Grassroots Connect rolls into sold out June show with robust brand attendance, vibrant paddle zone, and more than 9300 pre-scheduled appointments

May 2, 2022

Scheduled for June 6-9, 2022, Grassroots Connect will draw retailers from throughout Grassroots Outdoor Alliance’s network of 206 doors nationwide to meet, engage and plan the coming sales season with their top brands

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE (May 2, 2022) /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – Grassroots Connect, the twice-annual buying show of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, returns to Knoxville next month with a sold out roster of exhibitors, a full slate of education sessions, and more than 9,300 pre-scheduled appointments.

Scheduled for June 6-9, 2022, Grassroots Connect will draw retailers from throughout Grassroots Outdoor Alliance’s network of 206 doors nationwide to meet, engage and plan the coming sales season with their top brands by sales volume, top brands by growth, and other preferred vendors and vendor partners.

“The energy and enthusiasm has been building around Grassroots Connect since our fall show. Retailers are excited about the brands coming, brands are clearly pleased about the retailers in attendance, and the result is pre-pandemic level attendance figures,” said Dana Howe, Grassroots director of membership and education.

New member retailers at Grassroots Connect will include Active Endeavors (Des Moines, Iowa); Bighorn Outdoor Specialists (Great Falls, Mont.); Neptune Mountaineering (Boulder, Colo.); Great Outdoor Shop (Pinedale, Wyo.); 3 Rivers Outdoor Co. (Pittsburgh, Pa.); and Little River Trading Co. (Maryville, Tenn.).

On the show floor, the 122 exhibitors will include cornerstone apparel brands such as Patagonia, The North Face, Vuori, Smartwool and Toad&Co; leading footwear brands including On, Keen, Hoka, Oboz, Lowa and Altra; and leading outdoor equipment makers such as Nemo, Big Agnes, and Petzl. An enhanced paddlesports focus will include brands on the main floor such as NRS and Astral, as well as a new boat area on the registration level including Jackson Kayaks, Hobie and Pyranha.

New Grassroots vendor partners at the show will include C.A.M.P. (, Purnell (, and Rumpl (

On “day zero” (June 5), Grassroots Outdoor Alliance will host their traditional education day for Grassroots member retailers. The education lineup is scheduled to include a keynote by Earl B. Hunter Jr., founder of Black Folks Camp, Too; a retailer-specific session on attracting and retaining workers, led by Jenna Celmer and Ali Carr of Basecamp Outdoor; a panel discussion on the impacts of national chains moving into the markets of independent specialty retailers; and additional learning sessions on buying tactics and tools, pandemic shopping trends, modern retail solutions, and Grassroots member benefits and resources.

Additional “lunch and learn” sessions – open to all attendees – will be offered throughout the week (June 6-9), and are slated to include the annual women’s luncheon, a paddlesports industry roundtable, buyer’s meeting follow ups, a NuORDER session on updates and feedback, and a Grassroots vendor partner meeting.

Evening social events will include the night one Super Happy Hour (June 6; 6-8 pm) and the night two NuORDER Happy Hour (June 7; 6-7 pm) –  both on the Park Terrace at the Knoxville Convention Center. Night three will feature a local service project (June 8, 6pm) sponsored by Catalyst Sports, Keen and Rivers Sports Outfitters.

For the latest Grassroots Connect details for exhibitors or retailers, please visit

For a summary podcast interview on the major events and key details of Grassroots Connect, please visit


ABOUT GRASSROOTS OUTDOOR ALLIANCE: Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is an active, independent network of 102 independent retailers, with 206 retail locations, working together for the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail. Through data collection and analysis, direct member support, specialty events and deep vendor partnerships, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is creating both a vision and roadmap for the long-term success of independent specialty retail. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is also recognized as a catalyst for the success of its retailers and vendor partners; an advocate for specialty independent retail; a promoter of education and community within the specialty channel; and a key influencer of the national outdoor industry. For more information on Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, please go to

ABOUT GRASSROOTS CONNECT: Grassroots Connect is an ideally timed, invitation-only buying show for the specialty outdoor industry hosted by Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Scheduled as early as possible in the buying cycle, Connect provides a highly efficient opportunity for retailers, reps and vendors to present, discuss, plan and collect pre-season orders. Cost-effective and simple, Connect is both an incubator and testing ground for the greater outdoor industry. Invited retailers receive a per attendee reimbursement to offset their travel costs. Upcoming Grassroots Connect gatherings include June 6-9, 2022 (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Nov. 7-10, 2022 (Kansas City, Mo.).

ABOUT GRASSROOTS CONNECT HEALTH & SAFETY POLICIES: For 2022, Grassroots Connect will continue its vaccine requirement as well as other health considerations which were instituted in the fall of 2021. The most current summary of health and safety protocols for Grassroots Connect is available at