Grassroots Outdoor Alliance relocates fall retail buying show to Kansas City

The Grassroots Connect selection process included more than 20 cities, and expressed a variety of priorities including overall cost, attendee experience, venue location, flight availability, walkability, and exhibitor logistics.
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KANSAS CITY, MO. (December 4, 2019 ) – Grassroots Connect, the twice-annual retail buying show of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, is moving its fall event to the Kansas City Convention Center beginning in November, 2020.

The upcoming calendar for Grassroots Connect now includes Knoxville, Tenn. (June 12-15, 2020); Kansas City, Mo. (Nov. 9-12, 2020); Knoxville, Tenn. (June 7-10, 2021); and Kansas City, Mo. (Nov. 8-11, 2021).

“We knew Kansas City was going to deliver a combination of walkability, ease of location, and low cost. But what surprised us was how modern, cool and engaging it was. Kansas City is a fantastic venue for Grassroots Connect as it truly mirrors the qualities of our most successful events,” said Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. “Kansas City also has tons of awesome restaurants, plenty of great hotels and the ability to scale for future growth.”

The Grassroots Connect announcement follows an expedited site selection process which began earlier this fall, immediately following Outdoor Retailer’s unexpected cancellation of its November show in Denver. That departure also cancelled future Grassroots Connect contracts in Denver, as the buying show was operating as a “co-locating” sub-tenant of the larger national event.

The Grassroots Connect selection process included more than 20 cities, and expressed a variety of priorities including overall cost, attendee experience, venue location, flight availability, walkability, and exhibitor logistics.

“It was a bit of a scramble, but it was also a huge opportunity. Our strategy was to hone in on exactly what we wanted, and to blanket the world with requests for proposals. We were incredibly fortunate and thankful to have the quality of response that we did,” said Hill, adding that other finalists in the top three included Denver as well as Reno, Nev.

An additional key consideration was the potential for growth at Grassroots Connect, as interest from specialty retailers and vendors continues to rise. The show’s unique format includes a robust commitment of support for attending retailers -- a dedicated 35% of total show revenues covering travel costs of attending retailers including airfare, hotel and meals.

“Grassroots Connect delivers a remarkable value to retailers,” said Hill. “And we want to be able to offer that opportunity to more retailers in the future.”

The Kansas City Convention Center includes 388,800 square feet of column-free exhibit space, in addition to more than 500,000 square feet of associated facilities. The center is connected to major downtown hotels and underground parking, as well as Barney Allis Plaza.

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 www.grassrootsoutdoors.com.

ABOUT GRASSROOTS CONNECT

Grassroots Connect is the twice annual buying show of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Efficient, affordable and effective for every attendee, Grassroots Connect is the only national show designed specifically to improve retail buying results. Scheduled as early as possible in the buying cycle, the growing Grassroots Connect show attracts more than 1,000 independent specialty retailers, vendor brands, media, and members of the outdoor industry community to each show. Connect provides a highly efficient opportunity for retailers, reps and vendors to present, discuss, plan and collect pre-season orders. Cost-effective and simple, Connect is both an incubator and testing ground for the greater outdoor industry. Invited retailers receive a per attendee reimbursement to offset their travel costs. Upcoming Grassroots Connect dates include Knoxville, Tenn. (June 12-15, 2020); Kansas City, Mo. (Nov. 9-12, 2020); Knoxville, Tenn. (June 7-10, 2021); and Kansas City, Mo. (Nov. 8-11, 2021). For more information, please go to https://connect.grassrootsoutdoors.com

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