2012 ATA Show Off to Strong Start

   01.11.12

The 2012 ATA Trade Show – featuring more than 500 exhibitors for the second straight year -attracted retailers from 49 states and more than 25 countries Tuesday for the Show’s first day at the Greater Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center.

“With the strong attendance we had today, we’re seeing the drawing power of holding the Show in the upper Midwest,” said Jay McAninch, ATA CEO and president. “The Show’s location allows our dealers from the Northeast, mid-South and Great Lakes states to drive in to keep the travel costs down. The weather cooperated, which we never take for granted in January this far north. We were also happy to see another strong showing from our international dealers, who are strengthening archery while trying to expand bowhunting opportunities in their countries.”

Waiting for the dealers were 513 exhibitors – 69 of them newcomers – occupying 180,836 square feet of space on the Show floor. That’s an 8 percent increase from the 167,550 square feet of space rented in January 2011 at Indianapolis; and a 17 percent increase from the 154,320 rented in January 2010 at Columbus.

In addition, 57 exhibitors occupied all available space in the Innovation Zone, which is open only to start-up manufacturers not yet ready to rent a full-size booth on the Show floor. The Innovation Zone attracted 53 exhibitors for its launch at the 2011 Show.

Exhibitors also reserved all 73 of the Show’s available shooting lanes, which combine to cover 20,100 square feet. This is the highest number of shooting lanes ever seen at the Show. As a result, the 2012 Show covers nearly 201,000 square feet of exhibit space.

When the Show was less than a half-hour old Tuesday, and it seemed all roads went in one direction: to the BowTech booth, where the company launched its new “Insanity” compound bow before a crowd of several hundred dealers. The Insanity’s launch went off with a bang, literally, and then the bow appeared from beneath the explosion’s smoke cloud.

From there, the Insanity did all the talking, as BowTech staff and engineers handed out bows for archery pros to inspect.

The launch helped set the pace for the Show itself. “It’s always exciting to see companies unveil new products at the Show,” McAninch said. “It builds excitement on the floor, and gives dealers a good reason to be here to see the latest innovations and new products.”

In other news from Tuesday, attendance at the 11 morning seminars hit 264, with more than 60 archery dealers packing into Room D321 to hear archery pro Len Marsh discuss technical tricks to help beat the competition.

The Archery Academy, held in the D200 concourse starting daily at 7:15 a.m., features 10 or more classes each morning. The topics range from bow tuning lessons to tips for using today’s social media to build your business.

Ohio sent the most people to the Show, with 626 total attendees. Other states in the top 10 were Michigan, 581; Wisconsin, 397; Indiana, 318; Pennsylvania, 305; Georgia, 295; Minnesota, 294; New York, 280; Texas, 214; and Utah, 208.

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