Paddlesports Retailer, the official national trade show of the paddlesports industry, has opened registration for the 2019 show, welcoming exhibitors, retailers, working media, independent reps and nonprofits. The show will take place from August 26 through August 29, 2019, at Oklahoma City’s Riversport Rapids and Cox Convention Center.
Exhibitors will be carefully curated to feature the most relevant product mix for attending retailers. Eligible brands for 2019 will include those that serve paddlers in the following categories: paddle/watersports hardgoods, softgoods, and accessories, plus complimentary offerings including high-quality footwear, optics, hydration, travel/racks, camping gear, fishing accessories, and technical apparel.
Returning attendees will notice several refinements and new amenities since last year’s event:
- Improved Demo Day arrangement and schedule. The flatwater and whitewater demos will be held on the same course at different times (with the pumps off for smooth water or on for rapids). Participants will have the same great access to music, food trucks and activities.
- More networking and educational opportunities.
- Upgraded hotel room block options. Six nearby hotels are participating in the room block this year, all with competitive low rates, generous cancelation windows, and no deposit necessary.
- Better retailer incentives and outreach strategies to draw a record number of attendees.
- New and improved sponsorship and event opportunities designed to help exhibitors reach a wider audience.
- Free/included wireless internet for vendors and attendees.
- The new OKC Streetcar connects the convention center area with more of the city’s popular neighborhoods, like Bricktown, Automobile Alley and Midtown.
“We’ve already seen a rise in the pace of exhibitor registrations this year over 2017 and 2018, and we’re pleased that so many returning exhibitors chose to increase their footprint in the main exhibit hall. This along with a wider offering of categories and enhancements over last year indicates that we’re on track for a successful and impactful industry event,” said Paddlesports Retailer general manager Charles Conner.
The 2018 show attracted more than 500 buyers representing over 230 individual retail stores along with 140+ exhibitors showcasing 450+ brands. Attendance is expected to grow in 2019. In post-show surveys, more than 87 percent of last year’s attendees stated they plan to return. Showgoers also raved about the Oklahoma City location in 2018. The wildly-popular Demo Day at Riversport Adventure Park was the industry’s best demo ever, and the show’s downtown footprint—with easy walking access to lodging, restaurants and nightlife—exceeded expectations.