Growing, Protecting and Supporting America's Outfitting Businesses
Contact  |  About  |  Advertise with Us  |  Join  |   Login

America Outdoors
AOA Marketing & Management Conference Programs

2017 AGENDA  Grand Sierra Reservations

Why She Buys – Bridget Brennan

Women are the engine of the global consumer economy. They drive 70-80% of all consumer spending1with their buying power and influence, and make or influence 92% of vacation and travel destination decisions. In an enlightening presentation based on her acclaimed book (called “essential reading” by The Wall Street Journal), Bridget Brennan provides the foundational concepts of marketing and selling to women, the most current consumer trends and the factors that drive purchasing decisions. Participants will learn practical techniques to increase sales with the world’s most powerful consumers.

Applying Why She Buys & Four Motivators to Your Sales & Service – Bridget Brennan

Following Brennan’s presentation, Female Factor will conduct an “Immersion” Breakout Session, focused on applying the Four Motivators™ Framework to marketing and sales.

So, How Much is My Business Worth? – Patrick Tabor

Pat will review some of the key issues for consideration when contemplating the buying or selling of an outfitting business including: Common pitfalls; tax/legal issues; the negotiation process; use of advisors; valuation techniques and methods; Dos and Don’ts. Additionally, Pat will emphasize in this year’s session: succession planning-handing the business down to family members; valuation show stoppers, and; trends observed in the pricing and deal structure in the last 24 months.

Putting Risk Management Fundamentals into Practice – Leah Corrigan

This facilitated discussion will focus on practical ways to implement fundamental risk management practices, and the ways your colleagues and industry counterparts are approaching common risk management issues. Topics of discussion will include: important issues regarding liability waivers and assumption of risk forms (including youth waiver and electronic signatures), medical questionnaires, evolving industry standards for medical and other industry specific training, age limits, helmet requirements, marketing and communicating with inherent risk in mind, and transportation liability.  This session will encourage the open exchange of ideas and approaches, guided by a recreation lawyer with expertise in implementing a practical approach to risk management. 

The Evolving Legal Landscape of Medical Treatment in the Backcountry: Anaphylaxis & Epinephrine and AED’s – Leah Corrigan & Nadia Kimmel

Growing numbers of state legislatures are attempting to address the increase in fatalities from allergic reactions that could have been prevented by the administration of epinephrine. These states have passed laws designed to limit liability for administering epinephrine to an individual reasonably believed to be suffering from anaphylaxis, and make it legal for organizations to maintain a supply of epinephrine for use on a third party.  The presentation will include a discussion of the recent significant changes to treatment protocols for anaphylaxis, and the general elements of the epinephrine legislation. In addition, the presenters will discuss the practical implications for owners and managers who may wish to implement a company epinephrine protocol.  The presenters will also discuss the differing approaches to AED use, the logistics, liabilities, and standards of care with respect to AED’s in the backcountry.  

There Must Be Some Kind of Way Out of Here - A Rock and Roll Take on Risk Management for Outfitters and Guides – Peter Middleton & Ryan Winter

Say goodbye to your old friend darkness as we shine a light on risk management in the 21st Century. Learn to take care of business and do more than just get by, with a little help from Pete Middleton and Ryan Winter of Hall & Evans. Pete and Ryan will review the law and pressing issues from the updated AOA Risk Management Manual and discuss some of the greatest challenges facing the recreational industry today. Be the boss and don’t get fooled again when managing your employees, marketing, screening medical conditions, responding to incidents, and in the overall operation of your business. Pete and Ryan hope to paint a masterpiece of a seminar that will test your rock and roll knowledge while imparting legal insights.

It’s Lonely at the Top – Patrick Tabor

As a CEO and 40-year veteran executive, Pat will facilitate an open forum discussion on the trials and tribulations of running an outdoor recreation company. Too often, CEO’s find themselves with a lack of peer counselors or advisors making ownership and management a lonely place. This session is designed to garner an exchange between like-kind business owners/managers to discuss issues facing your company and get ideas from peers on how to address.

The Path to Better Management – Klint Rudolph

Analytics help you understand your customer's experience. Attribution informs your marketing mix. Accountability signifies an understanding of both and should be the basis of measurement. For companies with multiple digital and offline marketing channels as well as cross-device campaigns and many touch points across the full customer journey, it's not about choosing one capability over the other; it's about all of them working together. 

Data is a game changer, but on the surface, it's just data. It becomes powerful when it's used not just to support decisions, but to drive actions. And marketers know that to take action on their data, they need to collect and analyze it. Because ultimately, it's about uncovering how your customers engage with your brand. Many marketers believe that strategic marketing measurement is solely about the implementation of customer analytics (technology that can help you measure how your audience interacts with your online properties—or doesn't). But analytics alone is not enough. To truly make the most of your data, you need to combine your analytics insights with robust attribution insights to be able to gain the true insights necessary for accountability. In this session, we will explore how the strategic use of all three can lead to better measurement.

I Didn’t Know About That: Regulation Trends & Changes that Impact Your Bottom Line – David Brown

In this session, you’ll get an update on regulations, legislation and lawsuits that have the potential to impact your bottom line. You’ll learn what you need to do to take advantage of some of the latest de-regulation initiatives. Among the issues:

Two wage and hour lawsuits are pending against outfitters with federal permits. The outcome could determine how you operate in the backcountry.

What happened to legislation designed to prevent implementation of the higher minimum wage for federal permits and contractors? What should I do if the Department of Labor clause shows up in my permit?

Has the rule that required overtime pay for previously exempt Executive, Administrative and Professional employees been rescinded or has the Court case that stopped its implementation been resolved?

Where are the new NPS commercial use authorization rules and how will they affect my access? Where are CUA fees headed? What is the potential that CUA’s are going to be converted to contracts?

What is the status of legislation (H.R. 2771) to restore the seasonal recreational establishment exemption for outfitters with permits and for those with traveling camps?

Where does legislation that proposes to streamline permitting stand?

What is AOA doing about Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations?

What other regulations are in play for good or bad?

This session is for outfitters who are keenly interested in the regulatory issues that impact their businesses. It will help you understand the significance of these issues to your bottom line as they evolve over the next year.

How to Build Great Websites – Jason Bornfriend

A website is arguably your most important marketing tool and yet building one can be an arduous task requiring a variety of different skill sets. In this session, we'll take you through how best to scope out your project, evaluate different firms, manage third-party integrations, and structure your project for success. We'll share all the tips and tricks we've collected when developing major sites like as well as our own internal workflows. In other words, we'll lay it all on the table!

How to Market Your Website - Jason Bornfriend

There are tons of different ways to market your business and all of them seem to require time or money. In this session, we will review data from dozens of businesses to determine where exactly you should be focusing your efforts.

Using these successful programs as our guide, we’ll pick apart their approach to marketing online and identify a few of the most effective marketing strategies. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll have this discussion within the context of a marketing plan so you’ll be able to take home a comprehensive framework for use with your business.

What Could Go Wrong? Analyzing Emergency and Crisis Management after a Critical Incident – Drew Leemon

In July 2011, a group of seven NOLS students backpacking in Alaska encountered an adult Grizzly bear and four of the students were attacked and injured, three of them seriously. The students were evacuated the next day and the injured students recovered. This incident was a major test of the NOLS emergency and crisis management systems, particularly in terms of media coverage and family support. No legal action was brought against NOLS from the injured students. In addition, NOLS conducted a thorough review of the incident which led to a complete overhaul of the NOLS curriculum and practices for traveling in Grizzly bear habitat. In this presentation Drew will provide an overview of the incident, describe NOLS’ short and long-term response, and the significant lessons learned.

Unstoppable Service – Meeting Customer Expectations – Stuart Ellis Myers

This phenomenal, reality-based special training event empowers you with everything you need to generate trust and build long-term relationships with your internal and external clients. Unstoppable Service is all about reviling the expected and very average customer being offered today. 

Lesson Learned from the NOLS Risk Management Incident Data System – Drew Leemon

Since 1985 NOLS has maintained a database of risk management incidents that includes injury, illness, evacuation, near miss and behavioral incidents. In the 33-year history of the database NOLS has almost 18,000 records and 4.5 million risk exposure days for over 105,000 students. The database is a foundational component of the NOLS risk management culture and is used to inform NOLS field practices, provide a verifiable record of incidents, and to provide information to prospective students and their families. It has contributed to the greater knowledge and understanding of wilderness injuries and illnesses with nine peer-reviewed published papers. In this presentation Drew will provide an overview of the NOLS incident reporting system, including where it’s been successful and how it’s been challenging. He will reveal the most common injuries encountered for various market segment by demographics and by activity. Drew will provide attendees with information on how they can implement an incident database in their organizations which will help direct their training protocols.

Seeking Hidden Treasures: Building Dreams into Opportunities – Fred Lochner

The growing outdoor recreation industry is a significant economic engine. It produces 887 billion dollars annually in consumer spending, provides 7.6 million jobs, 65.3 billion in federal and 59.2 billion dollars in state and local tax revenue. Outfitters play a major role in this industry providing safe access and experiences to Americas natural resources and backcountry. Learn how to leverage this information to uncover hidden treasures!

DiSC Profile Introduction for CEOs/Owners/Managers

Learn what your answers to the leadership practice and style questions in this time-tested instrument say about your leadership style. You fill it out in advance, get your report, and then learn how your behaviors are like and different from your peers and other leaders, in AOA and in organizations of all types.

Filling out the assessment and coming to the session with your printed report is a PRE-REQUISITE for this workshop. The cost before December 4th is $70, which is an AOA-conference-special 30% discount. After the 4th, i.e. the 5th, after the conference starts, it is $80, and you will need to pay the hotel to print your report. The deadline is Tuesday, December 5th, at 6 pm.

Everything You Should Know About Sexual Harassment in the Outdoor Industry – David Gevertz

David will delve into the current employment laws governing sexual harassment in the workplace and use examples pulled from headlines and his work to illustrate why outfitters should be concerned about sexual harassment. He will also cover how to investigate a sexual harassment claim and how to manage employees to avoid allegations. After attending the session, participants will be better prepared to identify and combat sexual harassment before it can negatively affect their outfitters.

Science of High Performance – Spencer Penhart

This highly unique and differentiated speech was designed to answer the question, “What makes a high-performer a high-performer, and how can those elements be incorporated into the workplace?” During this speech, participants will analyze specific elements of their own professional excellence and mental toughness, and identify specific strengths and weaknesses they can develop to enhance their individual, team, and company performance. Founded in research across multiple disciplines of business and psychology, the content focuses only on areas that are modifiable and within one’s control, and will enable audience members to elevate their motivation and performance to new heights. 

Social Media for the Advanced User – Klint Rudolph

Sick and tired of talking about Likes? More interested in learning how to set up a remarketing loop based on custom audiences from your social media tracking pixels? This session will dive into advanced social media marketing tactics like audience targeting techniques, POS integration opportunities, location-based social ads and more. Advanced social media marketers rejoice: your session awaits.

Technology and Business Apps – Scott Teuber

There are no more hours in the day. The phone is ringing, you’re answering emails and the customers standing in front of you want to be put out on their trip. You’re trying to keep staffing costs down. You need to reduce human error. You find yourself doing the same tasks every hour/day/week/month. 

If you’re ready to move beyond the apprehension of changing the way you operate your business come join us for a discussion on the implementation of technology to help make your operation more efficient, less stressful and more profitable. This two-part session will first focus on the decision-making process to bring technology to bear for your company.

Explore Your Vision – Lonnie Bedwell

Extreme adventurer and award-winning author, Lonnie Bedwell, has kayaked some of the most challenging whitewater in the world despite becoming completely blind in 1997. With homespun charm and humor, Lonnie shares his personal story of overcoming adversity as it relates to teamwork, leadership, and motivation. His tales of the accident that took his sight, his courageous recovery, and his extreme sport adventures inspire people to find the strength and determination to overcome any challenge they face.


Outfitter Membership
Vendor Membership
Conference Information

We do not sell email addresses.
The Captcha image


AOA Conference Dec 4 - 7 Daytona Beach, FL

AOA is the national association of outfitters and guides and their suppliers. Check out our list of members.

Become an America Outdoors Member

Trip Date: September 17 - 21, 2018
Moab, UT

Join us for the 2018 George Wendt Memorial Raft Trip. Call AOA office to register. Click below to view the flyer.


Become an America Outdoors Member

Member Benefits

Save Money on Exclusive Benefits

  • Free Business Kit with membership
  • Savings on credit card processing rates
  • The AOA Shipping Discount Program
  • 5% to 15% savings on liability insurance
  • Payroll Management Services
  • Pro Plans


Legislation & Regulation

Legislation & Regulation:

  • Minimum Wage for Federal Permits
  • Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act reauthorization
  • Expansion of Overtime
  • Latest on Paddlesports Skill Standards
  • Log-in to Outfitter Member Resources for Complete Access to Need-to-Know Documents

     <<Read More>>

Risk Management

Risk Management:

  • Save 5% to 15% on Liability Insurance
  • White Paper:  Liability in Paddlesports Rental
  • Essential Risk Management Practices DVD
  • Brief on Use of Background Checks

     <<Read More>>


Advertise with America Outdoors Association

America Outdoors
  America Outdoors Address  PO Box 10847, Knoxville, TN 37939
  America Outdoors Phone  1-800-524-4814

America Outdoors Facebook   America Outdoors RSS


©2018 America Outdoors Association