The results are in and ATA members have spoken: They like Indianapolis best for the ATA Trade Show.
Following a Trade Show week in early January beset by subzero temperatures, slippery highways and canceled flights, the ATA hired Responsive Management to survey ATA members to learn where they prefer to have the annual ATA Trade Show. Responsive Management asked 408 retailers two questions:
- “Of these four cities — Indianapolis, Nashville, Columbus and Louisville — which city would you most want the Trade Show to be held in?”
- “Of those same four cities, which would you not want the Trade Show to be held in?”
They chose Indianapolis as their favorite.
Jay McAninch, ATA president/CEO, said the organization often surveys its members before making decisions that affect them.
“Our Board almost always makes decisions based on direct input from exhibitors or retailers,” he said. “Our dealers are very responsive to telephone surveys during the January/February time period, when business tends to be a little slow for many of them.”
For this survey, Responsive Management targeted retailers who attended ATA shows at the four locations listed in the survey.
“We studied the Show’s location extensively the past five years,” McAninch said. “Several years ago, we found that our core retailers preferred one of four cities: Columbus, Ohio; Nashville, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; and Indianapolis.” Previous surveys looking at travel distances and modes of travel also indicated these four cities are centrally located for 70 percent of ATA’s member-retailers who drive to the Show.
Of the 408 retailers surveyed, 332 attended all four of the most recent ATA shows. The other 76 attended at least one of the four. Of those attending all four (termed “consistent attendees” by Responsive Management) 39 percent voted to hold the Show in Indianapolis. Only 7 percent did not want the Show there.
Nashville was close behind with 37 percent of consistent attendees favoring the location, but 21 percent did not want it there. Columbus garnered 13 percent of the votes, and Louisville 9 percent. When asked where else they would like to have the Show, retailers listed several alternatives, including Las Vegas, 7 percent; St. Louis, 5 percent; Atlanta, 3 percent; Dallas, 3 percent; and Orlando, 2 percent.
Responsive Management also asked retailers to rate Indianapolis, Nashville, Columbus and Louisville from zero to 10, where zero is not good at all, and 10 is a great location. Again, Indianapolis was tops with a 7.89 average rating. Nashville was next at 7.16, and then it was Louisville, 6.04; and Columbus, 5.90.
January in the upper Midwest certainly has its share of winter-weather challenges, particularly during winters like the one just past. Despite those challenges, when weighing all relevant factors, retailers ranked Indianapolis No. 1 for the ATA Trade Show.