One of the perks to being in an MBA program is access to industry resources. Our variety of MBA clubs work to build relationships with local companies to host different types of events: guest speakers, treks to tour businesses, industry happy hours, among other opportunities. Another perk is access to industry trade shows. The Leeds Outdoor Industry Club was able to secure student passes to this year’s Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show.
The Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show debuted in Denver January 25-28. The show sold out of exhibitor space, with over 1,000 brands and 2,000 retail shops represented on the exhibitor and attendee list. The trade show is being held in the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver—it takes up 3 floors plus aisles, hallways, and foyers. Curated space makes it easier to navigate—for example, Rental World is a section dedicated to an overview of alpine, snowboarding, and cross country rental gear. The Camp is an area provides education on the show floor, covering everything from industry trends to new ways to drive traffic to retailers. We explored an entire room dedicated to fabric suppliers while doing market research for a class project.
In addition to the massive trade show, there are a ton of networking opportunities. On January 24th, MBA’ers attended Mappy Hour Denver’s panel on Colorado Leadership in the Outdoors at The North Face Cherry Creek store. We heard from four panelists with very different backgrounds but a common message; we must work together to create a diverse outdoor culture and protect our valued public lands.
Another great opportunity at the event was The Schmooz, a networking and employment event put on by Malakye, a job search and career advice company. Leading companies like The North Face, Cannondale, and Newell Brands were there to discuss current openings.
Overall, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to attend and learn more about the outdoor industry and our favorite brands!