A Record-Setting Number of Adventure-Seekers Converge at Overland Expo East’s New Venue

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High percentage of new attendees at Overland Expo East indicates industry growth 

ARRINGTON, Virginia – It’s the ultimate gathering of outdoor adventure and overland travel enthusiasts, and this year’s East Coast installment of Overland Expo shattered attendance and exhibitor records after touching down at a brand-new venue. 

Overland Expo East took place Oct. 11 through 13 at Infinity Downs in Arrington, Virginia, and this year’s edition saw more attendees, exhibitors and new audience than ever before. More than 12,500 attendees descended on the new location for this year’s event, where they tested tires, overland rigs, motos & equipment, attended classes and seminars taught by instructors from all over the world, and rubbed elbows with thousands of like-minded enthusiasts. 

While attendance alone increased by more than 30%, exhibitor registration grew by 22%.   Overland Expo East has continued to see 20% growth year-over-year for the last five years.  In total, the event saw 188 unique exhibitors, 55 media outlets and more than 200 classes focusing on everything from novice overlanding techniques and bush-crafting basics to navigational tactics and off-the-grid response and recovery skills. 

Event organizers moved the Overland Expo East event to Infinity Downs in 2019, a facility well-known as the home of the Lock’n Music Festival and other large-scale events.   

“We took a chance on Infinity Downs, moving the event more than 300 miles north of its traditional home to a new region of the country,” said Overland Expo East’s Jessica Kirchner. “Not only did we find the new event-capable and picturesque home for this world-class event, but moving further north into the core of the mid-Atlantic region exposed our brand to a new audience of engaged enthusiasts.  We’re sensing more industry growth in the coming years – more than 40% of the East attendance was new audience.”

In addition to those attending from the mid-Atlantic region, the event drew crowds from all over the world with almost all U.S. states represented and numerous countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Scotland. 

With the help of event attendees, Overland Expo donated more than $7,000 to ConserVentures’ Change Your World Fund. Overland Expo organized thousands of dollars of giveaways from event sponsors & exhibitors including overlanding gear for vehicles, motorcycles, camping, and adventure travel for a Friday night raffle.  Change Your World Fund, managed by Overland Expo founders, Roseann & Jonathan Hanson, supports young people who believe in the power of exploration to change things and who plan to use their overland journeys to make a difference in the world.  

At a Glance: Overland Expo East 2019 Stats

Other notable numbers at this year’s installment of Overland Expo East include:

  • The highest number of attendees in history, with more than 12,500 visitors

  • 200+ classes, seminars, demos, activities, slideshows, and films; totaling 440+ session-hours of instruction

  • 125 presenters, instructors and VIP attendees

  • 1000+ adventure vehicles and 200+ adventure motorcycles

  • 376 Overland Experience VIP Package attendees

Because the event grew so rapidly in 2019, organizers are already making plans to expand next year’s offerings to enhance the event experience for future events. Future plans include opening additional camping fields and forested areas, broadening the event’s food court and bar offerings, and adding a trail ride component to 2020’s education and training opportunities.

Overland Expo East will take place at Infinity Downs in Arrington, Virginia October 9-11, 2020. 

For a full recap of Overland Expo, visit the 2019 Overland Expo Buzz web page here.

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Photo by Brett Willhelm

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