Surprising pretty much no one, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, the national organization dedicated to the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail, has canceled its fall Connect buying show, originally scheduled for Nov. 9-12, 2020. The planned November event would have marked the first Connect show to be held in its new venue of Kansas City, but was called off due to ongoing COVID-related challenges. Plans are to push back the event until November 2021 at the Kansas City Convention Center.
Upcoming Grassroots Connect dates include June 7-10, 2021 (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Nov. 8-11, 2021 (Kansas City, Mo.).
“In the same way that it takes months for a full team to plan an event like Connect, it also takes a coordinated group effort to unravel one,” said Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. “Kansas City has been an exceptional partner throughout this unusual season and continues to validate our excitement about them as a new home for future fall Connect shows.”
Previously, Grassroots also canceled its spring Connect show (June 12-15, 2020; Knoxville, Tenn.) replacing it with a free online resource center known as the Grassroots ConnectHub. As daily usage of ConnectHub by vendors and retailers has remained strong throughout the summer, and as other trade events continue to be cancelled in fall 2020 and beyond, Grassroots will continue growing ConnectHub as a resource for shops looking to manage a remote buying process.
“As the needs of retailers and vendors for a collaborative digital buying process continue to grow, we are navigating this current remote buying season to the best of our abilities, and have made significant progress in ConnectHub and other digital tools,” said Hill. “That said, our individual members and our collective whole misses the efficiency, effectiveness, and personal connections created at Connect, and are eager for a season where it is both safe and smart for us to hold another gathering.”