The buying show where extraordinary people, products, and ideas come together.



The buying show where extraordinary people, products, and ideas come together.

What is Connect?

Simple and streamlined, Connect is a fresh approach to a typical tradeshow. Created for the specialty outdoor industry, the invitation-only Connect provides a highly-efficient opportunity for Grassroots Outdoor Alliance retailers, vendor partners, and sales reps to present, discuss, plan, and collect pre-season orders.

Scheduled as early as possible in the buying cycle, Connect is cost-effective and collaborative, offering focus, productivity, and a community vibe for doing business and building relationships. It’s an incubator and testing ground for ideas and product innovations, and a place where industry influencers come together to set the trends for the season ahead.


To create a simple, efficient buying show for the outdoor industry that builds relationships and helps specialty retailers and vendors succeed.

Future Dates

Fall 2019 - Denver, CO- November 2-5, 2019

Spring 2020 - Knoxville, TN- June 12-15, 2020



Creating an ultra-efficient, streamlined tradeshow, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance schedules appointments for all Connect attendees. This approach ensures that retailers, exhibitors, and sales reps are able to maximize their time with a full agenda focused on getting business done, AND enables them to get back to what they do best- servicing customers and developing innovative products.


The gathering of minds at Connect provides an incredible opportunity to informally exchange ideas  and information with others from all facets of the specialty outdoor industry. The show also provides a selection of seminars and panels for all attendees, aimed at rounding out skillsets and providing guidance navigating the waters of the ever-evolving retail marketplace.

Booth Format

Putting the focus on productivity, the Connect Show maintains strict booth guidelines that optimize line showings and business meetings, while minimizing distractions, wasted time, and the exorbitant cost of fancy layouts and features. With efficiency and financial responsibility at the forefront, Connect is about making it easier for all specialty retailers and brands to succeed.

Here’s Why You Should Attend Connect


"It is the intangibles that matter most; the trust, camaraderie, and shared experience that helps me be a better retailer. The Grassroots Connect show is also built around my needs and that just feels great"


"Having access to the collective intelligence of hundreds of like minded specialty buyers makes me not only better at my job, it also makes it a lot more fun. The opportunities for education at the Connect shows also gives me the tools I need to constantly do better at my job. Did I say that Grassroots manages my appointment scheduling for me? That is amazing."


"Connect is the most crazy productive trade event I attend all year. It is a dawn to dusk  grind of an event that allows me the opportunity to get in front of 100+ core group of retailers, not only to show the line, but to have the opportunity to really plan our business in a quiet, focused environment.  It’s also easy on the budget."


"Connect is a hyper-focused event on order writing. I only have 9 accounts that are attending this show, but the work I get done, plus the quality time I am spending with my brands and other industry leaders make this an important event for me. I also like the fact that Grassroots is now updating me directly on the what brands and accounts are participating."


"Black drape? Nothing over 8 feet tall? No music? No booze? No fancy booths? What am I supposed to do? I have to admit it’s nice to take a step back from the marketing arms race.  I also understand that Connect is an event focused on writing orders and Outdoor Retailer is my place to shine."


"I grew up in specialty outdoor, and don’t have the opportunity to stay in touch to my people like I used to. Connect allows me the ability to take a deep dive into Specialty Outdoor, view a few line showings, attend the group meals, participate in business meetings, and efficiently “connect” with the retailers that matter most to me and my brand."


Grassroots outdoor alliance

Grassroots outdoor alliance

About Grassroots Outdoor Alliance?

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is an active, independent network of independent retailers working together for the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail. Through data collection and analysis, direct member support, specialty events and deep vendor partnerships, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is creating both a vision and roadmap for the long-term success of independent specialty retail. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance member services include collectively negotiated programming, special marketing collaborations, exclusive product introductions, and early access to closeout opportunities. 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.