connecting the ecosystem:
5th annual outdoor economy conference
September 18-21, 2023

the nation's leading outdoor recreation-focused economic development conference.
sponsor and exhibitor info available now.

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Tickets on sale now!

“Connecting the Ecosystem,” speaks to bridging the divides between disciplines, and both seeing and stewarding our outdoor economy as a complex system that thrives from the cross-pollination of communities and ideas.

Expect the return of our hugely popular Expo space, inspirational programming, workshops & field visits, cross-sector summits, facilitated networking opportunities, and much more.

Click Here to See the Full Conference Agenda

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5th Annual Conference Tracks: "Connecting the Ecosystem"

Building Vibrant Outdoor Communities

Leveling Up Outdoor Businesses

Advancing Inclusive & Effective Coalitions

Envisioning Outdoors 2.0

All tracks and sessions are all organized around the greater conference theme of Connecting the Ecosystem. Woven throughout these core Program Tracks are common threads, including:

Sustainability & Resiliency
Accessibility & Inclusivity
User Retention & Growth
Data & Trends

2023 speakers

Featuring some of the most prominent movers and shakers in outdoor industry and community. Keep checking as we update this list!

James Melonas
North Carolina Forest Supervisor, USFS

Dr. Aby Sène-Harper
Assistant Professor, Clemson University

D. Reid Wilson
Secretary, North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Earl B. Hunter Jr
Founder & President, Black Folks Camp Too

Amy Allison
Director, NC Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

Scott Bricker
Interim Vice President, Travel Oregon

Dr. Melissa Weddell
Chair, Appalachian State Department of Recreation Management 

Dr. Ryan L. Sharp
Associate Professor, Applied Park Science Lab, Kansas State University

Erin McCombs
Southeast Director, American Rivers

Steven Foy
Director of Outpost Operations, Nantahala Outdoor Center

Megan Lawson, Ph.D.
Economist, Headwaters Economics

2022 Photo Gallery

2023 Sponsorships and Exhibitor Opportunities are Available Now!

See what happened in 2022 by checking out the gallery, 2022 speaker roster and session info below.

Photos by Steven Reinhold — The Appalachian Adventure Company & Joanna Brown — MADE X MTNS

thank you, sponsors

This event is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors, who recognize the value that the outdoors brings to our communities and our companies. Our 5th Annual Conference sponsors include…

what makes this event great

Our attendees regularly rate the Outdoor Economy Conference as one of the best events of the year, noting our top-notch production, engaging speakers and topics, and the awesome community of people they’ve connected with. Here’s just a few testimonials…

venue and rooming info

harrah's cherokee conference center

777 Casino Dr. Cherokee, NC 28719

Lodging info

2023 tickets ON SALE NOW!

Connect with and exchange ideas with outdoor industry and thought leaders from around the nation and the world.

Our in-person conferences sold out in 2019 and 2022, so be sure to get your tickets before we sell out this year!