When you walk into the “Featured Products” area on the far end of Hall D at the ATA Trade Show, you realize it’s just you and the products placed there by proud manufacturers.
It doesn’t matter if the products are made by the largest manufacturer on the Show floor or a lonely inventor with a small booth in the Innovation Zone, they’re all displayed and reviewed the same way at “Featured Products.” That is, all they get is a placard with the product and manufacturer’s name, and the booth number. Exhibitors leave pamphlets and information sheets, or simply a business card with contact information.
After that, you decide which products deserve inspections, sniff tests and booth follow-ups. Whether you want to see Darton’s latest bow, Buck Wheatz deer attractants, camo lingerie from Wilderness Dreams, sophisticated hunting wear from Scent-Lok, or fun hunting-themed hats from Revolution Taxidermy Supply, simply browse the Featured Products aisles at your leisure.
No one asks if you need help or encourages you to ask questions. In fact, many “shoppers” enjoy “Featured Products” simply because they can mix laughter and business.
Just ask the guys from Straight Arrow Archery Inc., in Chadwicks, N.Y. Tony Pinto, the store’s service manager, donned a rubber bear hat and posed as his co-workers snapped photos. Seconds later, all three men grabbed different-colored bear hats and posed for yet more pix.
“There’s nothing that says you can’t have fun while you’re working,” Pinto said as they doffed their bear hats and went back to work.
Meanwhile, the “Featured Products” department keeps right on working. Just ask Stacey Johnson, CEO/president of Trophy Hunting Products (Booth L38) who’s displaying his new Stalker Bow Sling. “The ‘Featured Products’ display works for us,” Johnson said. “Dealers see our products there, and then come over here to talk to us about it.”