*information updated September 30, 2014.
The ATA Trade Show returns to Indianapolis for its annual three-day run Jan. 8-10, 2015, marking its first visit to Indy since 2011.
The Archery Trade Association’s leaders expect a balance of new and improved features will make the 2015 Show the biggest and best yet. Returning to Indy – the favored Show location based on ATA-member surveys – is a positive, much-anticipated move. Extra space, educational opportunities and customer-appreciation events also are slated.
Here are four reasons you can’t miss the 2015 ATA Trade Show.
1) Return to Indy
This will be the first ATA Trade Show to visit Indianapolis since the Indiana Convention Center completed extensive renovations. Further, ATA President and CEO Jay McAninch recently announced a long-term deal to hold the Show in Indy seven of the next nine years.
“ATA has surveyed its members since 2009, and we work to take the Show where our members want to go,” McAninch said. “Based on the Show’s needs and our members’ travel preferences, Indy is their favorite by far.”
Studies of ATA members found 70 percent of them drive to the Show, so ATA strives to hold the event in cities most convenient for this majority. The Show was held in Indianapolis six times between 2001 and 2011. ATA held the Show in four cities the past four years: Indianapolis in 2011; Columbus, Ohio, in 2012; Louisville in 2013; and Nashville in 2014.
2) Additional Space
Attendees can expect more space and convenience than at previous Shows, thanks to smart planning and renovations at the Indiana Convention Center.
Those renovations created a large, open Show floor that allows design flexibility not available in many locations. The 2015 Show will devote 474,000 square feet to booth space in halls C through K in the Convention Center. The ARRO Hot Show will be in Hall A, putting it much closer to the Show floor.
The Retail Archery Academy and ATA program demonstrations will be in Hall B, which offers direct access to the Show floor.
The “Featured Products” area, three business-hub locations, and lounges and food courts for retailers and exhibitors will be conveniently located on the floor.
The spacious floor allowed the ATA to open additional booth space to vendors. As of *September 30, here’s how the Show floor is shaping up:
- 566 exhibitors reserved 203,800 square feet of booth space;
- 69 shooting lanes are reserved;
- 77 companies are exhibiting on the ATA Show floor for the first time;
- 30 companies increased their booth space by 400 or more square feet;
- 43 companies plan to exhibit in the "Innovation Zone";
- and 25 companies plan to exhibit in the "Innovation Zone" for the first time.
ATA is bringing a food court onto the Show floor to increase convenience and provide additional seating for attendees.
“Food service is a point of contention at every Show,” said Kurt Weber, ATA director of marketing. “No matter what, there are always long lines. In 2015, a large food court and concession stands will be open on the Show floor. This is one more step we’re taking to make buying lunch as fast as possible so Show attendees can focus on networking and writing orders.”
Indianapolis also offers nearby dining options for attendees. About 250 pubs, shops, restaurants and attractions are within walking distance of the Convention Center and downtown hotels. Indy’s high-density food options increase opportunities for a more productive, successful Show by keeping conversations alive on or off the Show floor.
Since the ATA Show’s last visit, Indianapolis has hosted a Super Bowl, created the 7.5-mile Indianapolis Cultural Trail, and been named America’s Best Convention City in “USA Today.” But here’s the distinction ATA Show attendees might like best: The Indiana Convention Center connects to more hotel rooms (4,700) than any other similar setup in the nation.
In 2011, ATA used 1,650 rooms at six hotels connected to the Convention Center. In 2015, eight hotels with 2,639 total rooms in the ATA block will connect to the Convention Center via heated walkways.
“In Indy, Show attendees can arrive at their hotel, remove their jacket, and not need it again until they head home,” McAninch said. “We’ve always had attendees scattered around downtown in various hotels, but that’s tough when the weather is extremely cold, as it was in Nashville in 2014. Now we’re in a unique position where everyone can stay in a connected, convenient room if they choose.”
3) Educational Opportunities
One member benefit available exclusively during the ATA Show is opportunities to learn from ATA staff and industry insiders in classroom settings.
Retail Archery Academy
One of the most exciting new features in 2015 is the Retail Archery Academy, a program developed and implemented by the ATA to help retailers capture interest and generate revenue from recreational archery. The Retail Archery Academy will be open the same hours as the Show floor.
“The Retail Archery Academy is a tremendous member benefit,” Weber said. “ATA’s staff worked hard and tested the program before officially rolling it out at the 2015 Show. We’re delivering a package that can be customized to work for most retail shops. Who doesn’t want to increase revenue and profits for their shop?”
At the Show, the Retail Archery Academy and other hands-on demonstrations will take place in Hall B, which connects directly to the Show floor. Retailers are not pressured to adopt Academy practices in their stores. It’s a voluntary program for retailers who want to capture the recreational archery market.
“We want to help retailers consider additional business options,” said Michelle Zeug, ATA director of archery and bowhunting programs. “We’re still serving bowhunters to grow bowhunting, but we can also include recreational archers.”
The Retail Archery Academy provides retailers:
- simple ways to improve websites, or create a website with templates that drive more customers to their website, and ultimately, their store;
- lesson and program progression plans that provide profitable introductions, and then a series of programs and activities that engage participants and lead to more sales and long-term commitments;
- tactics to reach a new market with modern marketing techniques, including Daily Deal sites and social media campaigns;
- business operations plans to increase efficiency and lead to future success;
- and merchandising tips for new ways to showcase and sell recreational archery equipment.
With topics ranging from bow-tuning tips to understanding the federal excise tax, ATA seminars offer chances to ask questions and get answers from the industry’s most knowledgeable professionals. The seminars run from 7:15 a.m. until 8:15 a.m., which leaves presenters and attendees time to complete a seminar without sacrificing time on the Show floor.
Jennifer Mazur, ATA coordinator of archery and bowhunting programs, offers a variety of seminars each year to help retailers and manufacturers strengthen their businesses. Mazur highlighted four can’t-miss seminars for the 2015 ATA Show:
- Shooting Tips and Tricks
Jesse Broadwater, Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski, Brandon Reyes, Reo Wilde
World champion archers Reo Wilde and Jesse Broadwater – along with Olympic silver medalists Brady Ellison and Jake Kaminski – offer tips for shooting various types of release aids and finger tabs. Brandon Reyes, International Bowhunting Organization world champion and T.R.U. Ball Archery director of marketing, will moderate this seminar.
- Digital Media Content
Dave Thomas, president of BowHunterPlanet.com
This seminar will help companies learn how to harness content and create it at low costs while also showing how and when to use that content.
- Growing Your Pro Shop with Youth Programs and Efficient Service
George Ryals IV, owner of Last Chance Archery/Archery Learning Center
Pro-shop owners will learn time-saving techniques for faster service, and how to grow their customer base and extend their buying season with youth programs.
- Patent Trolls and Intellectual-Property Litigation
Michael A. Oropallo, Hiscock & Barclay, LLP
The presenter will provide practical advice and recent developments about handling patent trolls and intellectual-property litigation.
Attendance for the 30 seminars at the 2014 Show in Nashville, Tennessee, was a record-setting 1,167. The previous high of 1,132 was set at the 2009 Show in Indianapolis. When the Show returns to Indy in 2015, seminar attendance might set more records.
4) Customer Appreciation
The ATA Show is a prime opportunity to see the industry’s newest and best products. Meanwhile, the Hudalla and Outtech sales-rep groups take advantage of the Show to thank their valued dealers.
“Outtech Innovations, held the night before the Show, gets our retail attendees fired up and tuned in,” Weber said. “Hudalla’s high-energy customer appreciation event on the first night of the Show keeps the show momentum moving forward. Both companies’ events in 2014 were hugely successful. In fact, our only concern in Nashville was exceeding the venue’s maximum capacity, as set by the fire marshal. We nearly did!”
- Hudalla Pre-Show Event
Wednesday, Jan. 7, 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Features: Enjoy refreshments and visit booths of all companies Hudalla represents. Pick up wrist bands and get your Big Money Coupon validated for the cash drawing at the Customer Appreciation Night. You can test products in the test area/shooting range, and watch presentations by manufacturers in a separate classroom.
- Outtech Innovations
Jan. 7, 6:30 p.m.
The electrifying Outtech Innovations party, held the night before the Show, is the archery industry’s largest gathering of retailers and wholesale professionals. Innovations offers a night of entertainment, one-night door-buster specials, and a fresh look at new 2015 products. The 2014 Innovations event filled the 64,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom at the Music City Center in Nashville, and featured country music artist Luke Bryan (pictured below) and a guest appearance by Rhett Akins. Previous Innovations parties featured such celebrities as Akins, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White and Craig Morgan; and special appearances by Olympic archers and TV personalities. During the ATA Show, Outtech typically gives away more than $50,000 in prizes, including hunts to Alaska and New Zealand.
- Hudalla Customer Appreciation Night
Thursday, Jan. 8, 6:15 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Hudalla sales-rep group boosted attendance at the Hudalla Customer Appreciation event in 2014 by providing a buffet meal for attendees. Relax and enjoy musical entertainment before the true excitement begins with the manufacturers’ prize toss. Stick around for $10,000 worth of cash prizes.
Don’t miss the 2015 ATA Show! For information about the Show, visit www.archerytrade.org.