5 Things I Learned at my First OR Show

Three weeks ago our team at Otium was lucky enough to attend our very first Outdoor Retailer show- better known as OR. What an experience! For those of you that are not familiar, OR is the largest outdoor sports show of its kind hosted in Salt Lake City, Ut, and features the top outdoor brands, products, and influentials. Here are five things I noticed as an OR newbie:

1. It's easy to get lost

    I would equate the Salt Palace Convention Center (where OR was hosted) to the likes of Narnia. From the outside it appears no more than an average trade show, but after taking a lap I quickly realized that this place has no start or end. Next year I will spend the first 4 hours laying bread crumbs to our needle-in-a-hay-stack of an exhibitor booth.

    2. No, Patagonia does not hand out free apparel. 

    Walking around OR made me feel like a 7th grade girl going back to school shopping at Forever21...except nothing was for sale. Like many outdoors people, I am a huge fan of Patagonia clothing, so when I saw an entire pop-up Patagonia shop I began drooling. It didn't take long for my request for a "pro" deal, as they say in the business, to be denied. I was forced to leap off my high horse and realize that no brands had come to OR for me. Shocking! 

    3. Outdoor brands like to drink.

      If you didn't have a beer in your hand by the time 3pm rolled around, you were doing it wrong. Many booths even had countdowns to when their free beer would be handed out. If you know me at all, you can guess that I sat through my fair share of countdowns...and it was well worth it. Not only was it worth it for the amazing cold beverage, but it was the best time to network. People were relaxed and personable. It was a great time for us to get the time of day with decision makers and discuss our SoftRack. It may have been our teams's first time at OR, but it definitely wasn't our team's first time socializing over drinks! 

      4. Log rolling is amazing.

      If you have never heard of the Minneapolis-based log rolling company Key Log Rolling, it's about time you do. Run by a family of world champion rollers, Key Log is growing awareness for and revolutionizing the sport of log rolling. We had the opportunity to partner up with them at OR and help promote their product and sport.

      Above is a picture of Judy (founder of Key Log) giving me a live lesson for a crowd of OR spectators. It was my first time and I had an absolute blast. Although I spent most of the time in the water, I did manage to stay up long enough for a picture!

      5. Utah is a beautiful place.

      Our team had the opportunity to spend our stay in Salt Lake City by day and Park City by night. Park City is truly a hub that brings passion, talent, and culture to a variety of outdoor sports. Not to mention it is placed in the Wasatch Mountain Range, home to the highest concentration of ski areas. 

      Now when I say that Utah is a beautiful place, I am not only referring to the cities and landscape. If you have ever been, you know what I am talking about. The outdoorsy culture attracts some of the most gorgeous people I have ever laid eyes on. One more reason to start an outdoors company...food for thought.

        Ben Larwa
        Ben Larwa


        Otium Outdoors is an outdoors lifestyle company creating easy and dependable solutions for those wishing to experience the great outdoors close up.

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