Outdoor Retailer show

Image Credit: Joel Vandekrol

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Outdoor Retailer Introduces New Format for 2024 with Expanded Buyer Focus


Outdoor Retailer will introduce a fresh format beginning in 2024. The updates were developed through industry feedback and based on evolving business needs and timelines, and include:

  • Launching a large-scale Hosted Buyer program designed to build direct relationships between brands and buyers at onsite events;
  • Reimagining and expanding the sourcing area into a new co-located Outdoor Design + Innovation show to provide more opportunities for source and supply exhibitors to connect with product developers and designers;
  • Introducing a simplified booth space plan and new pricing structure to support exhibitors.

All new features will roll out with Outdoor Retailer Summer 2024, taking place June 17-19, 2024, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The upcoming Outdoor Retailer winter show, taking place Nov. 14-16, 2023, will be held in its existing format at the Salt Palace.

“The changes to Outdoor Retailer stem from ongoing, industry-wide discussions, and reflect our commitment to foster the right connections in the timeframes that best support product cycles and ultimately enhance business opportunities,” said Sean Smith, Outdoor Retailer acting show director. “As brands have told us, they’re thinking differently about how to bring goods to market in this changing global economy, so it’s imperative we offer options to meet current market conditions. It also creates more opportunities for emerging brands and startups.”

Buyer Programs

Through the Hosted Buyer program, qualified retail buyers will be provided with supported pathways to attend Outdoor Retailer. Buyers can apply for an opportunity to access available funds to offset costs of attending. Buyers interested in learning more can submit information here.

Starting next year, Outdoor Retailer is also introducing dedicated hours for both buyers and exhibitors. The first two days of each show will open with specific morning hours for buyers and exhibiting brands. After buyer hours the first two mornings, and for the full third day, the show floor opens to all attendees. Outdoor Retailer’s community traditions will continue with opportunities for media engagement, to learn at expert-led education sessions, to attend networking events, and support advocacy efforts.

“It’s great to see Outdoor Retailer shifting their dates, formats, and business model as the industry continues to emerge in the post-COVID world,” said Peter Sachs, general manager, Lowa Boots LLC. “The whole world has changed, and the trade show also must evolve so retailers can best see brands and trends, meet with brand management and marketing teams, network, and discover emerging brands. It’s all about the future.”

Outdoor Design + Innovation

In 2024, an enhanced sourcing area will debut as the new co-located Outdoor Design + Innovation show. Outdoor Design + Innovation will run side-by-side with Outdoor Retailer in the Salt Palace over the same dates with separate registrations. Exhibitors include domestic and international suppliers of raw materials, along with businesses delivering current technologies in manufacturing and sustainability across the supply chain.

Booth Options

Both Outdoor Retailer and Outdoor Design + Innovation will offer a simplified way to exhibit starting in 2024. New booth space options, including a pre-built turnkey space, will be capped at a maximum size. And each space option will be available at one of two rates — early bird or standard.

“The Outdoor Industry Association, through our partnership with Outdoor Retailer, is working to catalyze meaningful change by delivering education and insights to lead the outdoor industry into the future. At Outdoor Retailer, we have the opportunity to connect with our peers and collectively innovate a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous industry,” said Kent Ebersole, president of the Outdoor Industry Association.

Show Timing

The upcoming Outdoor Retailer winter show in November will be held in its existing format. The summer and winter shows are now at the beginning of the respective seasonal sales cycles. The Summit by Outdoor Retailer, now alongside Winter Sports Market, provides more business opportunities and bolsters the winter buying calendar.

“Winter Sports Market fully supports this new Outdoor Retailer format and the dedicated attention to building stronger buyer and vendor relationships,” said Gary Fleming, president of Snowsports Merchandising Corp. “The new dates better support the buying timeline and establishes a more efficient selling season. We’re looking forward to having Snowsports Merchandising Corp. and Sports Specialists Ltd. working together with Outdoor Retailer to serve the industry’s needs.”

Brands interested in getting involved at future shows with Outdoor Retailer or Outdoor Design + Innovation through exhibiting, experiences, advocacy programs, sponsorships, speaking, and more can contact an Outdoor Retailer account executive.