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Outdoor Retailer, Outdoor Industry Association and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Support New Buying and Selling Cycles Resulting in Collaborative Outdoor Retailer Show Date Changes and Co-location

November 9, 2016

Outdoor Retailer, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance are pleased to announce a collaborative new national trade show calendar for the betterment of the industry reflecting the changing needs of the marketplace. Beginning June 2018:

  • Outdoor Retailer Summer Market moves to June 11–14, 2018, and Winter Market moves to November 12–15, 2018.
  • Grassroots Outdoor Alliance’s Connect co-locates with Outdoor Retailer Summer and Winter Markets in Utah, and stages June 6–9, 2018, and November 7–10, 2018.
  • Outdoor Retailer partners with Surf Expo to develop an expo serving market segments and product categories have later-season summer order deadlines.
  • Outdoor Retailer will continue to provide a Winter Expo in January 2019 to serve market segments and product categories that have later-season winter order deadlines.
  • Outdoor Retailer will present further details and strategies regarding future Demo events in the upcoming months.
  • The Intelligence Gathering Process

In addition to the extensive industry wide research Outdoor Retailer conducted this past spring, we invited key specialty retailers, cornerstone brands and segment leaders to participate in newly established advisory panels to discuss show cycles and best practices. The leadership from these discussions shaped the new Outdoor Retailer strategy. In addition, Outdoor Retailer convened a historic gathering of rep event leaders and other industry show representatives to work on a common strategy to serve the industry’s ongoing needs. These advisory panels will continue to provide guidance in the future.

“Outdoor Retailer is a respected home for the outdoor industry,” said Marisa Nicholson, VP and Outdoor Retailer show director. “Thirty-five years ago, a small group of brands and retailers not only created an industry, but also, an economic powerhouse. We are proud of Outdoor Retailer’s role in that growth – as the place where the industry gathers. Now, as before, it’s our responsibility to produce a platform giving specialty retailers and exhibitors the best opportunity to achieve their business objectives. This agreement gives credence to that goal and showcases that we are all in this together.”

“It is a great time for the industry, as we strengthen our tri-parte relationships and embark on this effort to grow the vitality of the outdoor industry,” said Rich Hill, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance president. “Retailers, brands and reps will attend Grassroots Connect to review new lines fully and discuss orders, while Outdoor Retailer serves as the pre-eminent venue where the entire industry kicks off the industry’s manufacturing and order cycle.”

“Understanding the needs of the industry was paramount in our collaborative work with both Outdoor Retailer and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance to provide a valuable and productive opportunity to preview product, launch the buying process and conduct important marketing and media discussions,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of OIA. “As the industry’s trade association, we take great pride in uniting the industry and leading trade and outdoor recreation policy, sustainability best practices, youth engagement outreach and market and consumer research.”

Embracing Change to Support Changing Industry Needs

Moving Outdoor Retailer’s shows to early dates enables it to serve as the industry’s launch event – introducing the full breadth of product offerings, marketing initiatives and educational offerings at the top of the buying season. The co-located Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Connect focuses on integration between a curated selection of key outdoor brands and sales representatives.

The combined format featuring the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance and Outdoor Retailer shows back-to-back with no overlapping dates and built-in time for a full day of specialty retailer education, is set for June 10, 2018, and November 11, 2018, between the two shows. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance leads in the production of specialty retailer education, with operational and financial support from OIA and Outdoor Retailer. The venue for the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Connect show, an invite only event, will be at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah, with Outdoor Retailer remaining at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance and Outdoor Retailer are cooperating to ensure ease of housing and transportation.

“With the evolution of the order/buy cycles, research findings and feedback, we verified there are varying needs for exhibitors, retailers and reps,” continued Nicholson. “By moving to June and November and providing additional events, Outdoor Retailer provides options that best cater to their business goals. Outdoor Retailer is looking forward to presenting full strategies and operational details associated with these events in the coming months.”

Outdoor Retailer, OIA and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance will continue to partner to grow the outdoor industry while being sensitive to the movements of the marketplace. Outdoor Retailer and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance will maintain autonomy to produce their own events, but will cooperate ensuring that exhibitors and specialty retailers enjoy maximum benefit from all the industry has to offer in a cost-effective manner.

Community Support and Feedback Will Continue to Shape the Future

“Even with this important agreement in place, it’s imperative to continue to listen and innovate to safeguard the strength and future of the show,” noted Nicholson. “We will continue to engage in conversations with industry thought leaders that will help to shape the Outdoor Retailer future. These thought leaders played an important role in this collaborative process and will continue to serve this vibrant community.”

Future Dates:


Outdoor Retailer Winter Market: January 10-12 

All Mountain Demo: January 9 

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market: July 26-29 

Open Air Demo: July 25


Outdoor Retailer Winter Market: January 9-11 

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Connect: June 6-9 

Specialty Retailer Education Day: June 10 

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market: June 11-14 

Outdoor Retailer Expo @ Surf Expo: September 6-8 

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Connect: November 7-10 

Specialty Retailer Education Day: November 11 

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market: November 12-15


Outdoor Retailer Winter Expo: January

To assist show exhibitors with any issues or needs, the Outdoor Retailer sales team will be available to provide support. Exhibitors can contact their account executives directly. Additionally, a staff of retailer relations representatives is in place to support specialty retailers. Larry Harrison, Joe Bustos and Kimberly Aguilar can be reached directly or by email at, or visit the Retailer Lounge, MR254, during Winter Market 2017.

About Outdoor Industry Association 

Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA unites and serves over 1,200 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation. For more information, visit or call 303.444.3353.

About Grassroots Outdoor Alliance 

Now in its twentieth-first year, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance unites 62 independent specialty outdoor retailers with over 130 doors in 30 states with more than 70 specialty-focused brands. Grassroots acts as an advocate for these businesses and as a strong voice to protect and promote the experience of outdoor enthusiasts across the United States. To learn more about Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, visit

About Outdoor Retailer 

Outdoor Retailer brings together retailers, manufacturers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of outdoor recreation through tradeshows, the Outdoor Retailer Magazine, product demo events, media events and web-based business solutions. Outdoor Retailer is the national outdoor industry tradeshow, providing a platform for critical face-to-face business initiatives, line preview, launch of new innovation, networking and retailer education. Visit for more information.

Outdoor Retailer is owned and operated by Emerald Expositions, a leading operator of large business-to-business tradeshows in the United States, producing more than 50 tradeshows and over 100 face-to-face events in total, including conferences, summits and other events. Emerald Expositions connects more than 335,000 sellers and buyers each year and operates within the U.S. in 10 end markets (Gift, Home, General Merchandise and Manufacturing; Sports & Apparel; Design; Jewelry, Luxury & Antiques; E-Commerce; Creative Services; Licensing; Healthcare; Military; and Food).