Core Objectives for Show Season

We asked three veteran retailers: “What are your core objectives for the 2022 ATA Trade Show?” Here’s what they had to say.

Core Objectives for Show Season

Rick Hellums

Archery Unlimited, Prattville, Alabama

We’re excited just to get back in there and put our hands on new products once again. In addition to the restraints of an online-only Show in 2021, many of our sales reps weren’t traveling to bring products to us to see and demo. Anything we didn’t see online, we missed. I’m sure that some worthwhile products got overlooked. I feel like we can better stock our store with new products when we can see them firsthand at the ATA Trade Show. That will be a big priority for us this year.

Often, the truly new and innovative products are launched by companies that aren’t backed by solid rep groups. Their main platform for launching the products is the ATA Trade Show. That means that if you’re not at the ATA Show, chances of seeing some of their products are quite slim. Being at the ATA Show gives me the opportunity to see the next best thing right away when it’s brand new, and I can put my order in right away to make sure I don’t miss out. If you place your order late, you risk being on the backorder list.

I look forward to reconnecting with manufacturers, too. Relationships are a huge part of our business. That face-to-face interaction cannot be replaced with phone calls. You get to know folks better, and the stronger the relationships you build, the better your manufacturers will take care of you. Face-to-face dialogue means a lot to me and makes the difference in a lot of cases.

From time to time, we also engage in some of the ATA’s learning opportunities. As of right now, we haven’t decided which seminars we’ll attend, but they can be beneficial, particularly for newer store owners.

To summarize, our core objectives at ATA 2022 will be seeing and handling new products firsthand, but also keeping our relationships with manufacturers alive.


Steve MacBride

The Archer’s Edge, Oakdale, Pennsylvania

I’ll try to complete as many orders as possible before the ATA Show. Then, I’ll have more time to spend cruising up and down aisles at the Show to look for new products and demo them. That will be critical in uncovering good products that we weren’t able to find last year. I really want to dedicate time toward looking at bows and accessories that I’m not currently carrying to see how I might be able to expand my offerings to better meet my customers’ needs. I’ll also be on the lookout for little niche hunting products. 

Another reason behind ordering early is we had some miscommunications with manufacturers in 2021. If I had an order programmed for May 1, that meant I was expecting it to ship on May 1. But, the problem was that some orders were placed on the programmed date, not shipped. So, shipments I was expecting in May instead arrived in July. We can’t have that happen again, so I’m going to address this with the manufacturers before and during the Show.

In the past, it was easy. I’d go to the ATA Show with my notes on what I sold the previous year, then make my orders accordingly. Things have changed a lot in the last year and a half. Some shipments were delayed up to 16 weeks. If I learned anything through this time, it’s that you have to be proactive with ordering and plan way ahead. Often, I’ll receive a shipment and then call in the next order immediately so I don’t run out of product. Gone are the days when I could make calculated ordering decisions during the Trade Show. I need to have as much done ahead of time as possible so I can get product faster.

Also, we look forward to returning to the way things were with face-to-face interaction with the manufacturers at the Show. That’s very important to us. By building solid relationships with the companies, I feel comfortable with asking them to chip in if I’m going to run a sale. Sometimes they’ll help with incentives. Good relationships also give us the leverage to ask for a sales rep to help out with demoing products with customers during the sale event.


Robert Teegardin

Bowhunter’s Edge Archery, Colorado Springs, Colorado

I’d dive a little deeper into all of this, but I’m in the mountains hunting for elk right now. Anyway, we’re a big Bowtech dealer, so one of our main goals is to meet some of the company’s new reps. Things have been changed around a bit, and there some folks I’m looking forward to meeting in person. We really value meeting people that we work with from Bowtech and numerous other archery manufacturers, too.

We also want to see what products we might have missed out on this last year. The ATA Show is our opportunity to look for and find new products. We learn about the new products so that we can inform our customers about them. We also occasionally give manufacturers suggestions for products.

The ATA Show is also a great learning experience. We usually attend the seminars and have found them beneficial. We’ll jump in on some of those again this year, I’m sure.


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