Grassroots Connect exceeds pre-pandemic attendance levels for upcoming event

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, the national organization dedicated to the health and growth of outdoor specialty retail, announced this week that retailer and supplier engagements have reached and surpassed the pre-pandemic footfall peak for their Spring 2022 event (June 6-9, 2022).

Back in Knoxville, TN this spring, Grassroots Connect retailer engagements are 10% higher than 2019 numbers, and vendor booths are at capacity for the Knoxville Convention Center. With a full list of retailers and suppliers, Grassroots Connect organizers will begin their personalized planning process for the June show starting this week.

“This is a significant milestone for an outdoor industry trade show returning to 100% attendance. This is a big win for Grassroots Connect as well as the independent specialty retailer community, and something we will be celebrating in Knoxville,” said Dana Howe, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Membership and Education Director.

The increase in participant engagements for Grassroots Connect reflects the enthusiasm of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance member retail stores, which remains strong despite challenging broader market conditions. After closing 2021 with 29% growth over 2020, core retailers saw a 13.2% increase in sales growth along with a 2.2 point margin increase over the two first months of 2022.

The Spring 2022 Grassroots Connect program will begin with a day of Grassroots member education and exhibitor setup (June 5), followed by four days of pre-scheduled meetings with retailers and suppliers (June 6-9) .

Grassroots Connect is expected to maintain its vaccine requirements along with other health considerations that were instituted in 2021. Any updates to Grassroots Connect’s health and safety protocols will be posted on

ABOUT GRASSROOTS OUTDOOR ALLIANCE: Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is an active, independent network of 102 independent retailers, with 206 outlets, working together for the health and growth of outdoor specialty retail. Through data collection and analysis, direct member support, specialist events and in-depth supplier partnerships, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance creates both a vision and a roadmap for the long-term success of the independent specialist retailer. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is also recognized as a catalyst for the success of its retailer and supplier partners; a specialist independent retail advocate; an education and community promoter within the specialty channel; and a key influencer in the national outdoor industry. For more information on the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, visit

ABOUT GRASSROOTS CONNECT: Grassroots Connect is a conveniently timed, invitation-only buyer’s show for the outdoor specialty industry hosted by the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Scheduled as early in the buying cycle as possible, Connect provides a highly effective opportunity for retailers, reps and salespeople to present, discuss, plan and collect pre-season orders. Cost effective and simple, Connect is both an incubator and testing ground for the wider outdoor industry. Invited retailers receive a reimbursement per attendee to offset their travel expenses. Grassroots Connect will continue its vaccine requirements as well as other health considerations that were instituted in 2021. Any updates to the Grassroots Connect health and safety protocols will be posted on Upcoming Grassroots Connect gatherings include June 6-9, 2022 (Knoxville, Tennessee) and November 7-10, 2022 (Kansas City, Missouri).

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