A member-led collective and the outdoor industry’s catalyst for meaningful change, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) announced that it will present an inspiring lineup of education sessions and connection opportunities at the Outdoor Retailer Summer show in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 19 -21, 2023.
Showcasing experts in their field, OIA education sessions will address critical and intersectional topics including business innovation, sustainability, advocacy, market trends, risk mitigation, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Attendees can also engage in interactive workshops and roundtables to learn from OIA experts and discuss best practices with their peers. As a trusted, and seasoned source of guidance and expertise, OIA will deliver education that reflects what outdoor businesses need to thrive in an ever-changing economic, political, and social landscape.
“Our goal with the OIA education sessions at Outdoor Retailer is to reflect the most pressing issues facing the industry so businesses can apply expert guidance, proven solutions, and new skills to confidently evolve with the pace of the industry,” said OIA President, Kent Ebersole. “Innovation starts with knowledge and these educational opportunities are just one of the many catalysts for positive change that OIA is delivering to the outdoor industry.”
Will Akuna Robinson, a Triple Crown thru-hiker and community advocate, will kick off Outdoor Retailer Summer during the OIA Industry Breakfast. Fueled by a desire for real connection, community, and healing from the PTSD of military service, Robinson will share invaluable personal wisdom from the trail and how individuals and businesses can lean into the call to understand and address inequity and the socio-economic barriers to outdoor recreation.
To help business leaders better understand the markets and people they serve, OIA will unveil high-level findings and insights from the 2023 Outdoor Participation Trends Report, providing attendees with a comprehensive and timely view of the changing outdoor participant base. OIA Research Director Kelly Davis will reveal the latest trends in outdoor recreation participation, including how many consumers are participating in outdoor recreation, what categories are the growing fastest, what activities are most popular, and frequency.
Attendees will also hear directly from experts who are partnering with outdoor industry companies, agencies, and nonprofits to help build the pipeline for the future outdoor industry workforce and learn how it applies to their HR and business needs. Experts from the University of New Hampshire, Weber State, and the Center for Applied Special Technology (C.A.S.T.) will share how the outdoor industry is impacting rural learners, science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M.) opportunities, and local economic development.
In support of the industry’s goal to become climate positive by 2030, OIA will deliver sustainability education sessions that help attendees learn fast to apply realistic and proven solutions on a myriad of topics, including decarbonization, measurement, and harder-to-reach supply chain emissions. Leaders from OIA’s Climate Action Corps, Higg, and Climate Neutral will share best practices and opportunities for precompetitive collaboration to get ahead of sustainability challenges that impact product quality and customer satisfaction.
OIA will unveil its new industry-wide program, the Clean Chemistry and Materials Coalition, during an interactive education session with OIA chemicals experts, legislative advisors, and sustainability marketing leaders from Compose[d]. Attendees will learn how OIA’s consulting service and working group can help outdoor companies balance financial and product management risks with new and existing sustainability legislation while retaining customer loyalty and demand for sustainably made products. Speakers will walk attendees through strategies to achieve PFAS phase-out, meet compliance standards, and share how outdoor companies can swiftly engage on solutions for hard and soft good phase-out.
“Underpinning all the work OIA does to catalyze growth and change within our industry is our commitment to inclusion. Whether you’re a startup business with a great new idea or a recent graduate pursuing a career in the outdoors, we’re excited to connect with you. OIA is here to help you harness the passion and creativity of this industry to ensure we grow sustainably, and we create opportunities for everyone,” added Ebersole.
To view the complete lineup of OIA educational opportunities at this summer’s Outdoor Retailer show, visit OIA’s website.