#ATA2018: That’s a Wrap!

Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo

Author: Cassie Scott


Another year is in the books as the 2018 ATA Trade Show, the industry’s largest and most inclusive show, closes its doors at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

The numbers are in and 9,261 people from 26 countries attended the event to network, conduct business and learn about the ATA’s many programs and services that will help grow archery and bowhunting in the new year.

Of those programs and services, the ATA’s ePRO software, designed to help make pro shops more productive and profitable, was a hit. The software instantly tracks and updates service work, range scheduling, and point-of-sales purchases and inventory, allowing retailers to run their shop more effectively and efficiently.

Another well-received service was ATA Website Development. As retailers recognize the importance of a professional website and a good online presence to attract and engage new customers, they sought out the help of experts and took advantage of exclusive Trade Show deals to create a thorough, well-designed and up-to-date website.

Between the two programs – ATA ePRO and ATA Website Development – sign up numbers were up over 50 percent from the 2017 Show.

Level 1 and 2 certifications were handled by USA Archery Coaching representatives which took place in the Member Services Area. Photo Credit: Shannon Rikard.

Another Show highlight? Certifications sold out even after the ATA added 12 seats to the Level 2 Instructor Certification course on Thursday. Certification interest, coupled with high attendance numbers at seminars focused on customer service, insists ATA-member retailers want to attract and engage new archers to help grow their businesses and the sport of archery and bowhunting in 2018.

While retailers were excited to visit the Member Services Area to learn about ATA programs, the Show also offered numerous networking and business opportunities.

Wendy Gavinski, owner and president of DSG Outerwear, said her business came to the Show based on other dealer’s recommendations and its longstanding history of success. She wasn’t disappointed.

“I was told of all the Shows in the industry, this is the one you have to be at,” Gavinski said. “We weren’t sure what to expect, but it has gone really well. The overwhelming response has been super positive. Dealers love our line. It was our goal to bring dealers in and get some authorized retailers from the Show and we definitely did that. The Show was well-executed, nicely laid out and of real quality. I’ve been very, very impressed overall.”

Garrett Walker, director of sales for OtterBox, has similar feelings.

“This is our first ATA Show,” Walker said. “We wanted to kick off the year in a big way since we moved into the outdoor space with premium, rugged coolers, tumblers and accessories. The people, the feedback, the efficiency of the Show and how everything was set-up, it’s all been great. Everything was valuable for us. It wasn’t a wasted week or wasted time or money; it was all that we expected and more.”

Newman mentioned the Show is overwhelming in a good way because of the sheer number of booths and all the different things to see. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo.

Gavinski and Walker represented two of the 657 exhibitors at the Show. Both exhibitors said their businesses would be back next year. But, exhibitors weren’t the only ones having a good time, several retailers also gave the Show positive reviews and said they’d return in 2019.

“The whole experience was exciting for me,” said Chris Rome from Bowhunters Edge in Colorado Springs. “It was cool to see all the famous faces and new products available for our shop. The new technology all these companies are coming out with is pretty amazing. I can’t wait to bring all these new products back to the shop and introduce our customers to them.”

Rome said the Show gave him a greater understanding of product knowledge which will help him educate customers and get them excited about archery.

Another retailer, Mike Newman from Olde English Outfitters in Tipp City, Ohio, said he was also looking for products that energize customers.

“The Show is something we always look forward to,” Newman said. “Everyone wants to see the latest and greatest and find something new or something that will liven up the shop. There were several products this year that stood out like new bows, rangefinders and broadheads.”

Newman mentioned the Show is overwhelming in a good way because of the sheer number of booths and all the different things to see.

The Show offered numerous networking and business opportunities and these positive impressions were music to the ears of ATA staff. They will reflect on the 2018 Show and begin making improvements for the future. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo.

These positive impressions were music to the ears of ATA staff, who will reflect on the 2018 Show and begin making improvements for the future.

Senior Director of Trade Show and Membership, Maria Lewis, said, “We’re grateful to our members for a terrific 2018 ATA Trade Show! After hearing our members speak last year, we changed the way we verified our retail attendees, ensuring more productive and profitable conversations for attendees. Our team will return to the office excited to gather feedback, evaluate, and offer even more value for future Shows.”

Matt Kormann, ATA’s CEO and president, was impressed and humbled by the Show’s many attendees and their dedication to the archery and bowhunting industry. He looks forward to what the future holds and said:

“This year’s Show has been an incredible experience for me, especially because our industry, and our organization, are rapidly evolving. I’ve been blown away by the innovation on the Show floor, the passion our members have for doing the business they’ve done here, and the investment that our members, Board and staff have made in this organization. The lifeblood of the ATA is our members, and this week’s Show has given me unprecedented opportunities to meet retailers and manufacturers – and learn about their struggles and successes firsthand. I’m pumped to get back into the office with our team and work on evolving and problem-solving based on all we’ve learned this week.”

The 2019 ATA Show will be held in Louisville on January 10 to 12. We’ll see you there!

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