Grassroots Outdoor Alliance brings together 200 brands and retailers for ‘ultra-efficient’ Connect show at key outdoor industry moment

May 16, 2017

Spring Summit and Connect trade show to feature 5 days of learning, 5 days of business, and one big conversation about the growth and health of the outdoor industry

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (May 16, 2017) — Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, the national organization of independent specialty retailers, will bring more than 200 businesses to Albuquerque next month for their spring Summit and Connect trade show — an event featuring five days of learning, five days of business, and one big conversation about the growth and health of the outdoor industry.

Open to Grassroots Outdoor Alliance members and select invited guests, the week-long gathering includes an Education day (June 11, 2017), a membership Summit (June 12-13, 2017), and the ultra-efficient and streamlined Connect buying show (June 14-16, 2017).

“Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is completely focused on making sure that everybody — retailers, exhibiting brands, and sales reps — gets the maximum benefit from their time here,” said Rich Hill, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance president. “And as the first major gathering of the industry in a time of significant change, we also have an incredible opportunity to move the conversation forward about what a healthy outdoor industry looks like, and how we all fit into that picture.”

As early as possible in the buying cycle, and as simple as possible in layout and design, Connect

will be attended by 105 independent specialty retailers and 102 vendor brands. Appointments for attendees are scheduled in advance by Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, with more than 7,000 meetings confirmed to date. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance also reimburses member retailers for travel expenses to the show.

“Connect is the most crazy productive trade event I attend all year. It is a dawn-to-dusk grind of an event that allows me the opportunity to get in front of more than 100 core retailers, not only to show the line, but to have the opportunity to really plan our business in a quiet, focused environment.  It’s also easy on the budget,” said Todd Givnish, Smartwool Sales Manager.

“Connect has been been fantastic. It’s just so much more focused. It’s easier to concentrate on buying here, where there aren’t all the bells and whistles. Everyone has the same booth. It’s distilled down to the product and not any of the smoke and mirrors,” said Karla Hughes, Principal at Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop.

As focused as the three-day Connect buying show is on sales, the preceding Education and Summit days are equally dedicated to information, education and conversation.

The learning sessions which start the week are slated to include leading edge presentations on major sales trends, best practices and competitive challenges — as well as a review of key learnings from a new data tool to be launched by Grassroots Outdoor Alliance at the beginning of June, 2017.

Provided to both retailers and vendor partners, the new Grassroots data tool meshes daily national sales data, customized research and exclusive reports from the entire Grassroots retail network, providing a crisp picture of top performing brands, trending styles, and comparative vendor insights. 

“By delivering the same data to both sides of the sales table, our goal is simply to make it easier for retailers and vendors to find common ground,” says Grassroots Business Analyst Gabe Maier. “By connecting all the dots of what people are seeing and selling, we’re helping the industry stay focused on what we all do best — building great outdoor brands.”


Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is an active, independent network of 64 independent retailers 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 www.grassrootsoutdoors.com.


Grassroots Connect is an ideally timed, invitation-only buying show for the specialty outdoor industry. 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. Future confirmed dates include Albuquerque, New Mexico (June 12-16, 2017) and Knoxville, Tennessee (Nov. 7-10, 2017). To request a retailer or vendor invitation, please go to http://www.grassrootsconnect.net/request-invitation.

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