Matt's Blog

CEO Blog: Trade Show Changes

Matt Kormann highlights the changes coming to the 2020 Trade Show.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Matt Kormann

Archery enthusiasts often say their sports have no offseason. Whether your goal is bowhunting elk, bears, turkeys, whitetails or any other game, archery fitness is a year-round endeavor. That’s just as true in target archery. There’s always a tournament around the corner. Whether it’s a club shoot at the pro shop, a regional pro-am, or a national event, target archery has never been more available.

It might surprise you to learn there’s no offseason for your ATA, either. Even as our team was busy executing ATA2019, we spent a good bit of effort on #ATA2020. Beyond the Trade Show, we were addressing partnerships, support efforts, and behind-the-scenes projects to improve the industry for manufacturers and pro shops.

Almost as soon as we left Louisville in early January, your Board of Directors and ATA staff were working together to plan the year ahead. None of that happens in a vacuum. Most of what we discuss—whether it’s about the Show, marketing efforts, or community engagement—results from feedback we receive from our members.

You've asked for more time for retailers and manufacturers to do business together and we heard you. Photo Credit: ATA

One consistent refrain I hear from Trade Show attendees each year is that your ATA should do a better job ensuring retailers and manufacturers can do business together. We’re told to ensure the Show remains business-to-business, and to minimize distractions as you buy and sell on the Show floor.

We heard that so often we had to act. Your feedback was the precise reason we decided last month to let manufacturers and retailers have the Show floor to themselves on Day 1. We’re confident this “retailer-only day” will ensure better business interactions on our year’s busiest day. Feedback on this decision so far has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re still hearing from you. Keep it coming, no matter what your thoughts might be.

It’s important for us to listen to what you say, but it’s just as important for us to pay attention to what you do at the Show. For example, we’ve printed an impressive Show Guide for years. But in recent years we’ve watched fewer attendees pick up these printed guides from our staff each morning of the Show. In effect, our Show participants voted with their hands, and we’ve had to recycle most of those printed guides.

The Show Guide will be going digital for 2020, with the Pocket Guide and Calendar still being printed. Photo credit: ATA

Therefore, as is the case with many communications efforts today, the Show Guide will go digital in 2020. We’ll keep partnering with Grand View Outdoors to create the Pocket Guide and Moon Phase Calendar as the only official ATA Trade Show publications. We’re grateful to work with partners who understand that evolving our Show and improving your experience sometimes require major changes.

Those are two high-profile changes, but more are in the works. Jennifer Mazur and her Outreach and Education team, for example, are hard at work improving educational opportunities for #ATA2020. We heard great feedback about adding Coffee Talks to ATA2019. We’re excited that your Board of Directors is eager to support more ways to help you improve your business next year in Indy.

We also keep working to improve relationships between both ends of the sales pipeline. It’s not enough to simply maintain proven efforts for manufacturers or retailers. We also must work hard improving relationships that are vital to both types of businesses.

As we look toward your ATA’s annual meeting later this month, where staff leaders and Board members will continue charting our course for the years ahead, I can’t stress enough how important your feedback remains. We’re doing more than listening. We’re responding and taking concrete steps to ensure your ATA remains a benefit to you, your customers, conservation efforts, and the industry and sports we love.

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