A Day at SIA
Ah, SIA. The time of the year when the entire ski and snowboard industry gather to showcase their new products… in Las Vegas. Hey, a few days in Vegas, sounds like fun right? Well, it’s actually a lot of work — and a lot of fun. I’m here to give you a rundown of I do here at the Mandalay Bay, so you can have a taste of what SIA is like.
-The main reason we’re here is to meet with companies, check out their new products, see what their plans are, keep them in sync with the magazine, and basically have a good time. So you’re day will be pretty chick full of meet and greets with individual companies. The downside is people cancel, reschedule, and forget that you have a meeting, so be prepared to improvise.
-There are tons of pros and cons to the convention, the biggest downside being: it’s huge. With hundreds of vendors, the convention center is a labyrinth of new products, shop buyers and athletes all floating around, getting in your way of making your next meeting. Solution: rent a “rascal” scooter from the front desk and cruise in style to your meetings. Fitted with a basket for swag, plenty of real estate for stickers and a 2-day battery charge, you’ll be the talk of town.
- The athletes don’t necessarily need to come to Vegas, but what better excuse than a trade show to visit Vegas? From The Olenicks to Tanner Hall to Sarah Burke, Chris Benchetler, Grete Eliassen, Jen Hudak, Dash Longe, Tyson Bolduc, etc… the list can go on and on this year. Whether they are hunting for new sponsors, partying or just relaxing, they are definitely in tow and they definitely bug the vendors for the better part of two days.
-The booths that each company builds are a highlight in their own. From Spyder’s two story modern giant to Electric’s Santa’s Workshop, the art and design that goes into a basically a glorified cubicle is incredible.
- The new product is what everyone is here for and it’s cool to see. From launching new goggles at Oakley to new color-ways at Skullcandy to new casual wear lines at Armada, there is not shortage of stylish, technologically advanced gear. If you’re lucky enough, some companies will hook you up with some too.
-The entertainment is a must have at any gathering, and SIA doesn’t disappoint. With giveaways, booth parties and VIP parties at night, the trade show goes from work to play in a matter of seconds.
SIA is the biggest US gathering of freeride companies and it never disappoints. Although it does seem like a lot of fun, SIA is ultimately about work and business… good thing our work is pretty fun. Stay tuned for more coverage and we’ll see you at the US Open.
About the author:
Shay Williams is the Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He loves cheeseburgers, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sweden. He's likely on a plane right now—first class only.