Author: Cassie Gasaway
On the bowhunting season opener, do you walk into the woods blind hoping your equipment works and deer are in the area? Probably not.
Instead, you routinely shoot your bow ahead of time to improve your accuracy. You make multiple trips to the area to hang trail cameras, clear shooting lanes, and look for deer sign. You obtain your hunting licenses, check your range finder’s batteries, and wash your hunting clothes in scent-free detergent. That prep work helps increase your odds of success.
Well, preparing for the 2020 ATA Trade Show this coming Jan. 9-11 is no different. To make the most of your time and money in Indianapolis, you must plan carefully in advance.
Here’s how to plan your ultimate #ATA2020 Show experience.
The app contains the full list of events and a map of the Show floor. Photo Credit: ATA
Download the App
The ATA’s free mobile app doubles as a map, planner, schedule, sales guide, and booth and exhibitor guide. Attendees can use their phone to stay organized and quickly access everything they need to have a productive trip to Indianapolis.
The app is available through iTunes (iPhone app), Google Play (Android app) and ChirpE (Mobile Web). Download it now to plan your itinerary before the Show even starts. Use the “My Planner” feature to “star” your favorite activities, exhibitors, booth events, and educational opportunities. Your starred selections will appear on one screen in chronological order, so you easily see what’s next and stay on track. You can also add notes, create meetings, and check off events and activities as they happen. Learn more and download the app here.
Do Your Homework
Do you know what you want to buy? Do you know what you needto buy? Check your sales data and history reports to confirm your intuitions. You might be surprised by what you find. Then, create a product wish list for your shop. Don’t forget to research new products and companies that will be at the 2020 Show. Educate yourself and be prepared for sales pitches. That knowledge will help you avoid making impulse decisions, which often leads to overspending.
Also, evaluate your finances to create a budget and set spending limits. The last thing you want to do is exhaust your funds during the first few days of the year. Negotiating prices and understanding product margins helps you make smart buying decisions. Doing your homework before the Show helps you prepare for what to expect at the Show.
Organize Work Meetings
Many Show attendees work with the same exhibitors year after year. To ensure you see your favorite business partners, schedule meetings with them in advance. Scheduling meetings with a manufacturer’s sales staff ensures you get quality one-on-one time to negotiate sales and write orders.
If possible, try to schedule work meetings on Day 1 of the Show. The ATA has designated Day 1 as Buyer Day, which means only those with yellow buyer badges or red exhibitor badges can enter the exhibit hall. This change ensures buyers and manufacturers can concentrate on business without interruptions from other member groups.
Plus, the ATA is giving away $5,000 each day of the Show to a lucky retailer who places $5,000 in orders at the Show. Eligible retailers can fill out the first coupon in their Big Buck Tags book, and drop it off in the MyATA Area for a chance to win. If you write $5,000 on Day 1, you’ll have three chances to win, because the coupon remains in the drawing until the Show’s over.
Save the seminars and Coffee Talks that you're interested in to your schedule within the app. Photo Credit: ATA
Pick Your Favorite Educational Events
Once the seminar, Coffee Talk, and hands-on demonstration schedules publish in October, find ones that interest you and add them to your schedule. Each educational opportunity is formatted differently, but they all help your business grow.
Seminar presenters share their ideas with curious attendees. Coffee Talk presenters create a discussion around their ideas so attendees can participate. Demonstrators share an overview of how products work and allow attendees to familiarize themselves with the gear. Plus, most educational events take place on Day 2 and 3 of the Show, so you can focus on business on Day 1. Learn more about 2020 Trade Show presentations here.
Whether you’re learning a new skill, discussing business best practices, or working with a product, try to attend as many presentations as possible. Use the mobile app to make planning easier.
Sign Up for a Certification Class
You’ll already be at the 2020 Show, so why not get certified to teach archery? You’ll save time and money, because the certification classes at the Show are tailored to ATA members who already know lots about archery. By earning an archery certification, you become a vetted resource of archery information and valuable qualifications, which attracts new customers and grows your business.
The ATA’s online enrollment process makes registering easy. Click here to register for a Level 1, Level 2 or Scholastic 3D Archery certification class.
Plan to Visit These Hot Spots
New Product Launch Showcase – When you arrive, plan to visit the all-new Product Launch Showcase near Main Registration. This is where the ATA will recognize recently and newly released products at the ATA Trade Show. Stop by the display case on Day 1 to see new-to-the-market products. These products will also be eligible to win awards through the ATA’s new “Best in Show” awards program. Learn more here.
Featured Product Showcase – For a unique browsing experience, retailers should also visit the Featured Product Showcase on the Show’s first day. You can examine and handle hundreds of products without sales staff looking over your shoulder.
Buyers can also vote for their favorite product in the following categories: youth, women, archery accessory, bowhunting accessory, and breakthrough innovation. Voting will open on the Show’s first day at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m. ATA staff will tally the votes at 5 p.m., and give a gold, silver and bronze award to products in each category as part of the ATA’s new “Best in Show” awards program.
Register for a badge and book your hotel rooms today. Photo Credit: ATA
Obtain Your Badge and Hotel
Click here for registration information.
After registering online, be sure to click “check out.” Then click the “book hotel” link and follow the step-by-step instructions to quickly book rooms in the ATA hotel block.
Plan Now, Relax Later
Planning a trip can be challenging, but arriving at your destination without a plan is more overwhelming. With a little prep work, you can ensure your time in Indianapolis is productive. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy the experience, rather than stress and scramble.
Questions? Please contact the ATA’s Trade Show, business and membership office toll-free at (866) 266-2776.