This post is an example of how much power us blog-wielding characters have in the eyes of "The Industry."
Actually, I really don't have much power at all, but it's good to know I can use my URL to score a friend a "press pass" to a trade show so he doesn't have to pay top dollar for a credential. With that...Troutrageous! sent Chase Hundley on assignment (you may know him as @thechundley on Twitter or from the blog Feather & Scale) to the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Show in Salt Lake City, Utah...ironically the week after I left.
Chase's assignment - check out all the new outdoor stuff, especially anything fly fishing, and do whatever he could to further besmirch this blog's name. Enjoy...
Thanks to namedropping Troutrageous!, I (Feather & Scale) had the opportunity to attend the 2012 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market this past week.
The week started with an open-air demo day on Lake Jordanelle Reservoir, just outside of SLC. The open-air demo was basically a chance for brands to showcase their stuff in a more natural environment and allow people to test their products.
The demo was full of watercraft to test out, shoes to try and Redington even set up a casting competition. If you’ve ever wanted to be completely overwhelmed with Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP), this was the place to be. There was even a giant SUP.
Stand-up paddleboards were definitely the most heavily populated item at the show. There were also plenty of Yeti Cooler knock-offs, including one from Igloo. There were plenty of kayak companies, as well, with quite a few fishing kayaks.
My personal goal, in true Troutrageous! fashion, was to find Sasquatch at the show. I was successful in my Sasquatch hunt by complete accident and found him chilling by a car in the middle of the show (I guess being Sasquatch means you get to drive inside buildings).
I was honestly disappointed by the lack of fly rod companies at the show; I’m blaming it on IFTD being next week. There were quite a few brands that make fly fishing products, but there definitely could have been more. Packs seemed to be the common new product for the fly fishing brands.
Best Booth Swag
Montana Fly Company ended up winning the “best booth swag” award with a flask full of whiskey (decorated with a painting from Mike’s favorite fly fishing artist). They obviously knew how to win a fly fishing obsessed Arkansan’s heart.
Easiest booth to get a free beer without waiting in line for an hour
Free beer was pretty common once 4pm hit. You almost had to camp out if you wanted to get one very quickly. The “easiest booth to get a free beer without waiting in line for an hour” award was easily won by Redington. This was mostly due to the fly fishing brands being squeezed in the very back of the convention center, but turned out to be beneficial during happy hour.
Best free food
Keen did it real big at the show. Their indoor booth was huge and across the street from the show; they had a constant outdoor party (Keenfest) going with free food, shirts, live music and water misting from the corner of everything. They receive the “best free food” award for having a food truck with WHOLE FREAKING PIGS ROASTING one day being extremely generous with their portions.
Stay tuned for a breakdown of the best gear I encountered in Part 2.