Author: Cassie Gasaway
The 2020 ATA Trade Show in Indianapolis, Jan. 9-11, will be full of excitement, new products, and great friends. If you’ve been to the ATA Trade Show, you know how to prepare. If this is your first time attending, let’s review your packing list. Certain items will make your Show experience better than you could have imagined.
1. Express Pass
If you preregistered for the Show, the ATA emailed you an Express Pass with a barcode. Print the barcode or download it to your phone so it’s available when you arrive at the Indiana Convention Center. The Express Pass allows you to obtain your Show badge and lanyard at the Show at one of three Express Pass kiosks: The Wabash-West Lobby, outside rooms 120 and 121; the Intersection of Wabash and Crossroads Lobby; or in the Hoosier Lobby at the main registration desk. If you forget your Express Pass, use the self-serve kiosk to find your registration reservation by last name, or visit ATA staff at main registration for full-service assistance.
Please note: Dec. 20 is the last day to register for the Show by phone, fax, email or mail. Online registration is open throughout the Show. Only retailers can register onsite at the Show. Click here for registration information.
Come prepared with hard figures and a spending plan. To avoid exhausting your funds during the first few days of the year, create a budget and set spending limits. Do your homework to determine what products you need to buy. Create a product wishlist for items if you have money leftover. Promise to stick to your budget.
Want the ATA to pay for your products? Enter the Show’s $5,000 giveaway. The ATA will give away $5,000 each day at the Show. Retailers who place $5,000 in orders at the Show 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. This new giveaway is the ATA’s way of thanking attendees for doing business on the Show floor. Submit your coupon on Day 1 (Buyer Day) so you have multiple chances to win. Winners will be drawn in the MyATA Area at 5 p.m. on Day 1 and 2, and 3 p.m. on Day 3.
ScentLok is also giving away $1,000 each day to retailers. Read more about both giveaways and other ways to save at the Show in this ATA article.
Use our app to locate booths, set alerts for events, and more. Photo credit: ATA
It might go without saying, but don’t forget your phone! Use it to record conversations, take notes, and call friends and coworkers to meet up. You can also download the free 2020 ATA mobile app, which provides many features, including a map, planner, schedule, sales guide, and booth and exhibitor guide. It also lists booth events and shows food-court locations. The app keeps you organized and informed throughout the Show.
4. Portable Charger
If you use your phone a lot, you’ll need to recharge your battery often. A portable charger makes recharging easy, and you won’t be locked down near a random outlet.
Check out your goodie bag when you arrive at the Show for free products. Photo Credit: ATA
5. Goodie Bag
Instead of bringing a bag or backpack to carry your phone, portable charger and other supplies in, remember to pick up your free Goodie Bag near main registration. Every retailer attendee gets one.
Toting a Goodie Bag allows you to throw everything over your shoulder so you’re free to shake hands, inspect products, and fill out order forms. The bag includes gifts, product samples, informational pamphlets, promotional items and inserts from exhibitors. It’s the perfect size to stash pens, papers and swag from the Show floor.
6. Hand Sanitizer
Thousands of people attend the Show. You’ll hug old friends, shake hands with new people, and handle pens and products that many others have touched. Those interactions make you susceptible to germs and viruses. Most hand sanitizers kill 99.9% of bacteria, which helps you prevent illness.
Plus, you’ll likely be up early and stay out late, which makes for long days and short nights. A hectic schedule will take its toll and weaken your immune system. Washing your hands regularly and using hand sanitizer on the Show floor will help you ward off bugs and bacteria.
7. Medicines/Cough Drops
Speaking of illnesses, come prepared to tackle health issues you might face. Pack ibuprofen for headaches, backaches and sore feet. Is your throat raw or scratchy from talking too much? Bring cough drops to soothe it. Also, pack Vitamin C tablets or Emergen-C packs to help support your immune system, and any other medicines you might need. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you forget, use your phone to locate pharmacies within walking distance of the convention center.
8. Comfortable Shoes
With 510,000 square feet of exhibit space and about 620 exhibitors to meet, you’ll be on the move. You’ll take thousands of steps to visit every exhibitor. Comfortable footwear makes long walks and hours of standing bearable.
If you forget snacks, there will be plenty of options at our food courts and concessions stands. Photo credit: ATA
9. Snacks and Drinks
After walking all day, you will probably burn tons of calories. Even if you enjoy big meals, you might still need an energizing snack. Consider bringing snacks like granola, apples and protein bars. These items will satisfy your appetite and provide long-lasting energy, unlike chips or candy.
If you forgot your snacks or prefer to buy onsite, you’ll find several food courts and concession stands at the Show. Click the “Eat” tab and icon on the ATA’s Trade Show mobile app to view the Exhibit Hall Concessions Map. You can also find the document in the Attendee Toolkit on the ATA website.
Remember to hydrate, too. Although soda, coffee and energy drinks are tempting, they contain lots of caffeine and sugar, which will give you a quick burst of energy then wear off, leaving you feeling sluggish. Try to replenish with water as often as you can. Bringing a refillable water bottle might remind or encourage you to drink more water.
Bring cash, your card or checkbook to buy food, drinks and ATA merchandise, which is new for the 2020 Show. The ATA will sell merchandise, including hats and T-shirts in the MyATA Area. Attendees will have six original designs to choose from, all of which help promote archery.
You’ll also need money if you decide to rent a scooter onsite. A mobility scooter costs $120 for three days. Each additional day is $40. Daily scooter rentals will also be available at the Indiana Convention Center for $60. To preregister, fill out this form, or call Lifestyle Mobility Scooters at (317) 855-3158.
Most important, bring your smile and a positive attitude. The ATA Trade Show is known for having good energy and a welcoming atmosphere. Everyone is passionate about the industry, which makes it a great place to meet new people and connect with old friends and business partners. Stay positive, and you’re sure to have an enjoyable Show experience.
Get more planning tips for the 2020 Show by reading the ATA’s article “Retailers: Plan Your Ultimate Trade Show Experience.”
Questions about the Show? Please contact the ATA’s Trade Show, business and membership office toll-free at (866) 266-2776.