Author: Jackie Holbrook
#ATA2019 is over but the excitement doesn’t end in Louisville, Kentucky. Retailers head home with the newest and coolest products on order for their customers. Manufacturers leave with orders in-hand and the motivation to keep innovative products coming. And everyone leaves a little tired.
The ATA Trade Show is the largest archery and bowhunting event of the year; over 9,000 individuals, from more than 1,000 retail shops and 29 countries attended this year. From educational seminars to evening concerts, and loads of fun on the floor, here’s a recap of #ATA2019.
The ATA unveiled it's new logo and mission statement at this year's Show. Photo credit: ATA
ATA’s New Look
If you’ve been to the ATA Trade Show in the past, some things looked a little different this year. ATA unveiled it’s new look at #ATA2019. The rebrand includes a new logo and mission statement, to better align with the industry. The new mission statement reads: “We exist to inspire growth, increase participation, and preserve the sports of archery and bowhunting.”
Exciting New Products
The ATA Trade Show is where many manufacturers give the world a first-look at what’s new. The “Innovation Zone” and “Featured Products” sections are some of the busiest areas of the floor as people peruse the latest in archery and bowhunting gear.
The “Featured Products” section was the first place Amanda Mattson of Trueflight Feathers headed when she got a break from the booth. “Booner Decoys came up with the arrow dart game,” Mattson said. “They’ve had a lot of dealers over there and they are using our feathers on their darts, so that’s interesting.”
Paul Sievert, a buyer for Kinsey’s, enjoyed checking out the newest blinds. “There’s a lot of really neat blinds with that true surround view that I’ve been intrigued by,” Sievert said. “It seems like all the manufacturers have something neat.”
Any opportunity to interact with merchandise draws a large crowd. Throughout the Show the shooting lanes remained steady. “Mathews, Bowtech, Hoyt, all three have great new bows,” said Orvie Cantrell of Big O’s Archery in Sherman, Texas. “I think that will really help the industry this year. Those three guys have really new top-end stuff.” Cantrell says his shop doesn’t have a market for them, but says he also really enjoyed riding the electric bikes. “The bikes are really cool.”
There were plenty of great booth events this year to keep everyone excited. Photo Credit: ATA
Morning, day and evening, there’s always something fun to do at the ATA Trade Show. #ATA2019 kicked off with a live concert from Rodney Atkins at Outtech Innovations XXI, a high-energy event featuring new products and old friends.
Throughout the Show, there were several giveaways. “The Scent Crusher giveaway was awesome,” said Marcello Bondi, a retailer at Antler River Archery in Delaware, Ontario. “They did a really good job of entertaining everyone there with the giveaways. I think ATA is a good time to just hang out and it’s all about archery, which is awesome.”
Everybody loves an opportunity to win some free swag and snap a photo with a favorite industry celeb. Booth events featured Levi Morgan, Eva Shockey, Lee and Tiffany Lakosky and many, many more. “My favorite industry celebrity would probably be Cam Hanes,” said Cam Donlin, a retailer at Antler River Archery. “ His name is Cam, my name is Cam! He’s a big inspiration to a lot of people.”
After spending all day walking the Trade Show floor, people were excited to sit down and enjoy watching bowhunting on the big screen at Friday night’s Badlands Film Festival Presented by Garmin at the Louisville Palace Theatre. “Really cool venue,” said Dustin Youtz of MWS Associates in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. “It was a really good vibe there, really good energy.”
The Show is meant to drive sales but it’s also an opportunity to learn about industry issues and business-building practices. Carol Sandstrom, the director of Take Flight Community Outreach attends the Show for the seminars. “They are amazing,” Sandstrom said. “They are always really, really good and yes, they are geared toward retailers but there were so many good ones.”
Seminars take place daily before the Show floor opens but this year, the ATA staff gave attendees the opportunity to gain industry insight throughout the day. The “Coffee Talks” took place in the My ATA area and covered a variety of important topics like the explore programs, ATA’s new branding and engaging with customers online.
“One thing I really, really liked were the Coffee Talks,” Sandstrom said. “With the seminars you can only go to one a day and with the Coffee Talks you have several different topics throughout the day.”
Networking is one of the greatest perks of the Trade Show. Photo credit: ATA
Beyond all the awesome archery products, the ATA Trade Show is really about people and a shared passion for the archery and bowhunting industry. “My favorite part of the Show is seeing everyone there for one reason,” Bondi said. “We’re all there for archery and seeing the new products that come out, it’s really exciting.”
“We can have conversations direct with our vendors and that has really helped me put a face to the name,” said Brendan Hansen, co-owner of Archery Country in Austin, Texas. “Meeting other people in the industry has really helped a lot. The networking aspect has been awesome.”
Thank you for attending #ATA2019. We look forward to seeing you in Indianapolis in 2020, Jan. 9-11.