The Big Gear Show (BGS) will go on this summer in Salt Lake City, UT. At least, that’s the plan for now based on a statement the show’s organizers released on Tuesday afternoon.
It confirms something the founders of the new hardgoods-only outdoor show told SGB Executive on Monday—that they are still planning to host the inaugural event July 22-25.
BGS has a unique opportunity, as outlined in our report on the cancellation of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
As we reported in that article, “With Summer Market off the calendar, a door has opened for the Big Gear Show, a new outdoor hardgoods-only trade show scheduled for late July in Salt Lake City, UT. If the coronavirus spread has been contained in the next month, could that event go on and perhaps attract exhibitors who hadn’t planned to attend because they had previously committed to OR?”
The show’s directors said they are monitoring the situation closely. In the meantime, here is their letter to the outdoor community about the current situation:
“The reason we launched The Big Gear Show was because we wanted to help our friends in the industry with the challenges they faced, but we have all been overwhelmed by a global pandemic. Our priority now is your health—and the survival of the gear makers and community-based retailers we built this show to support.
“We are watching the national situation unfold alongside you, and we don’t know much for certain. We’ve spent the past few weeks listening to discussions within our communities and carefully considering our way forward. We’re working hard to put the best possible plan in place to serve the needs of our partners who have all, in one way or another, been upended by COVID-19.
“We continue to plan for our summer 2020 event in Salt Lake City. We see our team’s experience and nimbleness as a strength, and we’re committed to having an active role in the recovery. We are in this for the long-term health of our industry. Our sole focus of supporting gear builders and specialty retailers has not wavered—collectively the engines that power participation and who will be on the front lines of the recovery. Of course, we recognize that for any gathering to take place in late July, there is still much we don’t know, and there will be many new-normals to grapple with.
“We do see reasons to be hopeful. The most recent data indicates we as a nation are starting to flatten the curve. Many bike shops have been deemed essential businesses and are thriving. And a number of local communities have rallied behind local shops with the purchase of gift cards, online sales and curbside pick-ups.
“But most importantly, if history is our guide, close-to-home recreation will be the first to rebound from economic turmoil. After all, people around the globe have discovered (or rediscovered) a renewed joy of stepping outside for a paddle, hike, or ride.
“We know it’s hard to see through the fog ahead. We also know as an industry and as outdoor enthusiasts ourselves how to navigate in difficult terrain and adapt when conditions change. And there might be no better group of businesses to lead the comeback.”
Photo courtesy BGS