Grassroots Outdoor Alliance has canceled its Grassroots Connect show scheduled for June 12-15 in Knoxville, TN due to the coronavirus.

Instead, due to direct impacts from COVID-19, the association will move ahead with a collaborative digital framework to support the spring buying cycle during the month of June. That process is anticipated to include a resource hub with best practices on digital workbooks, video line showings and available services.

“By announcing this change now, our hope is that we will give all of our members and partners as much time as possible to work toward this common goal,” said Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. “We are creating a transparent, easily accessible process that can be shared with all independent specialty retail stores to help everyone get through this challenging season.”

In the past year, both retailers and vendors have taken significant steps toward an increased digital sales process, creating a strong foundation for a remote Connect. Examples of that progress include last year’s concerted effort by Grassroots to shift from the paper sales workbook to all digital tools, as well as significant efforts by several vendor brands to create their own independent digital sales process.

“With a digital Connect, we’re not trying to recreate the wheel. We’re just hoping to assemble a bunch of new wheels so that everybody can keep moving forward,” added Hill.

The digital Connect process is expected to include three phases: an information and material gathering phase, an online meeting phase, and a follow-up phase. For each of these three components, Grassroots anticipates facilitating key meetings, recommending best practices, and providing needed tools. For both retailers and vendors, Grassroots will be creating a ‘road map’ that details key elements needed for a familiar, common structure.

“By making the digital Connect process as consistent as possible for buyers, the focus of the conversation can be on great products and programs,” said Hill.

Photo courtesy GOA