big gear show utah
(Photo/The Big Gear Show)

The Big Gear Show Is Back — and It’s Taking Our Industry Outdoors

Stay tuned for America’s first open-air trade show, an event that just set a summer 2021 date despite a pandemic.

The outdoor industry’s best-known trade show, Outdoor Retailer, was canceled this summer due to COVID-19. Then, the Outdoor Retailer winter show (sponsored by the Outdoor Industry Association) was canceled as well. And last week, SHOT Show canceled its January firearms and hunting show.

But a new trade show is bucking the trend, with hopes of beating the odds and finding a way to bring retailers of outdoor goods together.

Enter The Big Gear Show: “the greatest show on Earth” and “not a normal trade show,” according to organizers. These are bold claims. Created by Sutton Bacon and Darren Bush (the team behind Paddlesports Retailer), The Big Gear Show was originally slated for summer 2020.

It would have been a hardgoods-only buying show focused on camping, climbing, paddling, and biking, similar to other trade shows, and with an outward-facing consumer day as well. And now, The Big Gear Show is aiming for 2021.

But organizers are bringing it outdoors — in an invitation-only, capped-capacity, outdoor-focused, highly curated atmosphere.

“Next summer, The Big Gear Show is moving up the mountain to Park City. The right brands, the right place, the right time. Join us August 3-5, 2021 for America’s first open-air tradeshow,” its website reads.

Here’s how it will work.

The Big Gear Show 2021 Details

The 2021 Big Gear Show will be an invitation-only, multicategory trade event for the paddlesports, cycling, climbing, and camping markets. Exhibitors are limited to 250 to reduce the number of people and interactions and promote social distancing. The media can still attend by requesting an invitation.

The event will take place 100% outside on various trails and green spaces in Park City, Utah. Organizers have also fully integrated a demo into the event so buyers can test gear all day.

With less human contact, restricted budgets, and constant hurdles, it’s no secret retailers and brands face new challenges in bringing products to market. For the outdoor industry, seeing new technology and testing gear in person and in action is vital. So The Big Gear Show will try to make that happen.

Learn more and register as a brand or retailer here.

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Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.