Dealers And Dishrags
By Amy Hatfield
I worked for long-time radio sideline reporter Loran Smith. Smith had been around the Georgia program for decades — when my dad was a student there, when I was a student there — and just this year retired. I was his managing editor for the game day football programs and scheduled interviews for his pre-game radio shows.
The man didn’t use e-mail and rarely used the phone to summon me. Instead, he would yell my name in a shrill and bitter manner and I would grab my notepad and fast-walk down the hall to his office. My dad often told me to have a pen and paper ready at all times. Loran reinforced that. He’d spit out tasks and sing this tune when he was done, “make a note, make a note, make a note.” It was silly, but he wanted me to write junk down, have a plan for the day, and execute the plan.
The Trade Show is no different. Recently, I edited a column titled, “Plan Your Hunt, Hunt Your Plan,” that will run in an upcoming issue of ArrowTrade. The column profiles Show features that will benefit the dealers attending and offers tips to make the most of this year's Show. The emphasis is on having a good game plan.
Think of the Trade Show as a dishrag full of water. The water represents the Show’s value. As a dealer, you want to ring as much “water” as possible out of the Show. As the Show's owners and operators, our responsibility is to drench the dishrag.
Ringing Out the Dishrag*
On Exclusive Show Deals: “Some deals you’d never hear about if you weren’t there. Maybe a manufacturer discounted a quiver or release, and is selling them pennies on the dollar. They’re unique situations that happen just once. A classic example was a deal a couple of years ago when a distributor got stuck with a bunch of custom, exclusive arrows after a program didn’t go as planned. I basically bought a full season’s arrow supply of carbon arrows, and made a lot of money off of it. You don’t get deals like that by staying home.” — John Larsen, owner of Bwana Archery in St. Paul, Minnesota
On Time Management: Don’t waste time – yours or the manufacturers -- when visiting booths at the Show. “You want to be friendly, but get to the point of why you’re there. I start with companies I’ve been doing business with. If I’ve already seen their new products from their reps in November and December, I might have some questions: what specials they have that won’t be offered later. If they don’t have anything, I keep moving, but maybe swing back later in the Show.” — Brian Brochu, owner of Brian’s Archery in Barrington, New Hampshire.
On New Product: “I’m also looking for new companies that don’t have reps yet. If they make something I like, I’ll try to stock it before the reps get their hands on it. That way I can have products my competition hasn’t seen yet.” — Brian Brochu, owner of Brian’s Archery in Barrington, New Hampshire.
Sampling The Water*
Indy Eats. A comprehensive lineup of downtown Indianapolis dining establishments that signed on as official “ATA Trade Show restaurants,” which means significant discounts for Show attendees.
Parking. Better rates and more options for parking at or near the hotels and the Convention Center.
Product Discounts. The second year of the popular Big Buck Tags coupon book, which offers dealers thousands of dollars in savings for inventory ordered at the Show.
Take A Load Off. The new ATA Beer & Gear Exchange is a relaxing opportunity for everyone attending the Show to unwind and network. Eight cash bars will be located in the hallways surrounding the Trade Show exhibit hall on Thursday and Friday evenings.
*Excerpts taken from the upcoming column, “Plan Your Hunt, Hunt Your Plan.”
Did You Know?
In June 2008, Director Dale Hall of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that ATA-sponsored youth archery/bowhunting programs will begin this year on at least 16 national wildlife refuges across the country.