Author: Cassie Scott
The world’s biggest archery and bowhunting trade show just concluded, with over 9,700 attendees from 24 different countries leaving the ATA Trade Show, ready to grow and strengthen the bowhunting and archery industry in 2017.
Attendees saw thousands of products displayed by the 653 companies present at the Show. In addition, retailers had the opportunity to learn about the innovative business and recruitment programs from the Archery Trade Association (ATA) that will build their customer base and help their pro shop become more productive and profitable.
ATA ePRO, a software program that helps retailers boost their profits and create more effective and efficient workflows, was a huge hit in the Member Services Area. ATA ePRO, the newest addition to ATA’s suite of member services had retailers talking about how it could streamline their businesses – and make them more profitable.
Jeromy Sommerfield from Sommerfield Outfitters in Iowa, said, “We really like [ATA] ePRO’s Bow Shop program because it tracks work orders, and keeps you informed on where you are in the process. You don’t have to refresh your own memory. It does that for you.”
ATA ePRO instantly tracks and updates your service work, range scheduling, and point-of-sales purchases and inventory. Photo Credit: Heather Koehl
Other notable services for ATA members included the Retail Growth Initiative program and the new Archery Equipment Development program, as well as Explore Archery, Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing.
Events such as the Outtech Innovations party and Hudalla Events – which combine hospitality and buying opportunities – as well as the International Reception, also drew large crowds.
A three-day ATA Trade Show was the perfect amount of time in the eyes of Steve Speck, owner of S & S Archery, LLC. in Boise, Idaho, who attends the event to meet people face-to-face in the laid-back, spacious environment.
“Since the convention center is so big, it’s spread out enough that it’s active, but not overcrowded,” Speck said. “It’s low-key so we can actually walk into a booth and talk to the exhibitors and not have to wait in line. That allows us to visit the exhibitors we work with which improves our relationships. That makes all the difference in the world for business.”
Mark Whitt from Ashland, Kentucky, has been attending the event since 2000. As president and CEO of Extreme Archery Products, Inc. he continues to come back to showcase new products and meet potential customers. Plus, he believes it’s the most-inclusive Show he attends.
“There are so many organizations here, it’s convenient to attend,” Whitt said. “This year has been better than years past because, in my opinion, we are in Indianapolis which is more toward the hub of bowhunting. Plus, the economy is starting to turn, there is a changing political environment and there is more optimism.”
Jay McAninch, President and CEO of the ATA, has a similar feeling.
“I did get a distinct sense of optimism from most retailers this year,” McAninch said. “I think they are going into the 2017 year with a good attitude. They want to improve and make the 2017 year better than the last.”
McAninch emphasized the opportunity for the ATA to help its members become even more successful: “I think 2017 is going to continue to be a period of uncertainty for a variety of reasons, but the good news is, ATA is going to generate lots of information and analysis that will help manufacturers chart these difficult waters.”