Archery and bowhunting industry members reunited at the 2023 ATA Trade Show in Indianapolis, Jan. 11-13. Spirits ran high and relationships were renewed as Show-goers buzzed around the 153,000 square-foot of exhibit space to do business in-person.
Jeff Poole, ATA’s president and CEO, said, “the face-to-face opportunity to conduct business and reinforce relationships is what makes the ATA Show such an important event. Seeing the new product releases and the latest innovations created excitement and helped set the tone for the whole Show.”
ATA members echoed the sentiment and shared their satisfaction about the Show.
“We’ve had a great Show,” said Parrish Elliott, vice president of product development at Deception Scents. “It’s always great to get out and meet new people, and see what else is out there besides what we bring. The Show atmosphere was great, and we had great interactions with buyers, as well as a steady stream of orders. This Show is where you make lifelong friends, and we’re ready to do it all again next year.”
Butch Thomas, sales manager for Morrell Targets, has been attending the Show since 1994 and said the 2023 Show was incredible.
“The largest sales order I’ve ever taken happened this year at the 2023 ATA Show, and I had the most dealers in my booth at one time that I’ve ever seen in my life.” Thomas said. “We’ve been slammed, and we’re really blessed as a company. The industry is such a large network but yet it feels like family. I remember how excited I was to attend my first ATA Show and I’m just as excited 29 years later. We’re grateful and thankful for the ATA for putting on the event. There’s nothing like it.”
A first-time Show attendee Cody Mexicano is an archery technician at Hit or Miss Archery Center in New Mexico. He now understands why everyone comes back and speaks highly of the ATA Show.
“The Show is everything I expected and more,” Mexicano said. “I love it. My favorite part is finally meeting some of the manufacturers that I deal with regularly and putting faces to names of the people I talked to on the phone. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything here but being here makes doing business easier.”
The New Product Launch Showcase featured over 120 products that debuted at the 2023 ATA Trade Show. Many members were impressed with everything that launched this year. Three of the products were recognized through the ATA’s award program, including:
The Showcase had bows from PSE Archery, Bear Archery, Martin Outdoors, Obsession Archery and Excalibur Crossbow.
PSE launched three new bows, including the Unite, Fortis 30 and 33, and Dominator Duo. Rob Komyathy, sales director for PSE/Outtech, said 100% of their orders included the Fortis bow. Dealers liked how it shot, looked and felt in their hands, as well as its adaptiveness and the new shim system. “It has a lot of new features that the dealers are tuning into,” Komyathy said. “It has good margins too, so that’s been the topic of conversation since it’s competitive and proshop friendly.”
Jon Lené, general manager for Bear Archery Brands, loved seeing the brand’s dealers and introducing them to the new Bear Grizzly Green Glass bow. “Retailers were excited to see and shoot new products and our orders were strong,” he said. “The number of quality retailers on the Show floor was great and our booth and shooting lanes were busy each day. We’re glad we came to the Show and love seeing our dealers each year.”
The ATA Bow Technician Certification course launched at the Show and there was a lot of interest from attendees. The ATA Bow Technician Certification is a new ATA-member benefit that will help member retailers add credibility to their business and provide a consistently positive experience for customers. The course has an on-demand online component and an in-person practical where participants are tested on the course skills, all of which are necessary to set up a compound bow, regardless of brand.
Andy Larsen, owner of Bwana Archery in Saint Paul, Minnesota, signed up a new employee at the Show.
“I think it’s a good way to get new employees up to speed quickly,” he said. “The certification can help with the retention of employees. (The content) is a nice starting point and provides a baseline and foundational knowledge for my employees. It will help me save time, too. It’s hard to set aside time to properly train a bow technician without having to do it on a customer’s bow in front of customers, which isn’t ideal.”
ATA members interested in signing up or those with questions can contact Kurt Smith, ATA’s director of industry relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ATA thanks everyone who attended the 2023 Show. If you have questions about the Show or regarding your ATA-member benefits, please contact the ATA business, membership and Trade Show office at (507) 233-8130.
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