Grassroots Connect, the four-day national buying show for independent specialty retail, is welcoming five first-time vendor exhibitors to the spring event at the Knoxville Convention Center, June 14-17, 2018.

Hosted by Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, Grassroots Connect is an invitation-only show for independent specialty retailers, vendors, media and other guests from the outdoor industry community. The format of Grassroots Connect is designed specifically to improve buying relationships, results and return on investment.

The upcoming June event is anticipated to attract record attendance with more than 900 attendees, including 121 storefronts and 109 essential outdoor industry exhibitors.

Every retail attendee at Grassroots Connect receives an individual pre-booked appointment calendar on his or her smartphone app.  The calendars are created by show organizers, ensuring a full and efficient schedule of business-driven meetings for the entire week.

“Grassroots Connect was designed from the retailer experience outward to specifically improve buying results. The quality and diversity of exhibitors in all categories is really helping the event grow to become a nationally-recognized incubator and testing ground for the outdoor industry,” said Devaki Murch, Grassroots Connect trade show manager.

New vendors scheduled to attend the next Connect include:

  • Cotopaxi:  Cotopaxi is a social mission-driven company with a design-driven collection of  packs, water bottles, apparel and gear. Raising money and elevating awareness for numerous humanitarian causes, Cotopaxi’s mission (“Do Good”) extends beyond sourcing, production and ethical business practices; it is reflected in all of the things Cotopaxi makes and the way they make them. (
  • Helinox: A global leader in innovative lightweight equipment and furniture, Helinox creates chairs, cots, tables, trekking poles and umbrellas for outdoor adventure and the outdoor lifestyle. Winner of numerous outdoor industry awards for smart design and quality manufacturing, Helinox is committed to strength, lightness and compactibility as well as environmentally friendly production techniques. Beginning in 2018, Helinox is now directly represented in North America. (
  • Meridian Line:  Meridian Line crafts artfully-minded, responsibly-sourced products for dareful humans. Their growing collection includes breathable and stretchy performance denim and a diverse assortment of soulful graphic tees. (
  • Simms Fishing Products:  Established in 1980, Simms is the preeminent manufacturer of waders, outerwear and technical fishing apparel and accessories. The company is committed to fisheries conservation as well as U.S. production and quality at their 80,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Bozeman, Montana, the country’s only manufacturing facility for fishing waders. (
  • tasc Performance: New Orleans-based tasc Performance creates lifestyle apparel through innovative fabrics that deliver extreme comfort, superior softness and perform without the use of chemicals. Tasc Performance apparel is purposeful , versatile and  created with original, sustainable fabrics derived from the highest-quality natural sources including bamboo, merino wool, organic cotton and pima cotton. (