This Just In

Multiple Changes in the Works at Emerald’s Outdoor Retailer

Frances Ferrante, Senior Editor
Multiple Changes in the Works at Emerald’s Outdoor Retailer

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. — 2024 will be a year of changes for Emerald’s Outdoor Retailer, the world’s leading business-to-business outdoor sports show.

Starting with the Summer show, June 17-19, 2024, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Emerald will kick off an extensive hosted buyer program and a new booth and pricing structure and move the sourcing category into a separate show that will be co-located with Outdoor Retailer (OR). The upcoming Outdoor Retailer Winter, taking place Nov. 14-16, 2023, at the Salt Palace will keep its existing format.

The changes were in response to a combination of industry conditions and attendee feedback.  The outdoor and snowsports industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Retailers were left with excess as consumer demand slowed. Meanwhile, OR exhibitors said they wanted to see more buyers from more categories, and buyers wanted to see more diversity of brands.

In response, OR is committing to bring more buyers to the shows by expanding its hosted buyer program. Buyers can apply to the program to help offset their travel costs, but organizers emphasize that funds are limited and will go to those who apply early.

“We’ve heard from several buyers excited to have more opportunities and additional support, and they’re looking forward to participating in the hosted buyer program next year,” Sean Smith, Acting Show Director of Outdoor Retailer, said. “Many buyers come to Outdoor Retailer to discover a wider variety of new and relevant products for their stores, and some may lack resources to get to the show. Through this program, we’re both assisting buyers, and helping exhibitors connect with buyers from across the country that they may not otherwise have a chance to meet.”

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The show also has shifted its dates to the beginning of the seasonal sales cycles, with the winter show now in November and the summer show in June. The June Summer show was also redesigned, with the floor plan organized by category, including camping, climbing and water sports. That change will continue next year.

In 2024, OR is rolling out streamlined booth space options and a new pricing menu. New booth space options, including a pre-built turnkey space, will be capped at a maximum size.

Finally, organizers are creating a standalone show—Outdoor Design + Innovation (ODI)—for the sourcing category, which will be co-located with Outdoor Retailer. Exhibitors will include domestic and international suppliers of raw materials along with businesses offering manufacturing and sustainability technology across the supply chain.

“We know these past few years have been an economic roller coaster for the outdoor industry, and it remains difficult to plan for the future,” Smith said. “So, we’re investing in ways to help both exhibitors and buyers plan, and to support their needs in the current market. We’re also building more ways to foster the discovery that is so critical to business—ways to find up-and-coming brands, source new gear and develop new partnerships. Outdoor Retailer connects the industry, and we want to make sure we’re providing the best place to build valuable relationships.”

Reach Sean Smith at

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