What Happened in Vegas- Part 1

Those zany Omatic kids, they're so witty.

THOSE ZANY KIDS AT OMATIC!

SIA is wrapping up Friday, but like any self-respecting journalists, YoBeat got the hell out of dodge Thursday, after a day an half of bro hugs and bizness. What did we learn at this year’s sell-a-thon? Well, it seems the economy isn’t so bad after all, that is, as long as it keeps snowing.  Maybe it was just because the celebration level was turned to 11 in honor of the show’s final year in Vegas, but the mood seemed not nearly as dismal as what we heard about at some other shows.

I WAS SCARED THESE MIGHT BE REALY GYPSY'S SO I DIDN'T DARE SHOOT A PICTURE WHILE THEY WERE LOOKING

I WAS SCARED THESE MIGHT BE REALY GYPSIES SO I DIDN'T DARE SHOOT A PICTURE WHILE THEY WERE LOOKING

What does next year hold for you, the snowboarder? Well, every one is indeed making everything from socks to snowboards, and there are a ton of amazing products out there. The “story” has strayed a bit from how green everything is and now people just talk about camber. Reverse camber, double camber, backflip camber, no camber, blah blah blah.

JOE SEXTON AND I HAD BEERS IN THE 32 BOOTH. GOOD TIMES.

JOE SEXTON AND I HAD BEERS IN THE 32 BOOTH. GOOD TIMES.

We could drone on and on about new products and what not, but that’s not really our shtick, and some other people are doing it anyway. We are instead going share what we really gleaned from the Vegas tradeshow experience in 2009.  Based on the number of new “brand” in the snowboard section, the moral of the story seems to be:  if you can’t get a job working for someone else, work for yourself! It’s the perfect way to ride out the bad economy, really. You might not make any money, but at least you won’t feel like a useless bum for the next few years.

Here’s our guide based on extensive wrong turns through the trade show floor for starting your own brand. (Should you try this and fail miserably, don’t blame us, we are clearly talking out of our asses here.)

Step 1. Be a sweet, of formerly sweet, snowboarder. In snowboarding, nothing gives you insta-cred like some skills on the hill. That’s why I try to bring up the glory days on the Original Sin B Team whenever possible.

Step 2: Pick your gimmick. Whether it’s classy gear for older ladies, no logos, or boards dedicated to natural disasters, it’s good to be doing something different (or at least seem like you are.)

Step 3. Get a corporate backer. It could be a random brand trying to “break in” to action sports, or a kooky company looking to become cool. If you can convince them that you’ll make (them) money, it’s way easier than actually sending resumes and getting a job. Can’t find a corporate backer? See Step 4.

Step 4. Move back in with your parents. Be really nice so they give you a loan so you can print some T-shirts and stickers. (God knows the bank with all its new credit standards isn’t going to hook it up if you couldn’t convince a few suits in corporate America.)

Step 5. Market the shit out of it. A popular (and cheap) marketing scheme is the whole “grass roots” thing. Spend less on your trade show booth than on your flight to Vegas. Make your riders pay for their own gear. And of course, embrace the Internet with your own blog and Facebook group.

Step 6. Ride out the hype. Hopefully no one notices that your stuff is the same (or worse) than everything else, and you can at least sell enough to break even. That way, your parents will let you keep living with them and in a few years when things pick up, you’ll be able to go back to living on credit.
nick

Our own Nick Lipton really crushed the party scene so check back soon for his report on the annals of the Veags strip, whenever it is that he recovers.

9 replies
  1. admin
    admin says:

    Fair enough! You better find a corporate backer though, cause we’re just saying…we know some people who live with their parents. Cool parents though.

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