Outdoor Recreation

Outdoor Recreation

The outdoor industry is uniquely positioned to support Maine’s vision of a thriving, environmentally responsible economy, one that offers good-paying jobs and an unmatched quality of life. Maine’s outdoor industry is made up of outdoor gear manufacturers, retailer, guides and outfitters, sporting camps, campgrounds and ski, golf and wilderness resorts, adventure filmmakers and more. Outdoor recreation is 4.2% of Maine’s economy, more than double the national average. Growth in participation across the US presents opportunities to reach new markets.

The Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation is charged with leveraging Maine’s assets and outdoor heritage to grow the outdoor recreation economy and build Maine’s outdoor brand as part of a coordinated effort with partners from the public and private sectors.

Here are some resources to assist Maine outdoor gear and equipment manufacturers and outdoor experience providers meet rising demand and create more jobs in the state.

Domestic Trade Programs & Resources   

Trade Shows & Promotional Events

  • Eastern States Exposition (The Big E) - Apply here to be part of the State of Maine Building exhibit venue at New England's largest fair - last two weeks in September.
  • Outdoor Retailer - Unveil your business to the world at the largest B2B outdoor industry trade show in North America, with shows in both the summer and winter. Click the link above to learn more about Outdoor Retailer, and consider the advantages of exhibiting with Maine Outdoor Brands at either of the seasonal shows mentioned below:

    • Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show - Late January 

    • Outdoor Retailer Summer Show - Mid June

  • National Shooting & Sports Foundation SHOT Show - The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show is the leading expo for shooting sports, hunting, ammunition related industries, attracting buyers from all fifty states. Click here to learn more about the early January SHOT Show.
  • Great American Outdoors Show - Bring your business to passionate outdoor industry consumers from across the country for nine event-packed days at the Great American Outdoors Show in Harrisburg, PA. Early February.

  • The Big Gear Show - early to mid August.

  • ISPO Munich Germany - Mid January. STEP grants available through Maine International Trade Center.

  • Tour Natur - Dusseldorf Germany - Early March. STEP grants available through Maine International Trade Center.

  • ATTA ElevateDates vary by location year to year.

  • Grassroots Connect - Vendors, retailers, and sales reps alike descend upon Grassroots Connect early in the season to collect orders, build relationships, and discuss the future of the specialty outdoor industry in a low-cost, cooperative effort. Learn more about Connect shows, which are take place in early June and November.

  • RVIA Show - The RVIA California Show annually hosts over 45,000 eager attendees from across the country, along with exhibiting RV manufacturers, partners, and members. First week of October.

Brand Membership

  • Maine Outdoor Brands - Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB) is a non-profit, member-led alliance of nearly fifty Maine-based outdoor product companies whose combined annual sales exceed $2B.
  • Maine Made - The Maine Made Program is operated via the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development to assist Maine makers and artisans with enhanced market exposure and increased revenues through its nationally recognized branding.

  • Outdoor Industry Association - Outdoor Industry Association is a membership-driven trade organization for the outdoor industry.

Other Industry Resources

To find more Outdoor Recreation resources please explore the Maine Resource Compass below. You can search this living database to build your network, grow your knowledge base and find funding opportunities. These resources come from all across the entrepreneurial ecosystem — in Maine and beyond.

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