The 25th Birthday of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, which took place from August 10-13 in Salt Lake City, Utah, attracted 21,711 attendees from around the globe, an 12.4% increase in attendance from last year’s Summer Market. There were 967 unique exhibitors and 6,095 retailers and record 461 working media in attendance.*

“This 2006 Summer Market surpassed many expectations and we are grateful for everyone’s efforts throughout the industry toward making this one of the most successful OR Summer Markets in history” stated Peter Devin, Group Show Director of Outdoor Retailer. “Overall attendance numbers increased and from the open air demo to the last day of the Show we had packed aisles, industry networking and product presentations being done throughout the entire hall.”

The Show opened with the first ever two-day Open Air Demo at Willard Bay State Park, which proved beneficial to many of the 73 exhibiting companies. The expanded Demo allowed exhibitors the opportunity to provide retail buyers and media attendees with quality interactions and enhanced first-hand product knowledge. The latest in paddle sports, canoeing, kayaking, trail running, GPS, sunscreen, accessories, adventure and outdoor equipment were on display for 1,175 Demo Day Retailers.

“As a paddling company, it is essential for the buyers and the media to demo our products,” said Dan Mangus, director of marketing at Hobie Cat Company. “Given the long stretch of beach, protected waterfront and shaded landscape, Willard Bay is the perfect setting for this event.”

This year’s Summer Market attendees were among the first to walk the halls of the newly-expanded Salt Palace. An additional 175,000 square feet of main floor exhibit and meeting room space welcomed veteran exhibitors to better connect with retailers, while also providing 238 first-time or returning exhibitors the opportunity to network and connect with the outdoor market. On day one of the show, a retailer was near the Life Is Good booth looked up and stated “Where’s the expansion?” The fact that he was already 85% into the new expansion of the hall and didnt realize it – was a testament to the seamless integration of the new hall with the existing hall.

“This show has helped us position our brand and get across our main selling points,” said Jeffrey Walker, president of CampfireGrill. “As a brand new company, this has been a phenomenal experience. The experience helped us identify niche markets, network with buyers and potential partners, and gain valuable market intelligence. We will definitely be returning next year.”

To celebrate 25 years of Summer Market, Outdoor Retailer and National Geographic Adventure created a multi-media retrospective to honor historical outdoor industry events, figures and the evolution of outdoor gear.

Keith Roush, store owner and original Jansport sales representative, reflected on the exhibit. “The reduced weight of today’s outdoor gear and apparel allows us to go farther and faster than ever before. It is amazing to see how innovations in hydration, training and nutrition have advanced significantly over the last 25 years, motivating outdoor enthusiasts to push the boundaries.”