Old faces find new places as The Voice and The Daily reboot to tackle tough issues and bring more edge to the industry’s biggest trade show.
“To be totally honest, I’m a bit horrified,” admitted Doug Schnitzspahn, editor-in-chief of The Daily, Outdoor Retailer’s official trade publication. “It’s a ton of hard, thankless work.”
Schnitzspahn’s take sums up the burden of covering the outdoor industry’s largest event. It’s now a thrice-annual melee of brands, media, new product launches, and good old-fashioned handshake deals.
For years, The Daily has been a Rosetta Stone of sorts, translating a wealth of brand and product news into a concise rundown for newcomers and industry veterans alike. The Daily, long led by the editorial muscle of SNEWS, now falls to Schnitzspahn — longtime EIC of Elevation Outdoors — who promised to bring more edge to the magazine.
Meanwhile, SNEWS, which staffed and published The Daily for nine years, decided to launch its own independent print mag at this year’s Snow Show: The Voice. And according to Kristin Hostetter, EIC of both publications, The Voice will serve an entirely new take on Outdoor Retailer and the industry as a whole.
“The Voice is a different beast altogether,” Hostetter said. “We’ll tackle some provocative and tough issues facing our industry, like sexual harassment and assault, the dominance of REI in the retail landscape, and the changing trade show landscape. The ones that might make us uncomfortable but ultimately will help our community evolve and grow.”
So what’s on tap for these two publications and what can you expect? Check out our rundown of the new-look magazines debuting at Outdoor Retailer.
The Daily: Same, But Different
As in years past, The Daily will hit stands inside the Convention Center each morning before the show. And readers will still receive “monthly-magazine-quality reporting on product, trends, advocacy work, and big-picture news stories,” according to Schnitzspahn.
But Schnitzspahn said he wants to focus on adding more immediacy to The Daily’s pages. To that end, he said, readers will find more “live photography” and reporting from the show floor. He also promised The Daily would feature more attendees and exhibitors from each day.
“They paid to be here, so they should see themselves in the show publication,” Schnitzspahn said.
In addition to beefing up on-the-floor coverage, Schnitzspahn wants The Daily to renew its focus on what he calls “the new kids.”
“We decided it was time to start showing the faces of Gen Z … [the] new generation that is starting to grow into this industry and speak out on the issues that matter to us.”
Find The Daily each morning at the show. You can also read the first PreShow issue here.
The Voice: NOT Another Trade Show Daily
The Daily aims to provide a fly-on-the-wall look at the goings-on at Outdoor Retailer. But The Voice intends (as the name implies) to lead the conversation on matters that impact the industry.
The magazine will hit trade show stands exactly three times per year, one for each OR show. But instead of covering the show, The Voice wants to leverage the show for its audience: media, retailers, brands, and influencers. The idea, according to Hostetter, is not to keep in-the-know folks in the know — it’s to start conversations that reach beyond the industry.
“It’s not a show daily, nor is it aimed just at people attending the show,” Hostetter said. “The Voice is not a marketing vehicle for the trade show like The Daily is — and rightly so — but rather an independent publication that aims to dive into the big topics that impact us all.”
Take the first issue, for example. Its bright-orange cover sports a single, bold headline: “Is REI Too Big?” Hostetter’s team dove into the complexities of what happens to independent specialty retailers when REI moves in. Suffice it to say, Hostetter said, “The answer to that coverline question is not a simple one.”
But the cover story isn’t a flash in the pan. The entire issue keeps pace. Editors dove into the results of a sexual assault and harassment in the outdoors survey they conducted last fall. Another story uses Walmart’s faltering Premium Outdoor Store to talk about elitism in the industry.
“When we announced this journal just eight weeks ago, our audience told us that they didn’t want another trade show daily,” Hostetter told us. “They wanted a forum for real conversation and independent truth-telling. And that’s what you’ll find here, with new voices and viewpoints to help us collaboratively shape the next generation of outdoor leadership.”
Find the inaugural issue of The Voice at the Convention Center this week. And look for future issues at every Outdoor Retailer show.