The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, a U.S. organization dedicated to the health and growth of the outdoor retail industry, will not meet for its spring Connect trade show, originally planned June 12-15, due to the direct impact of Covid-19. Instead, Grassroots will introduce a collaborative digital framework to support the spring buying cycle in June. This process is expected to include a resource hub with best practices for digital workbooks, video product presentations and other services.

Over the past year, both retailers and vendors have already taken significant steps toward an enhanced digital sales process, creating a strong foundation for a long-distance connection. “With a digital Connect, we are not trying to re-create the wheel. We’re just hoping to put together a few new wheels so that everyone can move forward,” said Rich Hill, president of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance.

The digital Connect process will probably have three phases: an information and material gathering phase, an online meeting phase and a follow-up phase. For each of these three components, Grassroots expects to facilitate key meetings, recommend best practices and provide the tools needed. For both retailers and vendors, Grassroots will create a “roadmap” that contains the key elements for a common structure.