The following note was recently received from Lodestone Events, owner and organizer of the annual Overland Expo.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce all in-person Overland Expo events have been postponed for 2020. The safety and health of our attendees, exhibitors, and staff are of the utmost importance to us. After months of deliberation, research and consultation with local officials, we have decided to postpone all in-person Overland Expo events until 2021.
Like you, we eagerly anticipate each Overland Expo event. The events are more than a place where overlanders congregate to share experiences, products, and wisdom; they are a way for the community to come together, connect, and celebrate our shared love of the overlanding lifestyle—and have fun, too.
We hoped that the world would look different by late summer and early fall. However, we still have not received approval to move forward with mass gatherings in the counties in which these events are based. We considered all the options to host an event that would adhere to the highest level of safety without compromising the event experience. Ultimately, we concluded we could not in good conscience host a gathering of tens of thousands of overlanders in an environment with so many unknowns, for fear it could threaten the health not just of those in the overlanding community but beyond. The only responsible choice is to refrain from hosting live events in 2020.
Overland Expo Commitment
We are so proud that, with your support, we have been able to grow Overland Expo into the world’s premier overland and adventure travel event series. Although Overland Expo is mighty, our team is small. The event series is operated by a family-owned company with a team of just 14 passionate individuals.
To be candid, postponing our in-person events this year will be very challenging for us—both emotionally and financially. The live events are our primary focus and source of revenue. In order to keep Overland Expo alive through this pandemic, ownership will forgo salaries and our team will take significant pay cuts for the rest of this year.
In a world where we are not able to physically gather, we are committed to continuing to inspire the overland community year-round with social media, compelling editorial via the Compass, e-newsletters, and an all-digital Overland Sourcebook resource guide. We also plan to bring you two new virtual events—planned for summer and fall—to bring the community together online.
The Overland Expo series includes a total of three annual shows, the Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona in May; the brand-new Overland Expo Mountain West in Loveland, Colorado in August; and the Overland Expo East in Arrington, Virginia in October.