Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Outdoor Review show

I had a chance to go to an outdoor gear trade show, where manufacturers had new gear on display for the media and distributors to see. I went as working media for the site I do gear testing for and had an absolute blast. I wish I had known about these sooner. I felt like a kid in a candy store, a really big candy store full of really cool things. As I had never gone to one of these shows before, I was shadowing one of the veteran show goers so learn how things are done. I followed one guy in particular as he was going to many of the vendors that I was really interested in hearing about their new product lines. The show is pretty overwhelming and huge. I can't believe how big the venue was. I got sore feet just walking around trying to see everything. I wasn't sure what to bring clothing wise so I packed hiking stuff and wasn't that comfortable with the hiking pants I had brought. The only bonus to having them was that they had side vents so when I got hot legs later in the day, I could vent some. I learned a lot at this show and had a really good time. I am really looking forward to going back for the Summer show, especially since I hear they have kayaks to play with.

The venue for the shows is out in Salt Lake City over the course of 5 days with the first day as a demo day to try things. I happened to fly in during a big temperature inversion which had the city socked in with fog. I was staying at a fellow gear tester's home and little did I know he had a 2 year old kid that liked to wake up at 4:00 in the morning and bang around. It was almost a good thing for the time difference as I was up before the kid, but that meant I got very little sleep. In fact, I was lucky if I got about 3-4 hours per night while I was there. Between going to bed pretty late, then waking up early, I was wired from lack of sleep. The show also made for somewhat long days with all the waking around and trying to see everything. Someone had a pedometer and one day we walked almost 8 miles. The problem is that the building has concrete flooring and not much padding on top of it. It was hard on the feet and back. Next time I am bringing my crocs, I think my feet will be happier.

The nice part of the show and being working media was the stuff that the vendors gave us. Since I was piggybacking along with people who knew what they were doing, I got all kinds of really nice stuff. I got a Kleen Kanteen bottle, a pair of Patagonia shoes, and lots of really nice socks. I realized that is a way to ask for stuff and I need to learn how to do that. I can get some stuff but apparently I could have gotten more from some vendors. Oh well. It was lots of fun and I look forward to another show.

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