The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance will be moving its Fall 2018 buying show, Grassroots Connect, to Colorado Convention Center in Denver, starting in November. The first expo will take place November 4 to 7.
The show will take place just before the new Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, November 8 – 11.
“Bringing Connect to Denver is a strong step forward,” Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, said in a statement. “It simplifies the industry calendar, provides financial efficiencies for Grassroots members and vendors, and delivers unquestionable value for those looking to do both buying and market discovery in a single location.”
Grassroots Connect events, as well as member and vendor partner lodging, will be based at the Grand Hyatt.
The five-year plan was celebrated by Grassroots Connect organizers – who praised the strong industry support of Outdoor Retailer and Outdoor Industry Association as integral in the process.
“As the outdoor industry’s premier national gathering, Outdoor Retailer is continually evaluating and developing ways to bring the industry together,” said Marisa Nicholson, Outdoor Retailer Show Director. “We’re truly looking forward to a closer relationship with the independent retailers of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance.”
Grassroots organizers emphasized that Connect would retain its distinct role in the industry calendar, remaining focused on the unique needs of independent specialty retailers by improving the buying process, delivering customized specialty retail education, creating a community of independent retailers, and facilitating strategic partnerships.
At the same time, Grassroots organizers were supportive of Outdoor Retailer’s role as an industry-spanning event where its membership can discover hundreds of new brands, interact on sourcing, and communicate with the broader industry on pressing environmental and political topics.
“Our industry is always more powerful when we come together,” said Amy Roberts, president of Outdoor Industry Association. “Bringing Grassroots Connect and Outdoor Retailer another step closer is a welcome opportunity for the industry to refocus, recommit and re-acquaint ourselves with the shared values that continue to support our industry health.”
In March 2017, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance announced its withdrawal of their four-day Connect trade show from a proposed location in Sandy, Utah for Summer 2018. The decision stemmed from broad membership opposition to Utah’s ongoing efforts to reduce and reclaim public lands for local development, as well as the state’s dismissal of the economic value of outdoor recreation on those public lands.
The spring Connect show will take place in Knoxville, TN – June 14 to 17, 2018.
Photo courtesy Grassroots Outdoor Alliance