(This story was updated on 4/13/2023.)
Grassroots Connect, the invitation-only buying show for specialty outdoor retailers, will double the size of their Discovery Marketplace to include 70 brands at their upcoming event at the Knoxville Convention Center.
The Discovery Marketplace is a one-day curated brand gathering specifically structured to introduce prospective new vendors to the Grassroots community of member retailers, guest retailers and sales representatives.
The “meet and greet” format includes a simple booth and limited product selection, and is held in the afternoon prior to the start of Grassroots Connect – an event which will gather more than 1,000 attendees including 122 retailers and more than 340 buyers and principals for four days of pre-scheduled appointments.
First held at Grassroots Connect in November 2022, the Discovery Marketplace was widely praised by attending brand representatives, who appreciated the low cost, high value format.
“Being a part of Discovery Marketplace was a real and valuable benefit for us. It was a whole new stage for us to expand our sales channels. For smaller brands like us, we need to be effective with our time and Grassroots stays true to that intent for all of us,” said Jonathan Ballesteros, CEO of Geyser Systems.
“The curation and balance between brands and retailers is part of what makes (the Discovery Marketplace) so special, but it’s also vitally important for industry newness to be on display in some fashion or things become stagnant. Retailers need a chance to see what’s out there, brands need a chance to be discovered, and that’s what the Discovery Marketplace provides,” said Cory Higgins of Jetty.
“The Discovery Marketplace was a tremendous opportunity for new growing brands like us to meet and introduce our product to some of the best outdoor retailers in the country … I only wish we had more time to spend with them!,” said Geoff Pedder of Tread Labs.
Retailers also praised the Discovery Marketplace for the broad variety of new brands, the relaxed “no appointment” format, and the friendly and casual atmosphere. Some reported “placing an order on the spot,” while many others expressed how valuable it was to have other retailers nearby as they explored new opportunities.
“For me, it was incredibly valuable being able to approach brands with other retailers at the same time – to hear a presentation and listen to other retailers feedback at the same time,” said Bobby Johnson of Massey’s Outfitters.
The next Grassroots Connect will be held in Knoxville, Tenn., and will gather the specialty outdoor community in early June for the 21st consecutive year. Brands interested in being considered for the Discovery Marketplace (June 11, 2023) should submit their interest through this Grassroots exhibitor interest form (LINK).
ABOUT GRASSROOTS OUTDOOR ALLIANCE: Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is a retailer-owned active network of 101 independently owned outdoor retailers and 69 vendor partners, 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 is 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 EVENTS:
* Connect by Grassroots is our twice annual legacy show experience that spans 4 days offering an efficient and structured format for retailers to conduct their pre-season line showings and business conversations. Connect appointments are scheduled well in advance of the show which supports brands that already have established business with our retail attendees. Connect is focused and efficient and allows retailers and brands to conduct business together at the right time in the buying cycle, while also incorporating opportunities to celebrate the outdoor industry and retail community. The next Connect will be held June 12-15, 2023 (Knoxville, Tenn.). For more information, please visit https://connect.grassrootsoutdoors.com.
* Discovery Marketplace by Grassroots is our exploration experience aimed at introducing our attending retailers to new, niche, and exciting brands in a 3-hour unstructured open format offered at the beginning of Grassroots. The Discovery Marketplace is about making introductions and building new relationships between retailers and emerging brands. The next Discovery Marketplace will be held June 11, 2023 (Knoxville, Tenn.). For more information, please visit https://connect.grassrootsoutdoors.com/discoverymarketplace.