Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Press Releases

Grassroots cancels June Connect, replacing trade show with collaborative digital sell-in process for spring 2021

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.


KNOXVILLE, TENN (MONDAY, MARCH 30, 2020) – Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, the national organization dedicated to the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail, will not gather for their spring Connect show as previously scheduled on June 12-15, 2020.

Instead, due to direct impacts from COVID-19, the association will move ahead with a collaborative digital framework to support the spring buying cycle during the month of June. That process is anticipated to include a resource hub with best practices on digital workbooks, video line showings and available services.

“By announcing this change now, our hope is that we will give all of our members and partners as much time as possible to work toward this common goal,” said Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. “We are creating a transparent, easily accessible process that can be shared with all independent specialty retail stores to help everyone get through this challenging season.”

In the past year, both retailers and vendors have taken significant steps toward an increased digital sales process, creating a strong foundation for a remote Connect. Examples of that progress include last year’s concerted effort by Grassroots to shift from the paper sales workbook to all digital tools LINK, as well as significant efforts by several vendor brands to create their own independent digital sales process.

“With a digital Connect, we’re not trying to recreate the wheel. We’re just hoping to assemble a bunch of new wheels so that everybody can keep moving forward,” added Hill.

The digital Connect process is expected to include three phases: an information and material gathering phase, an online meeting phase, and a follow up phase. For each of these three components, Grassroots anticipates facilitating key meetings, recommending best practices, and providing needed tools. For both retailers and vendors, Grassroots will be creating a ‘road map’ that details key elements needed for a familiar, common structure.

“By making the digital Connect process as consistent as possible for buyers, the focus of the conversation can be on great products and programs,” said Hill.

ABOUT GRASSROOTS OUTDOOR ALLIANCE: Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is a national association working together for the health and growth of independent specialty outdoor retail. With 75 members and 170 storefronts nationwide, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is creating both a vision and roadmap for the long-term success of independent specialty retailers, through data collection and analysis, direct member support, specialty events, and deep vendor partnerships. 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

Drew Simmons

Founder/President • o 802.583.6069
Pale Morning Media • Public relations for the outdoor world
4403 Main Street, Suite 306 • Box 1834 * Waitsfield, VT 05673