ATA Trade Show: Attendance and News Trends
By Amy Hatfield
Every year when springtime made its appearance my mom used to orchestrate exhaustive yard work Saturdays. They were despised among the youth faction of our family, in part, because of the pollen; we were all allergy-prone kids. Lame, I know, but every time we cut the lawn, pruned a shrub or clipped back the dead blades of monkey grass along the front of the house, the pollen floated, swirled and situated on anything within its reach. So you basically walked around sneezing all day. And if you went inside to blow your nose, you were timed to make sure you didn't goof off - check to see what was on TV, have some lemonade, make a sandwich. None of that wasn't permitted.
Where am I going with all this? Well, at the end of those yard work Saturdays, we'd "walk the yard" at sunset. The weather would have cooled by then and our entire family - sunburned with dirt and pollen caked in the creases of our necks - would take inventory of our work. Once again - thanks to Mom - we'd taken the wild out of the yard and claimed it as our own again. And even though we hated the chore, it still felt good to see that our work had paid off.
These days when I return from Trade Show I think about "walking the yard." I tally what went down, who was at the Show, what people thought, how new ideas panned out and if messaging and Show communications reached their target audiences. This column is a version of that. It's also a preview of the ATA's Post Show Report you'll find featured in upcoming issues of ArrowTrade, Archery Business and Inside Archery. Below, I offer general Show numbers before putting the focus on communications-related facts: What stories were read most on archerytrade.org? How many of our guys are using their mobile Web browsers to access information? Did people actually use Twitter? And so on.
Who Was In Columbus?
The 2012 ATA Trade Show featured a record 513 exhibitors for the second straight year and attracted more than 2,700 retailers from 49 states and 32 countries during its Jan. 10-12 run at the Greater Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center.
Exhibitors Broke Records
The 2012 exhibitors rented a record 180,836 square feet of booth space, up nearly 8 percent from the previous record set in 2011 and a 17 percent increase from the 2010 Show. Exhibitors also reserved all 73 of the offered shooting lanes, which covered a total of 20,100 square feet. That was the highest number of shooting lanes ever seen.
A Mobile Movement?
The top 5 browsers used to access archerytrade.org during the Show were as follows: 1) Internet Explorer 2) Safari 3) Firefox 4) Android 5) Google Chrome. Meanwhile, 28 percent of archerytrade.org users visited our site using a smartphone or iPad during the week of the Show. For comparison, only 11 percent accessed our site using mobile devices during the Show last year.
TOP 5 "Most Read News Posts on archerytrade.org" (during Show week)
Top 5 "Most Clicked Links from Trade Show Twitter and Facebook Feeds"
What Outside Web Site Sent Traffic Our Way?
During the week of the Show, the No. 1 referral site was facebook.com. The bulk of these referrals likely came from the ATA Trade Show Facebook page, but outlying referrals could have been sent from "fans" of the ATA page who shared or reposted ATA links first posted on the ATA's Facebook page.
Interestingly, the No. 5 top referral site was bigben7.com. Ben Roethlisberger's site reposted the short news blurb about his Show visit, which was first posted on archerytrade.org.
11 Most Interesting (and/or complimentary) Tweets from the 2012 ATA Trade Show
@sdoTRB Jan 10, 10:35am via Twitter for BlackBerry:
@ATATradeShow Jan 10, 11:03am via HootSuite:
@TheWilltoHunt Jan 10, 12:22pm via Seesmic:
(NOTE: The above question was prompted by an ATA-posted picture featuring a harness on a mannequin. As our friend and contributing editor Patrick Durkin later pointed out, the white polo makes the camo harness standout. Still, it's a fair point that white polo shirts and hunters don't typically coexist.)
@GoGrabYourGear Jan 10, 8:26pm via Twitter for Android:
@firefghtnClytn Jan 10, 10:10pm via Twitter for iPhone:
@PPOHunts Jan 10, 10:31pm via Twitter for iPhone:
@moultriefeeders Jan 11, 10:11pm via TweetDeck:
@hawkeoptics Jan 11, 11:50pm via Web:
(NOTE: "RT's" equals "Retweets." Definition of a "Retweet" can be found here.)
@HotCanInc Jan 12, 5:24pm via Twitter for iPhone:
@TrueNorthOD Jan 12, 10:03pm via Twitter for Android:
@A1Archery Jan 13, 9:20pm via Web:
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.