Behind the scenes: the Paddlesports Retailer show & demo day in Oklahoma City, 2018
So, yeah, I've been a little MIA over the past few weeks. I've been traveling, working, and running (not jogging, fleeing!). Back at the end of August I had the pleasure to attend the Paddlesports Retailer industry trade show in Oklahoma City. Now it's already September and I'm currently inland from my home on the coast of North Carolina, running from #HurricaneFlorence! More on this adventure in a later post - it's much nicer to think back about the Paddlesports show. Over the past few months I've been working with my favorite inflatable kayak company -Innova Kayak (parent company Gumotex in Europe). They asked me if I wanted to join them in OKC, meet some of the Innova team, help with the show, and learn about all of the exciting things happening with the company in 2019 and beyond.
This trade show isn't open to the public - it's for vendors and retailers. It's a way for buyers from large and small stores to walk around, talk to companies, make orders for the new season, and check out new products.
After I arrived in OKC (which is a great city by the way), I helped Innova set up their booth at the downtown convention center (middle pic above). We settled and prepared for 'demo day' along the river at the a-maz-ing Riversport Rapids whitewater center.
Demo day is a way for buyers to try out boats on the actual water (instead of just imagining inside the dry convention center). It seemed like there was minimal chatting around most vendors, but lots of paddling, laughing, talking, and relaxing since we all made it and the booths were pretty much set up back at the convention center.
With the sun set on demo day, it was back to the air bnb to rest. The first day of the show at the convention center was a bustle with activity. At Innova we got to talk with several retailers and as I walked around I got to talk with several more. It was cool to be around such a thriving paddling industry event. It was also great to visit Oklahoma City, a place I never imagined would be so cool.
So that's the update for now. We hope to return to normal (from #hurricaneflorence) soon! Maybe we should take a vacation back to Oklahoma City!?!?
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