Snowboard Industry Conference Scores Deep Whistler Pow

It was deep. Super deep. You could tell by the smiles on attendees faces, that the 13th annual TransWorld Snowboarding Industry Conference and Powderquest which began yesterday at Whistler Blackcomb, Canada, scored big on the powderquest side of things. The Whistler Blackcomb web site was claiming 17 inches of fresh snow overnight, and 21 in the last 24 hours.

But no matter how much snow there really was, it was super deep. Kudos go out to the Burton marketing girls attending, because they rallied for the 7:15 a.m. Fresh Tracks gondola up the Whistler side, and scored many untracked runs before the mountain opened up to the public. Others spread out between the two peaks, and found plenty of riding opportunities. And a select few, including a couple of Volcom and TransWorld staff hit the helicopters, and came back grinning ear to ear.

The aprés-snowboard session kicked off in great fashion with a keynote address from Nelson Jay, marketing manager of Redhook Brewery, who talked about being a niche player in a market dominated by several huge companies. In fact, after his captivating 45-minute speech, attendees were surprised just how similar the beer and snowboard industries really were. They were also rewarded with some free Redhook.

The next panel was called “The Retailers Speak Again” and featured Milosport Owner Cal Egbert, Galyans Associate Buyer Mark Correll, and Zumiez VP Steve Nygreen. The three retailers addressed questions from 686 VP of Sales Jono Zacharias about such topics as what makes a good rep, distribution, and growing the sport.

After a nice dinner, the workshop portion of the evening ended with a presentation by Warner Brother’s Records EVP Diarmuid Quin and SVP Barbara Jones who discussed the convergence of music and action sports. They pointed out the similarities between the two groups, and then highlighted the ways they could work together more closely. Specific examples such as Hurley’s sponsorship of Blink 182, DC’s selling Linkin Park signature shoes, and the Vans’ Warped Tour were just several examples given.

All in all, the TransWorld Snowboarding Industry Conference and Powderquest was getting rave reviews for delivering great snow and excellent seminar topics, and this was just the first day!