Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) today announced its 2009 Outdoor University retail education program. The 2009 program, consisting of monthly, one-hour webinar workshops, is designed to help improve business infrastructure, ensure skill development and provide information on emerging trends and technologies and will focus on challenges specific to outdoor industry businesses.

Over the last two years, Outdoor University has educated over 300 specialty retailers through regional workshops in the field and received positive reviews. For 2009, the program format will shift to an online format to ensure the education workshops are accessible to all retailers, no matter their location. Each workshop will be recorded and archived so that it can be rebroadcast on demand.

“Each year, the Outdoor University program is developed based on retailer and rep feedback,” said Ann Obenchain, vice president of member services and marketing for OIA. “By evolving Outdoor University into an online format, we are able to provide a convenient and affordable resource directly to retailers in their markets.”

Outdoor University 2009 Schedule

Wednesday, May 13 – Staffing for Summer: Hire Wisely, No Regrets
Wednesday, June 10 – Easy PR Tips for Summer
Wednesday, July 8 – Boost Yur Sales and Sales Staff’s Expertise with Online Training
Wednesday, August 5 – Improving Your Bottom Line
Wednesday, September 9 – Cosmically Cool Ideas for Holiday Promotions
Wednesday, October 14 – Harnessing email and e-commerce to Drive Holiday Traffic
Wednesday, November 11 – Turning Shoppers into Buyers
Wednesday, December 9 – Maintaining Margin During the Holidays
Wednesday, January 13 – Managing Consumer Buzz on Social Media

Outdoor University's high caliber speakers include analysts from Profit Planning Group, The Leisure Trends Group and Gluskin Townley Group; public relations experts from Pale Morning Media and Base Camp Communications; marketing consultants from Alien Truth Communications and the Creative Business Consulting Group; and staff training professionals from 3point5.com and The Mann Group.

Extra Credit for Outdoor University “Students”
Outdoor University retail attendees will be enrolled in the Outdoor University Hall Pass™ Program which will enable them to redeem their Hall Pass at the Outdoor Retailer Tradeshows for gifts from participating sponsors. In addition, for every webinar attended, Outdoor University “students” will receive “extra credit” and be entered to win grand prizes from the presenting and gold sponsors that include, an OIA annual membership, three nights lodging at a future Outdoor Retailer show, Woolrich outfits and products from JanSport.

Outdoor University is offered free to OIA members and for $99 per webinar for non members. Pre-registration is required. For complete information on the Outdoor University program, speakers or to register, visit www.outdoorindustry.org