The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance members want to show their gratitude to the towns where they hold their trade shows.
“We really like to do something to benefit the local communities where we’re having the show,” said Hope Buttitta, operations manager at Grassroots Outdoor Alliance.
Last year, the organization donated funds raised from a talk given by Aron Ralston, the adventurer whose story of survival was made into movie, to the Utah Wilderness Alliance.
At this year’s show in Ogden, Utah (June 10-13, 2013), the members will get together to assemble Kent bicycles some exhibitors and attendees have donated to be given to local children through Ogden, Utah’s Boys and Girls Club of Davis/Weber County and Your Community Connection.
“Not only is it supporting the local community but it’s also promoting an active lifestyle for a child,” Buttitta said. “That’s an important goal for most of the vendors and retailers in the outdoor community.”
The group has the goal to donate 40 bicycles (and helmets) to children in the area. Currently, Buttitta said, they’ve secured about 25 bicycles. Anybody who is attending the show and wants to donate a bicycle can round up a team to pay the $100 sponsorship fee, or can simply pay it themselves.
Prior to the show, bike sponsors will be contacted and given the age and gender of the child receiving the bike in case they want to personalize it further with gear (could be branded gear from the company).
During the show, there will be a celebration to put the bicycles together from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., June 11 at the Ogden Amphitheatre.
To sponsor a team, contact Buttitta at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for sponsorships is April 30.
Getting together and sharing ideas, much like what will happen at the bicycle assembly gathering, is one of Buttitta’s favorite aspects of the organization’s trade shows.
This year’s summer show is slightly bigger in terms of attendees than last year’s show, officials said. The members-only organization added four new retailers, all of which have committed to coming. The group now includes 43 independent outdoor retailers with more than 90 specialty stores.The exhibitor list for the show currently stands at 47 exhibitors.
“The sharing of ideas and camaraderie between the attendees who are there,” is her favorite aspect, Buttitta said. “Though they’re there to buy – that’s the primary goal – we eat together, we have happy hours together we do events, like the bike party, there’s a lot of sharing of ideas and networking that happens outside of the booth.”
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is planning its fall show in Knoxville, Tenn., and it Buttitta said they’re figuring out how to give back to that community as well.
“Ogden and Knoxville are both communities that have opened their arms,” Buttitta said. “In addition to bringing our show to the town, we like to give back to their communities. That’s an important piece.”