Reno, Nevada (February 22, 2024) – When Grassroots Outdoor Alliance held their first gathering in 1998 in Lake Tahoe, Calif., the fledgling organization drew a modest tally of retailers and a handful of brands to a single ballroom of a local hotel.

My, how times have changed.

Returning to the Sierras for the first time in 26 years, Grassroots Connect will look vastly different as it attracts 143 retailers (Link) with broad geographic representation – from the south (24%), central (24%), northeast (16%), rockies (16%), west (12%) and midwest (8%).

Featured vendors on the main floor of the show will include 144 of the outdoor sector’s best known and best loved brands (Link) which will meet with retailers over four days for an anticipated tally of more than 10,000 pre-scheduled meetings.

In addition, Grassroots Connect will see several new features including a budding partnership with the Paddlesports Trade Coalition (PTC), an expanded footprint for the popular Discovery Marketplace, the return of Grassroots awards, and a special series of educational field trips visiting nearby brands.

“The growth of Grassroots Connect is a credit to the solid support that every retailer and brand in our community has provided over the years,” said Gabe Maier, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. “Heading into Reno, there are a lot of new twists to this year’s gathering, but the core of the show remains the same – great retailers connecting with great brands.”

New show features at Grassroots Connect begin with the notable paddlesports presence, as the show will welcome member retailers and vendors of the PTC, providing them a dedicated section of the show floor and welcoming their membership to all open social and networking events. Additional new elements include:

  • Field Trips: Ahead of the show, during the Education Day (otherwise known as “Day Zero”) retailers will have the option to join a selection of guided tours of prominent vendors in the area, including a manufacturing tour of the nearby Cascade Designs facility.
  • Growth of Discovery: Also on “Day Zero,” the Grassroots Discovery Marketplace will be hosted in an area more than 30% larger than previous events which had been capped at 85 vendors. Designed to quickly connect retailers with brands aspiring to be a part of the Grassroots community, the Discovery Marketplace is open to brand applicants through the end of March. Interested brands should submit their interest through the Grassroots exhibitor interest form (LINK).
  • Specialty Awards: On Day One of the show, Grassroots will announce the winners of the 2024 Specialty Awards during that day’s attendee lunch. The nominees will be announced in March, based on the results of the annual Grassroots membership study, and winners will be voted on by a selection panel made up of retailer, sales reps, and vendor brands.

“As the community around Grassroots Connect continues to grow and evolve, we’re always listening and making adjustments. Some of the additions for Reno are about strengthening our commitment to efficiency and effectiveness at the show, but some are just about taking the time to appreciate all the great people in our sector,” said Dana Howe, Vice President of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance.For more information on the upcoming Grassroots Connect, please visit