Author: Cassie Gasaway
As the 2020 ATA Trade Show concluded, most attendees and exhibitors left feeling tired, but satisfied. Some members took home treasures, like awards, samples, swag bags, and photos posing with elite shooters. Select members left with cash prizes from the ATA and ScentLok, and one lucky person even walked away with a free farm, courtesy of the Drury Outdoors team.
ATA staff and Board of Director members tried several new things at #ATA2020. Fortunately, most ATA members welcomed the changes, such as the all-new Buyer Day, “Best in Show” awards program, and “Connections: An ATA Happy Hour” event. Attendees also had the opportunity to take all three certification classes, and win $5,000 from the ATA or $1,000 from ScentLok.
ATA’s CEO and president Matt Kormann was thrilled by the Show outcome.
“We worked hard to implement a lot of changes to the Trade Show, probably more than any time in our history,” he said. “I’m really proud of our team, how hard they worked, and how creative they are in identifying opportunities to make this an event our members want to attend.”
Maria Lewis, ATA’s senior director of Trade Show and membership, celebrated her 11th Show on the ATA team, and was honored to help ATA staff and members execute everything according to plan.
“I consider myself very fortunate to do what I do and see everything come together each year,” she said. “It’s the people who attend and exhibit here that make the Show what it is. For us, the Show’s a success if our attendees had a great experience, and we know that means different things for different people. #ATA2020 improved and debuted many features and programs. It seemed like they were all extremely well-received.”
Over 8,500 individuals from 31 countries attended this year’s Show. You can view the full attendance numbers here. Here’s a recap of #ATA2020.
Buyer day allowed retailers and manufacturers to dedicate Day 1 of the Show to conducting business. Photo Credit: ATA
Only those with a red exhibitor badge or yellow buyer badge had access to the Exhibit Hall on the first day of the Show, Jan. 9. All badge types were allowed in on Jan. 10 and 11. This change allowed buyers and exhibitors to focus on order writing at the Show – and the members agreed it worked.
“We did twice as much business [on Buyer Day] than we’ve ever done in a day, and I’ve been in this business for 40 years,” said Diana Adams with Adams Archery Inc. “Usually there are so many people that you can’t even walk fast, but Buyer Day removed the kids, distributors, and media sales folks so it was easier for us to walk the Show floor and write more orders. It was so amazing. I want it back for next year.”
Tony Shifflett, owner of Rangeland LLC, agreed. “I like it a lot,” he said. “I usually go to the Show and have to stay two days to get everything done. It was less cluttered so I finished my business in one day.”
Even those who weren’t allowed to access the Show floor on Day 1 accepted the change.
“People need to understand the business aspect of this Show,” said Jared Lineweaver with Trinity Logistics Inc. “This is the livelihood of these folks, so they need the opportunity to come in alone and do the business they came here to do without being hassled. As an industry, we need to respect and understand that.”
Annihilator Broadheads won a "Best in Show" award for their new broadheads. Photo Credit: ATA
“Best in Show” Awards
The ATA created the “Best in Show Awards” program to recognize members for their achievements or for creating products. The awards program featured three award groups, including the Impact Awards, Featured Products Showcase, and New Products Launch Showcase. Each award group had different categories, which gave multiple members the chance to win. Kormann presented 26 awards in the MyATA Area on Friday morning.
Annihilator Broadheads LLC (Booth 247) won gold for its 125-grain, 125XL grain and 100-grain broadheads in the New Products Launch Showcase, which display over 80 new or recently launched products. The display case was located in the hallway leading to Main Registration. Their products were in the new products debuting after Oct. 1, 2019, category. Co-founders Micah Brown and Brandon Brodie were ecstatic and said the New Products Launch Showcase helped introduce buyers to their product before they got to their booth.
“I was shocked and a little emotional [when we won],” Brodie said. “It was cool that industry leaders recognized our product as something unique and exciting. The awards give validity to the winning products because of the way they were voted on. And now that guys know the award is out, they’ll stop by to say congrats, check us out, or tell us we did a great job. It’s really rewarding.”
Read ATA’s article “ATA Announces 2020 Trade Show Award Winners” to see the full list of winners.
Connections: An ATA Happy Hour
ATA hosted the all-new Connections event on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. to give Show-goers a fun, entertaining evening to relax and hang out with fellow members. Attendees drank free beer, ate free food, played yard games, tried an Indy car simulator, and shot against elite archers and celebrity bowhunters in Explore Archery activities.
The event’s main attraction was a friendly sudden-death shootout competition between Chris Bee, Jimmy Lutz, Steve Anderson, and Reon Van Tonder. ATA also featured a Mixed Team style competition with Casey Kaufhold and Doug Denton against Mackenzie Brown and Jacob Wukie to give attendees a taste of what they’ll see in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Kormann and the competition’s announcer George Ryals IV (Griv) also shot against the athletes.
Read more about the ATA’s Connections event here.
Show-goers could attend 35 different seminars, demonstrations and Coffee Talks. Topics included increasing profits, growing archery, improving business operations, learning about the federal excise tax, and more.
This was also the first Show where attendees could take all three certification classes (Level 1, Level 2 and S3DA) during the three-day event. Tyson Trunkhill, owner of Sticks & Stones Archery, capitalized on the opportunity.
“As a shop owner, my schedule is so busy, so being able to go somewhere for a certification class is rare, and the fact I could go to the Show and do three classes was a huge benefit,” he said. “Having a certification is a big attraction and selling point to consumers. Having three certifications allows me to catch up to and surpass my Level 1 certified competitors.”
Trunkhill said participating in each certification course was a time commitment that kept him from walking the floor, but it was worth it. “The amount of time I gave up to do that class was insignificant in the long-term goals of me being a retailer and an ATA member,” he said.
USA Archery and S3DA certified 140 people at the Show.
The 2020 ATA Show had giveaways all three days. Photo Credit: ATA
As an incentive to conduct business and write orders at the Show, ATA gave away $5,000 each day of the Show, and ScentLok gave away $1,000 daily, for a total of $18,000.
Any buyer who wrote $5,000 in Show orders qualified for the ATA’s Big Buck Tags $5,000 giveaway. Over 250 buyers handed in their Big Bucks Tag coupon and entered the giveaway. The ATA randomly picked three buyers to win $5,000. Kormann drew a winner at the end of each Show day in the MyATA Area. The winners were Rodney Fogleson with Rogers Sporting Goods, Brian Waldvogel with J’s Archery Pro Shop, and Jim Kneeland with Archers Afield.
Additionally, anyone who wrote $1,000 in orders with Nexus Outdoors’ companies qualified for the ScentLok $1,000 giveaway. Alex Jones, Nexus Outdoors’ marketing manager, picked a winner each day. Winners included Wilderness Archery Supplies, John Hess with Farmstead Archery, and Ron Stuckman with Sawyers Country Edge.
Show-goers were encouraged to download the ATA mobile app, opt into push notification, and fill out the form under the “Enter to Win” tab for their chance to win a Suunto Alpha Traverse watch. Trent Brunies with Scott’s Outdoors was the lucky, randomly selected winner.
The largest giveaway in outdoor industry history also happened at #ATA2020. Mark and Terry Drury with Drury Outdoors awarded Denny Lachick with a 60-acre farm and $25,000. Scent Crusher gave them $3,000 in products to enjoy many years of scent-free hunting.
After the Show Next Steps
The ATA continues to gather feedback to make changes and improvements to the Show, and encourages members to fill out their post-Show survey in the coming weeks.
“While it feels like this week has been a great success for our members and the industry, I’m eager to see the results of our post-Show survey,” Kormann said. “We’ll be careful to take all of our members’ feedback into account to make #ATA2021 even better.”
“As always, we will continue to listen to all your input, and are committed to building the best environment we can for our members,” she said. “We look forward to working on #ATA2021, which is back in Indy next year!”
Mark your calendar for the 2021 ATA Trade Show, Jan. 8 to 10 (Friday-Sunday Show days).