Friday, February 15, 2013
I started at SIA just a few weeks before the Show and figured my experience in trade shows would prepare me well for what was to come. I tried to get my head in the game by imagining what I would see: a room of thousands of snow sports industry professionals ready to do business and share their visions for the 2013/14 season. Instead what I found was a small city of people to live and breathe snow. It didn’t occur to me until the end of Day 1 that it would be humanly impossible for me to see every product and be at every event at the Colorado Convention Center that week.
My only consolation was the incredible energy I felt down every aisle and around every corner. I never felt like I was missing out. I wondered: Why can’t every day feel like a day at the Snow Show?! Experiencing all of the industry’s ingenuity and enthusiasm under one roof was kind of intoxicating. Actually, I felt a power (influence?) at the Show similar to what I feel when I have been in meetings on Capitol Hill (near SIA headquarters) — except that everyone in the surrounding area was having fun.
Here are some of my highlights from my very first SIA Snow Show:
Running into the legendary Steve Klassen of Wave Rave Snowboard Shop in Mammoth, Calif. He is a three-time world extreme snowboard champion and former owner of Steepwater Snowboards. He stopped to talk and told me how freeriding is back and big mountain powder riding is cool again.
Bergans of Norway’s new Scandinavian-inspired booth that housed the brand’s majorly expanded line. It was one of many amazing new booths that I saw walking the Show, but it was definitely the most sleek and inviting. I also learned a fun old Norwegian expression: “There’s no bad weather, only bad gear.”
Klaus Obermeyer’s yodel. A man after my own polka-dancing heart. Also, it seemed like every fifth person at the Snow Show had been to Slovenia (my dad’s native country), some even more often than I have. Now I KNOW I’m in the right industry.