Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Cancels Its Fall Connect Show in Kansas City

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance has canceled its fall Connect buying show, which was scheduled for November.

The specialty outdoor retail-focused show was slated to take place from Nov. 9 to Nov. 12 and would have been the first held in its new Kansas City venue. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance said in a statement that it was canceled because of the ongoing coronavirus-related challenges for attending retailers, exhibiting brands and organizing hosts.

“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,” Grassroots Outdoor Alliance president Rich Hill said in a statement. “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. We are incredibly grateful to the teams at the Kansas City Convention Center, Loews and Hotel Phillps for being amazing partners as we push back our plans for a gathering there until November 2021.”

There are two Grassroots Connect shows slated for 2021. The first will take place from June 7 to June 10 in Knoxville, Tenn., and the other will be in Kansas City from Nov. 8 to Nov. 11.

This year’s November show is the second event Grassroots Outdoor Alliance has had to cancel in 2020. The organization’s spring Connect show, which was slated to take place in June in Knoxville was also canceled due to COVID-19. Instead, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance moved forward with a free online resource center, Grassroots ConnectHub.

The organization said it will continue to use and grow ConnectHub to help retailers that are looking to manage their 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,” Hill said in a statement. “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.”

The coronavirus crisis forced trade shows in all markets to cancel in-person events, and the outdoor market was not immune to this. Aside from the shows of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, the Outdoor Retailer announced in April that it was canceling its Summer Market event, which was slated for June.

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