Ah yes it’s that now familiar feeling, that combination of exhaustion, pride, humility, gratitude, concern, puzzlement, and the digesting of hundreds of conversations and a dozen more unfinished. The obvious ‘kid in a candy store’ feeling of seeing hundreds of new products (and testing a few) in the climbing/paddling/hiking/travelling world of active outdoor products.
The show was a whirlwind once again; the quantity and quality of feedback and idea-sharing that happens there among the leaders in our industry takes a while to take in and act on. Follow up conversations are planted like a field of corn, germinating now and growing up to harvest in short weeks from now. Topics like industry initiatives, trajectory, trends, innovation, thought-leadership, sustainable business, transparency, and technology adoption have all been addressed in multiple forums that collectively nudge our progress forward into the Brave New World that we are shaping. Even as this goes to ‘press’, the Salt Palace is transforming back into a blank canvas of concrete and carpet while, simultaneously, the thousands of businesses that jumped into the fray move on forever changed, positioned and informed differently from last week in significant ways. Coming into the show every exhibitor had a compass bearing to pursue that got them to their goals; afterwards, that bearing was adjusted slightly, or maybe more than slightly,to match the blazing pace of change in the business climate and competitive landscape of the industry.
Here is a short list (pre-coffee, morning after viewpoint) of action items to pursue;
1) Send Thank You notes to the dozens of support people that made this show one of the all time best OR shows for so many brands, including OR itself.
2) Arrange follow up meetings with OIA, key indie reps, key specialty retailers, key raw materials brands, Project OR judges and ‘the suits’, sponsors and especially my own amazing team of show producers.
3) Draft a letter (and follow up via phone) to the exhibitors of the new exhibitor pavilion and Gear Loft, thanking them for bringing their innovation and energy to the showscape knowing they would not be in the core traffic areas of the show, and letting them know what to expect if they want to continue in future shows.
4) Make sure all my reps follow up with all the brands interested in developing business in China, particularly exhibiting in ISPO China 2009.
5) Follow up with brands and key advocacy groups in Paddlesports to get feedback on the new community treatment (Paddlesports Lounge and New Products Area).
6) Debrief the show with CGPR and gather feedback for my own team’s debrief next week.
7) Adjust our long range planning accordingly based on what I heard at this show
8) Catch up on the Olympics results and take some time off…. get some sleep.
9) Communicate to the industry multimedia and multiple times the dates for 2009 for all of our events. Can’t do enough of that, it seems.
On that note, Next show (WINTER MARKET 2009) is Jan. 22-25, 2009, with BBC on Jan. 21. Summer 2009 moves into July. July 21-24, 2009 with OAD on July 20. Pioneer Day, here we come.