The outdoor trade show waters continue to get murkier, as Emerald Expositions’ decision to change the dates of its Outdoor Retailer Summer and Winter Markets continue to have ripple effects throughout the outdoor retail landscape. According to reports in Canoe & Kayak, outdoor industry veterans Sutton Bacon, chairman of Nantahala Outdoors, and Darren Bush, owner of Rutabaga Paddlesports, announced they will launch a new retail trade show, Paddlesports Retailer, debuting September 12-14, 2017 in Madison, Wis.
When Emerald announced the Summer Market move to June, many expected paddlesports companies to find the dates challenging to their existing business cycles.
“After hearing that OR was moving to June, it became clear this meant the end of paddlesports in Salt Lake City. There’s just no way vendors or retailers can leave their factories and shops in peak season,” Bush told Canoe & Kayak.
That’s largely why Outdoor Retailer also announced it would create a “Paddle Life Expo” show in September, expected to run in conjunction or supplant Emerald’s Surf Expo in order to give paddlesports their “own show.” Apparently, the paddlesports core had other ideas.
The new show, added Bacon, will be “for paddlers, by paddlers,” and will be centrally located in Wisconsin and therefore able to attract buyers from both the eastern and western U.S., less costly for exhibitors, and scheduled around the needs of paddling retailers and manufacturers.
It should be noted, that Bush and his Rutabaga operations annually put on one of the largest consumer paddlesports shows in the country, in Canoecopia, and have been doing so since the mid-1990s. In other words, trade show logistics are very familiar to Rutabaga, and paddlesports companies are familiar with exhibiting at a Rutabaga event.
The new paddle dealer event will be at the The Alliant Energy Center in Madison, which has more than 130,000 square feet of exhibition space. Bush and Bacon reportedly have booked it through 2020.
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