You Spoke. We Listened.
By Amy Hatfield
A cowlicked gray head is just visible through a tiny window on a particleboard office door. The cowlick belongs to my father. He’s a peach farmer, and he doesn’t like to be behind a door. Thus the tiny window. He wants to know everything that’s going on even when his door is closed: in the office, on the grading line, in the orchards and so on. He listens all the time. He not only listens for what’s said, but what’s not said. He listens for the buzz of busyness and, if he doesn’t hear it, he yells assignments from his chair.
Across the hall, there’s a bulletin board with a yellowed newspaper clipping and a quote about listening. It was tacked up when I was in high school to benefit my brother and me. But, really, the whole planet endorses the value of listening. If you Google “listening quotes,” there is a multitude to choose from. One of my faves:
I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I'm going to learn, I must do it by listening. — Larry King
Listening is relative and you can always benefit from more listening, yet I would argue that the ATA has done one of its best jobs of listening to date; enough, to allow your feedback to shape strategy for the upcoming Trade Show.
After the 2009 Trade Show in Indianapolis, the ATA worked with Virginia-based research firm Responsive Management to survey the likes and dislikes of Show attendees.
As we prepare to return to Indianapolis, results from that survey are proving valuable in negotiating the best deals and discounts we’ve ever offered.
As you might expect, survey feedback from exhibitors almost always differs from feedback from retailers. Yet when asked to provide the top unfavorable factors about the 2009 Show, ATA retailers and exhibitors gave similar answers.
The following factors were somewhat or very unfavorable to retailers:
While the stats tell us the many ways you have spoken, the tangible ways the ATA listens are unfolding after months of negotiating with Indianapolis’ leaders. We’re delivering those dollar-saving details through direct e-mails, our Web site and upcoming newsletters as we roll out registration June 15. The surveys — always in hand — were a persuasive bargaining tool. And, to Indianapolis’ credit, its leaders listened and responded.
Here is a brief preview of what’s to come:
Did You Know?
The ATA provided the Iowa DNR $50,000 to pay for NASPl and archery recreation programs for the Des Moines Community Archery Program.