Grassroots Outdoor Alliance has confirmed fall show dates for its Connect buying show through 2024. Upcoming fall shows for Grassroots Connect will be held in the Kansas City Convention Center with confirmed dates including November 8-11, 2021; November 7-10, 2022; November 6-9, 2023; and November 14-17, 2024.

Spring shows will continue to be held at the Knoxville Tennessee Convention Center. Current confirmed dates for the spring shows include June 7-10, 2021 and June 6-9, 2022.

“Without a doubt, we’re all missing the efficiency, effectiveness, and personal connections created at Connect, and are eager for a season where it is both safe and smart for us to hold another gathering,” said Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance.

Kansas City is a new venue for the Grassroots Connect show, and was first announced in December 2019. The city was chosen for numerous key factors including walkability, ease of location, low cost and a modern urban layout. The event site of the Kansas City Convention Center includes 388,800 square feet of column-free exhibit space, in addition to more than 500,000 square feet of associated facilities. The center is connected to major downtown hotels and underground parking, as well as Barney Allis Plaza.

“At a highly effective show like Connect, a retailer can do more buying in a few days than they can do in several months of squeezing in Zoom calls before they open their shop or after they close for the day. From the retailer perspective, the big benefit of a focused industry gathering like Connect has always been that it gets them away from the day-to-day work at their stores and allows them to fully focus on the year ahead,” added Hill.

In the past six months, due to COVID-related challenges, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance canceled both their spring and fall 2020 Connect buying shows. The group pivoted to support its retailers and vendors with numerous online initiatives and digital tools including ongoing retailer education sessions; the development and release of a free online resource center for buyers and vendors known as the Grassroots ConnectHub; an acceleration of member onboarding to their group-wide Switchback data management tool; and launching a partnership with NuORDER to change-up the retail buying process through a collaborative digital buying platform.

“We’re undeniably fortunate to have some remarkable digital tools on our side during this challenging year,” said Hill. “We’re also eager to resurrect the many benefits of personal interaction that happen during an in-person sales meeting. To a certain extent, our industry is running on the fumes of old relationships, and it’s in all of our best interests to keep engaging and interacting with each other to keep things on track until we can meet face to face again.”

Photo courtesy GOA