Author: Jackie Holbrook
A new business begins with a big idea, followed by a lot of work. The ATA is committed to helping new businesses with creative ideas succeed and for many newcomers in the archery and bowhunting industry, appearing at the ATA Trade Show is a steppingstone to success.
The ATA created the Innovation Zone as an opportunity for new manufacturers to showcase their products to retailers in a setting more suited to fledgling companies. The Innovation Zone is for manufacturers who are active ATA Basic Manufacturer Members but aren’t ready to invest in a Trade Show booth.
“ATA members recommended we do the Innovation Zone,” said Erick Swanson, owner of Spencer Gear, LLC. This is Swanson’s first year attending the ATA Trade Show. He came to showcase the stand guard, a hunting blind decoy. “I came up with the product after spending hours in the stand and then getting busted by the smart doe that’s not used to seeing anything in the area,” Swanson said.
Rangeviewer nonelectronic bow-mounted rangefinders. Photo Credit: ATA
This is also the first year in the Innovation Zone for Reggie Gillins, the owner of Rangeviewer, a nonelectronic bow-mounted rangefinder. “Being in the Innovation Zone allows us to get in here and be amongst the whole industry at a better price,” said Gillins. “We can build our company and then someday be over there on the floor with the big guys.”
ATA’s Basic Manufacturer Membership is for companies that have not applied for or been approved as an ATA Regular Manufacturer. This status can be renewed for up to three years. This is Josh Fowler’s second year in the Innovation Zone. Fowler, the owner of B.A. Gear, used the Innovation Zone to launch his company’s archery-focused products at the 2018 ATA Trade Show.
B.A. Gear launched their product at the 2018 Trade Show. Photo Credit: ATA
“We realized release pouches weren’t serving customers in the way they were needed,” Fowler said. “People came to us and we designed a better release pouch and put it out there.” Fowler made the decision to return to the Innovation Zone this year to once again display his sight-saver and release pouches. “I get to hang out with all the other new companies,” Fowler said. “I think the Innovation Zone draws everyone in and being the size that we are, I don’t want to get lost in the crowd.”
The Innovation Zone has become a well-known area among both retailers and manufacturers since it launched in 2010. “You get good exposure, we are enjoying it quite a bit,” Gillins said.
Check out Clear Creek Archery's new drop-away rest. Photo Credit: ATA
“I was actually with another manufacturer at ATA in the past, so I knew this would be a place to get this product off the ground,” said Tim Garretson, owner of Clear Creek Archery. Garretson is debuting a new drop-away rest. He said people have responded positively to his product online and now he’s just hoping for sales. “I’d just like to sell a few and get a good customer base,” Garretson said. “I just want to get my product out there and let the bowhunters enjoy it.”
The Innovation Zone is located in the North Wing.
It’s open Fri. 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sat. 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.