The OIA Rendezvous is the premier annual education
conference for outdoor industry leaders, taking place October 3-5 in Boston.
The theme of this year’s conference is Business Evolution – Exploring the
Future of the Outdoor Industry.


Learning sessions will explore the rapid pace of change in
today’s business world, the role technology plays in business, and how
companies can better position themselves to adapt and succeed.


Space is limited but there is still time to register. And
although the discounted room rate expired after Labor Day, rooms are available
until September 11. Local Boston businesses are encouraged to take advantage of
the conference as well, as learning and networking opportunities like this
don’t come around often.


“This is the must-attend conference for the outdoor
industry,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of OIA. “In today’s
environment, businesses have to be nimble and adaptable in order to survive and
thrive. We’ve developed an outstanding curriculum that will highlight key
technology and market trends that industry executives need to watch.”


Rendezvous features four dedicated knowledge tracks for:
retailers, marketers, executive leaders and manufacturers. The retail track
dives into consumer technology, how the retail environment is changing, and
tangible examples of innovative retail solutions. The executive leadership
track includes sessions on the Shift Index – Delloite’s view of the dynamics
affecting businesses, employee engagement, and how to speak out on behalf of
the industry and influence the political process. In the marketing track,
attendees get an inside look at e-commerce strategies, direct-to-consumer
marketing models, Millennial consumer trends, and social media campaigns.
Manufacturers will learn the latest on shrinking supply chains, how to protect
intellectual property, cutting-edge 3D printing technologies, retailer
partnerships and sustainability initiatives.


Four extraordinary specialty retailers will present at the
Rendezvous that have learned to thrive in the face of increasing competition,
the rise of internet sales, big boxes, and manufacturer direct selling. Their
panel discussion is being called “Put the Soul Back in Specialty,” addressing what
independent shops can do to grow the market rather than simply increase their
sliver of the existing market, and what vendors can do to help independent
shops better represent their brands.


Another ground breaking presentation offered at the Rendezvous
features Cathy Lewis of 3D Systems discussing what 3D printing could mean to
the outdoor industry, including same-day manufacturing, rapid and inexpensive
prototyping, and smaller carbon footprints industry-wide. Wisconsin-based Trek
bicycles used a 3D printer to reduce the time it takes to manufacturer certain
bicycle parts from six weeks to one day. Motorsports, automotive, medical and
consumer-goods companies are already using production grade printers from 3D
Systems to manufacture custom and end-use parts including prosthetic limbs,
track shoes and more.


The conference again offers an exclusive line-up of keynote
speakers, including Max McKeown, a business leader and author focused on
adaptability and change management; Gabe Zichermann, a recognized leader in
game theory and gamification; and NPR’s political junkie, Ken Rudin. In
addition, a keynote panel focused on customer acquisition explores the rapidly
evolving retail environment and what retailers can do to stand out from the
crowd. Clark Sheffy of IDEO wraps up Rendezvous, offering practical steps for
attendees to turn ideas from the three-day conference into products and
services that will propel their organizations forward.


Back by popular demand, attendees will embark on a “Retail
Trail,” an interactive scavenger hunt taking attendees to Boston-area outdoor
stores to engage in experiential retail and get a sense of the ultimate
customer experience. Attendees also get their hands dirty in an afternoon of
service projects, allowing industry leaders to set an example in the community
and to give back in a small way.


To learn more and to register, visit: Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in
Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade
association for the outdoor industry. OIA supports the growth and success of
more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives,
and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services.
For more information, go to or call (303) 444-3353.