DURANGO, CO (Nov. 24, 2014) – The snow’s falling and the stoke is rising among backcountry enthusiasts as they ready for the 2014-15 winter season. As the backcountry category continues to post huge gains in both participation and sales in the winter outdoor and snowsports markets, retailers and sales reps face growing challenges as well. Outdoor and snowsports sales reps and retailers are often the first point of contact for novice and experienced backcountry enthusiasts, alike, in both selling backcountry gear and safety equipment, and offering resources to this customer base. In short, it’s a giant responsibility to serve this end consumer, one that reps and retailers take very seriously.
This is the ‘why’ behind the live events that Verde Brand Communications has hosted in its Business of the Backcountry panels, which have been extremely well attended for two winters in a row at both SIA and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. Verde’s panels have consistently delivered best practices, discussion, direction and community for backcountry reps and retailers.
Today, the next era of this popular industry resource debuts in a first-of-its kind, absolutely free, six-week, learning and training opportunity: The Business of the Backcountry 2.0, powered by Verde Brand Communications (http://bit.ly/bizofthebackcountry). “Verde is incredibly proud to announce this free, online, interactive program that addresses the many challenges and responsibility of selling winter backcountry gear,” said Kristin Carpenter-Ogden, Founder and CEO of Verde, and the moderator of the Business of the Backcountry panels. “In a brand new, online format, our 2.0 programming delivers the most current best practices and most targeted trainings – directly from world-renowned snow safety and industry-respected experts, straight to a retailer or a rep’s computer or mobile device.”
In the new online format, Verde has extended the reach and the valuable insights of each expert panelist, enabling the trainings to reach many, many more people. What’s more, the audience is able to go deeper with each expert in the virtual, multi-week panel format. Participants are encouraged to engage, share and network directly with one another, and to ask questions of our panelists in a built-in forum.
The Business of the Backcountry 2.0 is a completely free resource that enables retailers and reps to join the world’s most respected snow-safety and industry experts as they share five weeks of free content tailored just for those who are engaged on the front lines of getting their customers ready to enjoy the backcountry safely and responsibly.
Verde’s five-part programming will cover topics ranging from gear to education to broader considerations that feed into solid stewardship of the backcountry experience, and attention to safety and personal responsibility of those who love it.
The programming includes one-on-one interviews and question-and-answer opportunities with well-respected experts including:
• Bruce Tremper, author and director the U.S. Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center
• Doug Chabot, renowned climber and director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center
• Sarah Carpenter, co-owner of the American Avalanche Institute and certified AMGA guide
• Bruce Edgerly, co-founder of BCA
• Ben Pritchett, program director of AIARE
• Ethan Greene, of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center
• Kim Miller, CEO of SCARPA
• Jen Brill, co-owner/founder of Silverton Mountain Ski Area
• Dr. Iain Stewart-Patterson, IFMGA guide, academic, and renowned researcher in the field of decision-making in avalanche terrain
• Rebecca Selig, professional skier
• Tom Murphy, a founding member of AIARE, AAA avalanche educator
• And more
Panel topics include:
• Innovations in Gear (safety, hard goods and soft goods) and Packing for Preparation, Safety, Comfort, and Fun: A preview of the latest innovations, and an opportunity to train your staff on what customers need to complete their kits, how frequently they need to replace their safety gear, the finer points of layering, where to find training to properly use their gear, and more.
• Guiding Your Customers to Forecasting and Avalanche Education: With a panel of the most respected and influential names in snow science, forecasting and education, this expansive topic will: update you on the latest initiatives from the forecasting and education side, take your staff through the “best practices” of encouraging your customers to seek out forecasts and further education, identify the basics of avalanche terrain and instability, learn how avalanche education has evolved over the past few years and decide if it’s time to recertify, and more. This topic in no
way is a replacement for a certified avalanche education course; it is designed to help you and your staff enhance your leadership and understanding in how to build a strong, more savvy, backcountry community.
• How to Sell Responsibly Within a Risk-intensive Category: With lessons from other sports, like climbing and mountaineering, we will discuss how to balance enthusiasm (for the sport and making sales) with responsibility. Plus, we will explore the value in further developing your retail store as a community resource.
• The Human Factor: The Psychology of Decision-Making and Risk: We’ll speak with researchers, academicians and guides who study and witness how individuals and groups of all levels communicate, find consensus, and ultimately make decisions. What can we do to strengthen a safety-culture mindset?
• Women in the Backcountry: Gain insight into how 50-percent of your customers may (or may not) approach backcountry adventures differently than the other 50-percent. We’ll summarize the physiological differences that can help guide what gear you recommend to your female customers, and present tips for selling to women in the store and empowering women in the field.
Each of the above modules is anchored by podcast interviews with our experts. Additional, downloadable resources – some designed for training enhancement and others to share with consumers via your own online properties and social media – will be provided.
Programming begins on December 2, 2014, with a new topic going live every 1-2 weeks through January 13, 2015. To accommodate busy schedules during the holiday season, the format allows for anytime access to the podcasts and additional content. Once a topic goes live, it will be downloadable and available for the remainder of the winter.
This free programming and training is intended for outdoor and snowsports retail staff and sales reps, and there is no limit to how many people per organization may have access. To sign up, please visit: http://bit.ly/bizofthebackcountry.