2022 ATA Trade Show Recap

Although the 2022 ATA Trade Show faced unprecedented challenges, attendees and exhibitors were able to meet face to face, see and test new archery products, and plan for another big sales year.

2022 ATA Trade Show Recap

I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t sure if the 2022 ATA Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky, would really happen until I stepped onto the Show floor the morning of January 7 to prep our Grand View Outdoors booth for attendees. Twenty minutes later, when the gates opened at 8:30 a.m. (EST), buyers from around the country entered the Kentucky Exposition Center. Was it a massive crowd? No. But it was a step in the right direction — a step toward getting back to normal (remember normal?) as an industry.

It was no surprise that attendance numbers were down during this year’s Show due to the continuing pandemic, in addition to a winter storm that hit the Louisville area on January 6. In 2020, which was the last year for an in-person Show (Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana), 591 exhibitors were present, and they were visited by 8,557 attendees. The 2020 Show was also the first one with the all-new Buyer Day, as well as Best in Show awards.

Traffic during the 2022 ATA Show was certainly lighter than previous years, but in this editor’s opinion, I was pleasantly surprised with the final numbers. According to ATA staff, this year’s Show featured 450 exhibitors and drew 4,302 attendees (548 retail accounts).

I couldn’t agree more with the ATA’s Cassie Gasaway take on the 2022 Show: “The gap in gatherings was apparent as attendees and exhibitors hugged, shook hands, laughed, talked business and shared stories from the past two years. The in-person event invigorated spirits, helped companies plan for the year, and brought a sense of normalcy to the archery and bowhunting industry.”

For those exhibitors present, it was clear they enjoyed additional time with attendees. I can speak only for myself, but I loved the fact that I received the undivided attention of staff working in the booths and shooting lanes. I was able to shoot whichever compound, crossbow or traditional bow of my choosing without standing in a long line. And I could pepper the company rep with question after question without feeling like I was making someone else wait. I tend to see life with a “glass half full” attitude, so I took full advantage of the lighter traffic on the Show floor.

LimbSaver Director of Sales Bill First had this to say during the Show: ““The crowds are less than normal, but everyone that is here wants to buy. The good thing is that there is no wait to get in to talk to people or look at products and pricing. Sales are better than we expected considering all the COVID and weather problems in the country.”

Like in previous years, I wasn’t the only member of the Grand View Outdoors staff at the Show to gather valuable information from manufacturers, retailers and buyers. What we learned will appear throughout the 2022 calendar year in the pages of Archery Business magazine, as well as online at www.archerybusiness.com.

If you chose not to attend the 2022 ATA Trade Show, I certainly understand your decision. The 2023 ATA Show will be held January 11 through January 13 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. I hope to see you there!


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