Following trade-show operator Emerald Expositions announcement to move its Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show to June, a group of paddlesports retailers revealed plans this week to establish their own trade show focused on the category.
Darren Bush, owner of Wisconsin-based Rutabaga Paddlesports, and Sutton Bacon, chairman of North Carolina-based Nantahala Outdoor Center told Canoe and Kayak Magazine the new Paddlesports Retailer show, scheduled for September 12-14, 2017 in Madison, WI, will be a show “for paddlers, by paddlers” at “half the cost of Outdoor Retailer.” Bush at Rutabaga has proven success in growing the consumer paddlesports show Canoecopia, which takes place in March, to one of the nation’s largest, while Nantahala Outdoor Center is one of the nation’s premier paddlesports outfitters.
Emerald’s decision to move Outdoor Retailer to June disenfranchised many paddlesports retailers and brands, which either wouldn’t be ready exhibit new product in June, or have the free resources to attend the trade show during the most busy time of year for the sport. Emerald is attempting to soften the blow by establishing an outdoor and paddlesports focused area at its Surf Expo show in Orlando, starting with the September 6-8, 2018 show.
This wouldn’t be the first time the industry has attempted to split on trade shows. In 2010, Canoe and Kayak Magazine unsuccessfully tried to establish a new paddlesports trade show in Minneapolis, MN.