In the latter half of June, the WoolAid team embarked on a journey to Salt Lake City to participate in Outdoor Retailer, the largest outdoor trade show in the United States. Having attended the event in 2022, and winning the prestigious Outdoor Retailers ‘Product of the Year’ for 2023, we were eager to be part of this exhilarating and inspiring experience. These expos bring together outdoor enthusiasts, industry leaders, and innovative brands to showcase their products, services, and ideas.
Over the weekend, our team ventured to the picturesque Snowbasin Resort to attend Outdoor Adventure X, a consumer-focused outdoor expo. Snowbasin, renowned for hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics, boasted impeccable facilities that were more luxurious than what we were accustomed to in our humble corner of New Zealand. An outdoor industry trade expo is like a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering rock climbing, paddle-boarding, and various hands-on experiences to try out the latest equipment and engage in diverse outdoor activities. However, our purpose was to distribute WoolAid’s and promote our brand!
To our surprise, we encountered a considerable number of fellow Kiwis at the event, which was always a pleasant reminder of home, accompanied by the familiar accent. We spotted a man who had a bandage falling off his arm - the perfect chance to introduce him to WoolAid! He had been bitten by his cat over a year ago and the wound was struggling to heal so decided to replace the bandage with a WoolAid. We looked forward to catching up with him over the next few days to hear about his experience with our product.
The team headed back to Salt Lake City and throughout Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, exhibited at Outdoor Retailer at the Salt Palace Convention Centre. These three days were dedicated to educating people about WoolAid and building upon the momentum of winning ‘Product of the Year’. Employing a guerrilla marketing approach, we attached WoolAid’s to the hands of retailers, media, exhibitors, officials and anyone we could! It created a high-impact visual representation of our brand as people strolled through Outdoor Retailer. We had a blast telling people the story and benefits of WoolAid. It was pretty cool to see people's reactions go from "Wait, a merino wool bandage?" to them getting it and realising all the benefits.
During the event, we reconnected with the "cat-bite man" and received incredible feedback from him. Despite enduring the cat bite thirteen months prior and undergoing multiple rounds of antibiotics that failed to heal the wound, the application of a WoolAid over the past five days had yielded remarkable results. In his own words, "it has healed more in five days with a WoolAid than it has in 13 months." The breathability of WoolAid allowed the wound to commence healing and form a scab. Such feedback is immensely gratifying, as it confirms the genuine impact we have made on someone's life.
Before we bid farewell to Salt Lake City, we couldn't resist checking out the Great Salt Lake. An interesting fact: the lake possesses one of the highest concentrations of mercury in the United States, rendering it devoid of fish but populated by shrimp, flies, and birds that feed on them. The saltiness of the water preserves the carcasses of birds that perish on the lake, preventing decomposition. Although one can still swim in the lake, we decided to resist the temptation on this occasion!
Salt Lake City was a success for WoolAid. From new retailers, to media coverage, to new partners who have now joined us on the journey to help WoolAid eliminate plastic bandages from the world. And of course, the cat story made us all smile, WoolAid genuinely helping someone is why we get out of bed every morning.
A massive thanks for everyone we met – welcome to the WoolAid family!