Thursday October 30, 2014

Bring out the choir, a dog party, and free beer: Outdoor-gear trade show jazzed it up

SALT LAKE CITY - Bring in the choir, hire a gorilla mascot: anything to grab attention at a trade show for outdoor gear in Salt Lake City.

With 1,300 exhibitors packing the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, getting noticed isn't easy. Gear and apparel makers use the four-day expo that ends Saturday to take bulk orders from outdoor specialty shops.

But how to turn heads?

Brooks Running Shoes hired a choir from the Calvary Baptist Church of Salt Lake City. The Seattle company was promoting a new line of "Transcend" footwear. People were taking pictures and video, clapping and singing along for Friday's performance.

Another vendor, California's Outdoor Adventure River Specialists, hired a former Utah State mascot to wear a gorilla suit and sit on a portable toilet for snapshots, part of a raffle for a whitewater rafting trip.

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