Summit’s Inaugural Gear Trail Leads to Partnerships with Adventure Operators

1 October 2019

New to the Adventure Travel World Summit this year, the Adventure Gear Trail featured 10 outdoor gear brands specializing in travel off the beaten path. Throughout the Summit venue, gear and apparel brands showcased products with exhibits in high-traffic areas. From one-press water bottle filters to ingenious fire-starting solutions, delegates were able to explore the thoughtful, helpful gear that makes adventure travel even better.

The inaugural Gear Trail featured 10 brands that are a natural fit with the adventure travel industry. © Chris Kassar

Throughout 2019, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has made significant headway in bridging the gap between the adventure travel and outdoor gear industries, including establishing a partnership with the ISPO Group. The Adventure Gear Trail featured at the Summit is yet another step in strengthening that relationship. “For the past 15 years, we’ve had a spattering of partnerships with outdoor, adventure gear, and apparel brands, but we are now in the midst of the ATTA’s first concentrated and dedicated strategic initiative to bring these ‘sister’ industries together,” said Chris Doyle, ATTA’s executive director for Europe.

During the three days of the ATTA’s annual event, the Gear Trail exhibits buzzed with activity as organic networking and relationship building occurred between the two synergistic industries. “Before this, we couldn’t figure out how to bridge the gap between our brand and the adventure travel community, but joining the Gear Trail and the Summit was a perfect fit,” said Terry Feigenbutz, international sales manager for Northwest River Supplies (NRS), a leading manufacturer and distributor of paddling apparel and accessories and high-performance boats. “We’re not here to make sales, but to be part of the community. We’ve built so many relationships here that we’ll be able to turn into long-term partnerships so it’s definitely been a great meeting point and we will certainly return next year.”

In this relaxed setting, gear suppliers engaged in one-on-one discussions with destination representatives, tour operators, and media members from across the globe. The results? "Ten brands witnessed what we have pitched all year — direct sales and partnerships opportunities,” Doyle said. “Several of the brands made deals on the ‘floor’ of the Summit and made influential relationships that are sure to pay off for years to come."

One of the suppliers, Light My Fire of Sweden, got offers for collaboration by more than 200 of the 750+ Summit delegates. Simply put, in the ATTA’s very first dedicated effort to help facilitate these partnerships, Light My Fire got almost one-third of Summit delegates to place orders or establish a partnership.

“Partnering with the ATTA by being part of the Gear Trail was a 110% natural fit,” said Calill Jagusch, owner and CEO of Light My Fire of Sweden, which creates outdoor accessories intended to replace single-use items and help reduce consumption. “We really need to start thinking about what and how much we are consuming. Our participation here has been extremely useful in getting that conversation started and moving it forward.”

Brand partners for this year’s Summit were ALFA, Craghoppers, Devold of Norway, GRAYL, Light My Fire of Sweden, Norwegian Eye, NRS, PacSafe, Royal Robbins, and Thule. To learn more about the Adventure Gear Trail and how to be involved in future events, please contact [email protected].