Whether it's learning about manufacturing in the United States, greening the supply chain, spotting urban-friendly brands or networking, those attending next week's Outdoor Retailer Winter Market have lots to explore beyond the booths.

The outdoor winter sport
and lifestyle industry's premiere gathering
, which gathers at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City Jan. 21-24, offers a smorgasbord of free programming to attendees.

“The events, education platforms, forums and networking opportunities of Outdoor Retailer give the show attendees a complete and robust show experience,” said Marisa Nicholson, VP and Outdoor Retailer Show Director. “We hear year-after-year that retail attendees are looking to identify new products and trends as well as opportunities to network. These combined experiences happening throughout the show days, give attendees the opportunity to achieve these objectives.”

Events include:

  • Media Preview – NEW: Outdoor Retailer Winter Market will launch an all new Media Preview event. Journalists attending the show will have exclusive access to preview some of the latest products and new exhibitors in the outdoor industry. The Media Preview will be held the day before the show opens-from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Meeting Room 250. The Media Preview will feature as many as 30 companies. In addition to the product preview, Outdoor Retailer has partnered with the Outdoor Industry Association to provide market data and outdoor consumer insights to the journalists in attendance. Media can RSVP to Kate Lowery, Director of Public Relations and Communications, at kate.lowery@emeraldexpo.com.
  • Fashion Show: Themed “Conquering the Elements,” this one-night-only, marquee event brings a fashion experience to Outdoor Retailer. Outdoor Retailer brings the trends for Winter 2015/2016 to life with the latest technical and lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories the outdoor industry has to offer. The event starts at 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, in Meeting Room 250. Sponsored by DuPont and Bench.
  • Industry Party: This year the Fashion Show will be followed immediately by the Industry Party. Join your peers, night one of Winter Market to celebrate the launch of Outdoor Retailer and the start of the winter season. This premier event brings the industry together to network and have a bit of fun at the close of a long business day. Special recognition will be given to new retailers during the Industry Party-new retailers are encouraged to stop by the OIA “Member Love” sponsored area, to receive a special welcome to the show. Mountain Khakis will have their mechanical bull ready to go for anyone brave enough to take on the challenge. And since they know some liquid courage may be needed, they will be providing shots of whiskey. And it wouldn’t be a party without Sierra Nevada-thanks for keeping us all hydrated as the official beer sponsor. Bust a move into the night with top traveling DJ’s, DJ Ikon and DJ Sir Pearce of Las Vegas, who will be on hand to provide event music and entertainment. Join us in Meeting Room 250 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Outdoor Inspiration Awards: A true outdoor community event, the Outdoor Inspiration Awards celebrate and champion individuals, groups and companies whose efforts go above and beyond in inspiring and encouraging others in their communities to enjoy, participate in and support outdoor activities. Categories include retailers, non-profits and youth as well as manufacturers and individuals. Celebrate with the industry on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Meeting Room 250. Presented by title sponsor addidas Outdoors, with support from the Boy Scouts of America and PrimaLoft.
  • Venture Out – NEW: Venture Out makes its Winter Market debut.  This area will be home to brands that represent the growing urban and lifestyle trend that has influenced and invigorated the modern outdoor movement. Venture Out was designed to help brands validate the fact that outdoor function does exist in a fashionable solution, while expanding their brand reach to new market segments. Visit this new, dynamic area and see brands like Poler, Topo Designs, Duckworth, Seavees, Tentree, Iron and Resin, Parks Project, Penfield and more. Venture Out will be located in the South Foyer of the Salt Palace Convention Center.
  • The Trend + Design Center, Presented by Bemis, booth 155–501: — From trend forecasting with some of the preeminent trend houses in the business, to discussions on industrial design and materials innovation, to networking events and product launches, the Trend + Design Center, presented by Bemis, has been created to serve the design and sourcing audience at Outdoor Retailer by providing relevant, compelling educational and networking events and anchors the supplier story at Outdoor Retailer. With more than 200 raw materials suppliers, Outdoor Retailer is the largest collection of suppliers, co-located with the largest selection of outdoor products, all under one roof. Title sponsor Bemis will host a session on Thursday from 4 -5 p.m. afterward, attendees are invited back to the Bemis’ product and design lab (booth #39207) to take a look at their latest design technologies.
  • Business of Backcountry: Outdoor Retailer Winter Market brings the power of the outdoor industry to the mountains and beyond offering the largest and most diverse selection of outdoor and core backcountry brands for your customers' winter needs. Project Zero will be hosting 30 minute “Know Before You Go” sessions daily in the New Product Zone. This multi-media talk focuses on how to stay alive in avalanche terrain including terrain, snow stability, safe travel and rescue.  Subjects include avalanche rescue, how avalanches work, reading avalanche terrain, obvious clues to instability, avalanche weather, safe travel practices and essential equipment. Project Zero will also staff the “Avalanche Resource Center” in the New Product Zone during show hours if you have any questions about avalanche safety, Project Zero or how to incorporate avalanche awareness training into your store's offerings!
  • Business Forums @ The New Product Zone, booth 35095: Daily sessions are held in the New Product Zone to provide retail attendees with education on the latest trends to emerge in the industry. These sessions will help retailers understand how to bring the trend into their stores to drive new customer acquisitions. No need to leave the show floor to gain valuable insights and information, the Winter Market feature sessions including Made in America, Merchandising, Venture Out, and the relationship between ecommerce and retail, as well as brand marketing.
  • The New Product Zone, booth 35095: Returning to Winter Market, the New Product Zone will occupy a central location on the show floor, providing one easy-to-navigate center where new products can be found. Interact with the New Product Digital Catalog, which will highlight brands and feature product introductions. This area will be the gathering place for trend sessions, networking, and the filming of Live From OR.
  • Outdoor University: Outdoor Retailer is pleased to partner with the Outdoor Industry Association to execute more than 40 free educational sessions at Outdoor University. Sessions will focus on topics around trends, branding and marketing, retail strategy, leadership, sustainability and more. This education platform provides invaluable educational and leadership training to all attendees and is held at the Marriot across from the Convention Center throughout the days of the tradeshow. Check the OR events planner for session information. http://www.outdoorretailer.com/winter-market/events-seminars/event-schedule.shtml