The 2020 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show

We (ZOOMcatalog co-founders, Noleen and Bryony) spent the day at the Outdoor Retailer show, checking out what’s new and trending in the outdoor sports industry. Showcasing a collection of innovative and unique gear, apparel, hard goods, footwear and accessories, it was no surprise that many of the trends we saw are ones we are seeing in the promotional product industry for 2020 (read about the 2020 Promotional Product trends here).


We highlighted this as one of the promotional product trends for 2020, the most prolific trend we saw at the Outdoor Retailer show was a focus on eco-friendly products. How the products are made, what they are made from to how they are shipped made eco-friendly definitely the number one trend we saw.

Technology-enabled wearables

As technology innovation continues to soar and go places we never expected, it was no surprise that many retailers have merged the power of technology with their wearable products. Since this was the “snow show” we saw many jackets, gloves, boots and socks with built-in heating systems, that could be controlled by the wearer. Built-in GPS was another trend that adds clear value to the more extreme outdoor adventurer.

Retail Feel

Just like promo, the exhibitors at the Outdoor Retailer Show have clearly made a concerted effort to elevate their products and brands, giving them a retail feel. Attention to detail was the name of the game. Not only did exhibitors focus on how to elevate their products, but also their booths and displays. We saw some amazing booths at the PPAI Expo (Can’t mention this trend without mentioning Numo’s amazing PPAI Expo booth), and it was the same at Outdoor Retailer. 

Little wins

In our Trends for 2020 blog post, we referred to the term “Little Wins”. Although they’re little, promotional stickers, patches, buttons, and pins pack a big punch when it comes to promoting a brand. Jumping on these trends, it was nearly impossible to walk away from a booth at Outdoor Retailer without a sticker, button or badge. Just for fun, we decided to see how many we could collect. Check out our haul below. 


Piggybacking on the “retail feel” trend, and the attention to detail in product design, the use of materials (often eco-friendly materials) to elevate and differentiate products was another theme we saw at Outdoor Retailer. Leather patches on apparel, embedded wood finishes on snowboards and skis, cork panels on caps, and faux fur pom poms on beanies and scarves, high-end finishes are clearly a focus for 2020.

And everyone’s furry friends…..

Not only was the Outdoor Retailer Show a “plastic-free” show (we could not buy a bottle of water – we had to fill up our own reusable water bottles, which was a refreshing change!), but attendees and exhibitors alike had their dogs with them, and we could not resist sharing a few pictures of them here too.

Lastly a pic of us at the Denver Convention Center

We could not fit the enormous big blue bear into our pic, but here we are anyway.