News / Analysis

The Buzz: Trade Show News


360 AC Rep Shows for August Still on Schedule

Three regional sales rep shows scheduled to be held this summer by 360 Adventure Collective (formerly EORA / NESR) have been canceled, but three other 360 AC Shows  are still slated to take place.

The 2020 New England and Mid-Atlantic regional trade shows were canceled due to safety concerns related to coronavirus. The three cancelled regional trade shows are: the Mid-Atlantic Summer Expo (June 9-11 in Edison, NJ), the New England Summer Expo (June 16-19 in Manchester, NH) and the Mid-Atlantic Summer Market (July 8-9 in Ellicott, MD).

Three other 360 AC summer trade shows are still set to take place in August: The Southeast Summer Expo in Greenville, SC (moved from June to new dates on August 4-7); the Alabama Summer Expo in Birmingham, AL (moved from July to August 12-13); and the New England/Mid-Atlantic Paddle Sport show in Sturbridge, MA, scheduled for August 11-12.

The organization says it is continuously monitoring COVID-19 progression and will follow all recommended guidelines in place at the time of these shows by the CDC and state and local Health Departments.

Organizers of The Big Gear Show Focus on 2021

In the wake of canceling its inaugural event due to the coronavirus, The Big Gear Show (BGS) is focusing on a 2021 launch instead.

BGS, a new outdoor industry trade show focused on hardgoods, with an emphasis on paddling, cycling, climbing, and camping gear, was set to take place July 22-25 in Salt Lake City, the former home of Outdoor Retailer. The Big Gear Show is now set to debut August 3-5, 2021 in Salt Lake City.

The show team says it believes its model, which offers a hardgoods-focused, low cost, retailer-centric show with a demo opportunity, will be even more necessary in 2021, as brands and manufacturers take a hard look at their marketing budgets and finances. “Now’s definitely the time to reconsider ‘business as usual.’ We hope that brands will continue welcoming an alternative show like ours that allows them to meet with their specialty customers and effectively demo and launch new products for a fraction of the cost of traditional shows,” said show founder Sutton Bacon.

BGS Bike Show Director Lance Camisasca added, “The extra time gives us an opportunity to tailor the first-year event to our exhibitors’ new realities. We had already decided to establish dynamic, cutting-edge features for the inaugural event, but now we’ll be able to push that even farther and rethink every element of our show and optimize it for 2021’s new landscape.”

Registration for the 2021 event is expected to open by mid-summer.

Grassroots Offers Online Hub in Place of Connect

In place of this summer’s Grassroots Connect Show, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance (GOA) has launched a free online platform — the Connect Hub — to bring together vendor brands and specialty retailers for the spring 2021 buying process. GOA will be welcoming approved retailers and qualified brands from outside their traditional membership to access the hub. Find more information online at

Click here to read our interview with Grassroots Outdoor Association president Rich Hill.

Industry Encourages Public to #RecreateResponsibly

A broad coalition of nonprofits, outdoor businesses and land managers have joined forces to form The Recreate Responsibly Coalition. Just prior to Memorial Day, the group launched the #RecreateResponsibly movement, just as public lands began to reopen and Americans slowly began venturing back to trails, beaches, and parks. The group’s guidelines provide a framework for how the public can start to get outside safely this summer. Tips include:

Know Before You Go: Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don’t go. If it’s crowded, have a plan B.

Plan Ahead: Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch and bring essentials like hand sanitizer and a face covering.

Stay Close to Home: This is not the time to travel long distances to recreate. Most places are only open for day use.

Practice Physical Distancing: Adventure only with your immediate household. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth and give others space. If you are sick, stay home.

Play It Safe: Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. Search and rescue operations and health care resources are both strained.

Leave No Trace: Respect public lands and communities and take all your garbage with you.

Masked Up

As the summer unfolds, masks are going to play a big role, and BOCO Gear is ready. Known for its endurance gear such as hats and accessories, BOCO Gear’s offerings now includes masks, including custom, sublimated consumer masks for current retail customers and new businesses. Retailers interested should visit or email

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