark Silliman (Spadout) and Darius Abbassi (The Clymb). For social media junkies like me, this was a must. Each panel member offered their own bit of expertise in the ever changing realm of “social”.
I would say the best part was meeting so many people in real life that I have only known through Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and email. I love how small our world has become because of these tools. There was a #ClimbChat Tweetup on Saturday where I got to meet so many awesome people, and then climb with them on Sunday. One of them was Climbrunliftmom who I actually met up with the day before and we became instant BFFs and channeled our inner 13 year-olds together. Good times.
If I had to sum up my experience with one word it would be Gratitude. I am grateful to be part of the Outdoor Industry and grateful for the people it connects me to. I am already plotting on how I can make it to my next OR Show, yes, it’s that good. Oh, and yeah, I also met a few rock stars…be jealous.