Outdoor Retailer Virtual Design Center LIVE (VDC), the first in a series of interactive conference produced by Outdoor Retailer, drew more than 200 designers, developers and suppliers. The event, held Dec. 7, 2010, drew world-wide participation as attendees contributed to interactive webinars, roamed through virtual tradeshow booths and discussed “Sustainability through Design,” all from the comfort of their individual computers.

In the two weeks following the one-day conference, individuals accessing conference archives and virtual tradeshow booths has doubled to more than 400 unique users to date, and continues to attract attention from retailers, designers and brand leaders in and out of the outdoor industry. The event is attracting users from more than 25 countries including Brazil, China, Israel, Kenya, New Zealand and Russia.

“The industry's positive feedback and participation in the VDC is exciting and encouraging,” said Kenji Haroutunian, Outdoor Retailer show director. “In a culture where webcasting, social media, video streaming, and online research and ordering are becoming an integral part of how we do business, an event focused on the supply chain and sustainable business is a natural complement to the product and social interaction attendees experience at our semiannual tradeshows.”

Archives of the following sustainability-focused webinars are currently available:

  • Design for Sustainability – How design of a product impacts its sustainability. Panel includes: Promostyl, Ecological Design Group, greenREACH

  • OIA Eco Index – Overview of the new Eco Index and how to apply it. Presented by Nau.

  • Sustainability through Supply Chain – Little changes equal big results when it comes to sourcing. Panel includes: American Apparel Producers' Network (AAPN), Bluesign Technologies, Tompkins Inc.

  • Trends in Natural Fibers – The latest innovations in cotton, wool, and hemp fibers. Panel includes: Textile Exchange, Buhler Yarns, prAna

  • In addition to the webinars, attendees can visit 17 virtual trade show booths presented by American Apparel Producers' Network (AAPN), American Cotton Growers, American Denimatrix, Cocona Fabrics, Fabriclink, Hyperbola Textiles, Outdoor Retailer, Malakye, Polartec, Promostyl, Radici Group, and Textile Insight to name a few.

For those who couldn't attend the VDC LIVE, or for attendees who want a second look, the virtual booths will remain open and the webinars archived on the VDC LIVE webpage on outdoorretailer.com through March 7.

VDC LIVE was the first in a series of interactive conference to be produced by Outdoor Retailer, with more to be announced soon.

For a general overview of the VDC LIVE, go to www.outdoorretailer.com/info/virtual-design-center.