Paddling Industry News 2019 Paddlesports Retailer Updates

2019 Paddlesports Retailer Updates


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Remaining in Oklahoma City, Okla, for 2019 and 2020, Paddlesports Retailer, the official national trade show of the paddlesports industry, will take place from August 26 – 29, 2019, with a few new perks and plans for exhibitors and attendees.

“Our first year in Oklahoma City was amazing. Both exhibitors and retailers told us the Demo Day at Riversport Adventure Park was the most successful demo in the industry’s history,” says show GM Charles Conner. “In post-show surveys and interviews, attendees raved about the convenience of the hotels and restaurants in Oklahoma City and said the community welcomed everyone with enthusiasm. We’re proud to be back for two more years.

Demo Day will kick off the 2019 show on Monday, Aug. 26, followed by two-and-a-half exhibition days in the Cox Convention Center Exhibit Hall.

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This year’s improvements, says Conner, include:

  • Subsidizing drayage to a flat $60 per hundred-weight for both advanced and direct shipments
  • Free, nearby surface parking for exhibitor trucks and trailers
  • Free Wi-Fi internet access for exhibitors and retailers
  • Two additional social events: a Kick-Off Party on Sunday, Aug. 25, at Bricktown Brewery; and an After-Hours Gathering on Tuesday, Aug. 27, presented by American Whitewater at TapWerks Ale House
  • Holding the flatwater and whitewater demos in succession rather than simultaneously.


The show’s second year—and first in Oklahoma City—drew more than 500 buyers representing over 230 individual retail stores. Show organizers expect attendance to grow in the coming years as momentum builds and attendees spread the word.

“The OKC location and the packed event schedule really delivered,” says Bill Kueper, vice president of Wenonah Canoe. “Ninety-four percent of attending retailers indicated they plan to return for 2019. It shows great potential going into 2019.”

The flatwater venue on the Oklahoma River.

The new social events are designed to give attendees additional networking opportunities. “Attendees ranked networking events the third most important show element, besides the core events in the exhibition hall and the demo day,” says Conner, adding the events also make the show more enjoyable. “An important characteristic of our show is that it’s fun. For our retailers these may be the only summer days they’ll spend out of their shops, and it’s important that they’re able to enjoy themselves while doing business.”

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The Demo Day will also start earlier on Monday, the second day of exhibitor installation, and the show will end earlier on Thursday (new hours 8am to 1pm). “Exhibitors should still have time to schedule a range of appointments on Thursday, but they’ll also have time to break down their booths and start heading home for their Labor Day weekend plans.”

Show Schedule

Day Date Description
Wednesday May 1 First Draft of Exhibit Hall Floorplan Published
Saturday June 1 Submission Deadline for Retailer Reservations—for Full Lodging Reimbursement
    Registration Deadline for Exhibitors to Receive Free Basic Booth Packages

(10x10s & 10x20s only)

Thursday August 1 Submission Deadline for Retailer Reservations—for 1/2 Lodging Reimbursement
    Final Exhibitor Hall Floorplan Released
Sunday August 25 Exhibitor Installation 1pm to 11pm
    Direct Shipments Received at Exhibition Site 8am to 10pm
    Kick-Off Party / Early Check-In at Bricktown Brewery 6pm to 10pm
Monday August 26 Exhibitor Installation 8am to 11pm
    Direct Shipments Received at Exhibition Site 8am to 11pm
    Demo Day Flatwater Event at Riversport Rapids Noon to 4pm
    Demo Day Whitewater Event at Riversport Rapids 5pm to 9pm
    New Product Showcase
Tuesday August 27 Industry Breakfast Featuring Guest Speaker: 7:30am-9am
    Exhibition Day One 9am to 5pm
    Educational Programming & Seminars 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm
    New Product Showcase
    Exhibitor Sponsored In-Hall Happy Hour 4pm
    Exhibitor Sponsored In-Hall Happy Hour 5pm
    After-Hours Get Together Presented by American Whitewater:

TapWerks Ale House 7pm to 9:30pm

Wednesday August 28 Industry Breakfast Featuring Guest Speaker: 7:30am-9am
    Exhibition Day Two 9am to 5pm
    Educational Programming & Seminars 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm
    New Product Showcase
    Exhibitor Sponsored In-Hall Happy Hour 4pm
    Paddling Magazine Industry Awards and Reception:

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Convention Center Ballroom 5pm

Thursday August 29 Exhibition Day Three 8am to 1pm
    Educational Programming & Seminars 9am to 12pm
    Exhibitor Dismantle 1pm to 11pm


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