Matt's Blog

CEO Blog: #ATA2020 Post Show

Matt Kormann reviews the changes made to the 2020 ATA Show.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Matt Kormann

Last month I marveled how #ATA2020 seemed to arrive out of nowhere. Six weeks later, I’m surprised how long we’ve been apart since Indy.

When members ask questions, they often come in waves, and with a common theme on a hot topic. Then the discussion crests, with the next topic cresting the horizon. That most recent topic centered on your trade show. The most frequent question asks, “How was the Show?”

My two decades in face-to-face marketing taught me that my answer isn’t very important. The most critical opinions are those of exhibitors and Show participants. It’s your show. So, “How was the show?” We asked you to find out.

According to member surveys, Buyer Day seemed to be a huge success. Photo Credit: ATA

Some of the most interesting responses centered on changes to this year’s Show, notably Buyer Day and Connections: an ATA Happy Hour. Those two events generated great responses in the annual post-Show survey. Once again, however, the most important item was how you do business at the Show. Those topics taught us a lot, and we’re eager to use the responses to improve your Trade Show.

Buyer Day offered opportunities for buyers and sellers to do better business together. The feedback on Buyer Day was overwhelmingly positive. Among nearly 1,500 responses, 86% thought Buyer Day was a positive change (or they didn’t notice the change), and 87% want it to continue in some way.

We had an incredible turnout for our new event, Connections. Photo Credit: ATA

We were cautiously optimistic about our inaugural ATA Happy Hour event on Thursday evening. Frankly, we didn’t know what to expect from this first-of-its-kind endeavor. You voted with your feet by showing up and packing the house. The crowd saw some incredible one-arrow shoot-offs, and generally had a great time. Our post-Show survey asked what you’d like to see if we repeat this event. The top answers were product giveaways, entertainment, live shooting competitions, and a state-of-the-industry address.

You’ve said repeatedly that the No. 1 thing you want your ATA to focus on is creating business opportunities for you. One important metric of that request is writing orders at the Show. This year, 86% of exhibitors and retailers who wrote orders said they wrote the same or more than last year. We hope that’s a sign of a strong year ahead.

The response rate for this survey was incredibly high. Because of that, we’re very confident in what you told us, and how you want the Show to move forward. As always, change is difficult, and so we know it’s impossible to please everyone as we plan #ATA2021.

It would be easier to maintain the Show’s status quo each year. But that’s not an option, because we want to serve our members. Our commitment remains simple: Create an event our members want to attend. Every change we make will be based on your feedback. If something doesn’t work, we’ll listen and adjust. We’ll also keep communicating as best we can so the changes don’t surprise you. All we ask is that you read our emails and social-media posts so you’re up to speed.

As always, thanks for your membership, for supporting this industry we all love, and for creating new archers and bowhunters through your business.

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