A capacity crowd packed Outtech Innovations’ Gone Country event Jan. 5 to check out new products and enjoy a performance by country music star Luke Bryan. Archery360 was on site, covering fashion and highlighting footwear from traditional to funky in a piece called "2014 Trade Show Fashion: Boots."
Willie Robertson, CEO of Duck Commander and Buck Commander, and star of “Duck Dynasty,” was spotted in the crowd and introduced Luke Bryan’s low-key set. Willie wasn’t the only one sporting an eye-catching beard at the Show. Archery360 also covered this fashion trend in "2014 Trade Show Fashion: Bold Beards."
The 2014 Beer and Gear Exchange, which provides opportunities for retailers and exhibitors to network after the Show closes, was also a hit with Show-goers.
This year, the Hudalla sales-rep group boosted attendance at the Hudalla Customer Appreciation event – their portion of the Beer and Gear Exchange – by providing a buffet meal for attendees. The CanCooker Celebrity Cook-Off gave retailers free samples of delicious recipes, plus a chance to interact with industry celebrities. Meanwhile, the Outtech sales-rep group gave away valuable hunts and prizes.
“ATA works to create value, excitement and opportunities for all retailers who attend the Show,” said Kurt Weber, ATA’s director of marketing. “That’s why we put so much effort into events like the Beer and Gear Exchange. We also want to thank Hudalla, CanCooker and Outtech for providing value to retailers who attend.”
ATA and the NHL’s Nashville Predators also collaborated to provide Show attendees an additional networking venue. Show attendees received discounted tickets for the Predators’ game with the San Jose Sharks. The hockey tickets helped ATA members entertain business clients, relax with industry friends, or spend some fun time with family.
Celebrity appearances make the ATA Trade Show even more exciting, and the 2014 Show featured plenty of sightings.
Reigning Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, signed autographs and talked with fans and Archery 360 about archery and hunting, and how they changed her life how archery and hunting have changed her life.
Actor and longtime archer Josh Stewart, who appeared in “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises,” and “The Walking Dead” was spotted in the BowTech booth, and gave a quick interview to Archery360.
Olympic medalists Brady Ellison and Jake Kaminski, Paralympic medalists Matt Stutzman, multi-time World Champion archers Reo Wilde and Jesse Broadwater, and 3-D archery superstar Cara Fernandez also hit the Show floor to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
New products and celebrity appearances weren’t the only draws at the Show. The Archery Academy’s 30-seminar lineup set records with 1,167 attendees, breaking the previous record of 1,132 at the 2009 Show in Indianapolis.
This year’s record is even more impressive when realizing the Academy offered 42 seminars in January 2009 when setting the previous record. That year’s schedule also included eight seminars during the noon hour, which drew 101 attendees. The 2010 Academy at Columbus, Ohio, drew 1,015, the only other time the morning seminars exceeded 1,000 attendees.
This year’s Academy also set a record for average class size at 38.9 per seminar, squeezing past the 38.8 average set in 2007 with 24 seminars and 932 attendees at Atlanta.