Monthly Archives: August 2011

Backwater Paddle Company Survives 2011 Outdoor Retail Show

Ed and Kurt at the OR Show

 Backwater Paddle Company has stepped off the front porch and is now running with the big dogs!  After a trip out west to Salt Lake City, Utah August 3rd thru the 7th, this wonderful destination provided to be a pivot point of evolution and continued growth for Backwater Paddles.   We can see how and why Brigham Young brought his Mormon disciples to this area.   It is truly a place for the avid outdoorsman!!

The 2011 Outdoor Retail Summer Show is the largest and most significant trade show for any outdoor sporting company to be involved with.   This show is designed for the sports market manufacturer/exhibitor to meet up with prospective buyers and make deals.   As this was Backwater Paddle Company’s first venture into this massive show, we did not know what quite to expect.

2011 OR Show Room Floor

The size of the event is overwhelming.  You feel like a kid in a candy store as you walk through all the displays.  It is sensory overload.  Everyone has designed their booth for the maximum impact, both visually and physically.     It blows your mind as to how much money is spent by these large sporting goods manufacturers to grab your attention.  You think of any soft or hard goods sporting manufacturer, and they are here.

Fortunately our national distributor, Outdoor Specialty Innovations, was there to provide moral support for the show.  Having been to a number of ICAST Shows, OSI’s Ron and Pete, along with Kurt, Backwater Paddle Company’s vice president, provided the manpower to entertain all the potential customers of our paddles as well as the EAsy2Hook fishing products.

Pete and Kurt manning the Backwater Paddle Company booth.

Despite all the obstacles to get to this event, it has been quite the learning experience.  We have met some seasoned exhibitors and obtained some extremely useful knowledge for our future events.   Mostly we have learned…having a unique product matters!!   As far as displaying your product, size and being outrageous also matters. 

Although no orders were directly written, we networked with some of the industries leading retail buyers in the paddle sports market.  We obtained a number of solid contacts and will be working with them in the next few weeks.

Now that this experience is behind and we can look forward to next years OR Show with less trepidation, more imagination, and hopefully a new paddle product.  Our imaginations are at work already!

Time to get to work for the 2012 Outdoor Retail Summer Show!!  Paddle on my friends!!