Less than a month ago, industry stakeholders joined the conversation surrounding the future size and location of Outdoor Retailer, the growing semi-annual tradeshow for the outdoor industry. Today, more than 2,100 people have logged in to a dedicated online forum to view and/or participate in the swelling conversation.

The opportunity to participate came through the launch of the Collective Voice website, a destination to learn about the event’s history, discuss growth trajectory, and examine the pros and cons for a small list of potential venues that could host the current show, with room to add exhibits and features that serve the business needs of a growing audience.

Continuing its efforts to connect and assess the position of the industry on these topics, Outdoor Retailer will be rolling out an online survey in mid-late June. The Collective Voice forums are currently open to show stakeholders and will remain open during the survey period.

“The combined results of our upcoming survey and the Collective Voice forums will absolutely steer our decision to hunker down in Salt Lake or make the move to a bigger city,” said Kenji Haroutunian, vice president at Nielsen Expositions and Outdoor Retailer show director. “I encourage all stakeholders to lend their voice and thoughts to the Collective Voice site; this tool gives final decision makers the why, the comparative assessments, and further insight to the passion and cultural elements that live between each survey question.”

Since the Collective Voice Forum opened in mid-May, more than 170 comments have been received. A small sampling includes:

“If you need more room, make some of the mega-booths reduce their space. Some of the booths are way too big.”

“New items are what excite the retailers and the space in Salt Lake City is totally inadequate…Get over yourselves and let’s make the move. Feel blessed that your industry is growing and you are part of it!!!”

“I’d rather the OR show shrink than grow. There are far too many exhibitors that have little to do with outdoor recreation.”

“As much as I love SLC, it is ridiculous that as an exhibitor, nine months in advance I could not get a hotel room, can I sleep in my booth?”

“I would like to see the venue moved to a venue that has plenty of hotels, space, food and entertainment options. I think Vegas would be the perfect place for this event.”

“OR has grown, and will continue to grow if it is handled well. It has been handled well. The real question now is where.”

“As a retailer I find that there are too many unrelated exhibitors. If we keep OR focused there should be plenty of room in Salt Lake.”

Invitations to participate in the Collective Voice website were emailed to outdoor industry members who have registered for or attended Outdoor Retailer trade shows as an exhibitor, sales rep, retailer or distributor in the last three years.

If you meet the criteria outlined above but have not received an invitation to join the conversation, email Collective Voice Project Manager and Ambassador Michael Hodgson at CollectiveVoiceOR@gmail.com.

To read last month’s Collective Voice announcement, please visit Outdoor Retailer’s online press release page.

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