How to maximize your 2018 ATA Trade Show investments

Whether you swipe cards or pay cash, spending money can cause stress. But what if you made an investment in your business that could generate great returns?

If you’re focused on making your archery business more profitable, consider investing in the 2018 ATA Trade Show in Indianapolis, Jan. 11-13.

The ATA Trade Show, hosted by the Archery Trade Association (ATA), is the world’s biggest, most inclusive bowhunting and archery trade show. You don’t want to miss its valuable networking, educational and business opportunities.

Attending this event is an excellent investment of time and resources, and it’s never too early to start planning your trip. Here’s how to make the most of the Show.

1. Navigate the Show Floor Like a Boss

With over 600 exhibitors occupying nearly 240,000 square feet of booth space, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the Show. But don’t fret. Pick up the ATA Show Guide and Membership Directory to conquer the Show floor, and the Trade Show itself.

The guide helps you identify special events, helpful ATA staff and more. Use the guide’s floor map to plot efficient routes to all your high-priority exhibitors. You can also visit an ATA information booth on the Show floor to ask staff and volunteers questions, or point you in the right direction. Floor directories and booth locators will also be located around the Indiana Convention Center to help.

Insider Tip: Download the 2018 ATA Trade Show mobile app. Its many features maximize your time at the Show. Use the “locate me” feature to pinpoint your location and map a route to the next booth and beyond. The app’s “my planner” function also helps you schedule your day so you don’t miss anything. The app also lets you study the floor plan, find exhibitors, track booth events and more.

2. Visit the Member Services Area

The Member Services Area (MSA) is your ticket to higher profits. ATA staff members will discuss ATA-member programs that boost your business by growing and promoting archery and bowhunting. Learn about the Retail Growth Initiative, which features great profit-building ideas, ATA ePRO software, and the ATA’s educational programs: Explore Bowhunting, Explore Bowfishing and Explore Archery. You’ll also hear about other exclusive programs, websites and initiatives to help your business prosper.

Insider Tip: We can’t stress this enough: Start your 2018 ATA Trade Show experience in the MSA. Meet with an ATA staff member to identify ways to increase profits and boost your bottom line. Who wouldn’t want that?

3. Browse the Featured Products Showcase

The Featured Products Showcase helps retailers focus on products their customers will buy. With no salespeople or exhibitors around, this relaxed environment lets attendees mix leisure with business. Products line over 800 feet of tabletop space. You decide which products deserve inspections, sniff tests and booth follow-ups.

Insider Tip: After leaving the MSA, visit Featured Products next for a general idea of the Show’s inventory. You’ll see all the best products quickly in one place, saving you time and energy you’ll need on Day 3. As you walk these aisles, take notes on products you think your customers will buy.

4. Attend a Seminar Daily

The ATA Trade Show presents free Academy Seminars daily at 7:15 a.m. These hour-long sessions help retailers grow revenues and increase efficiencies with valuable tips, insights and industry knowledge. The seminars cover topics like bow tuning, workbench rates, marketing tips, business practices, and profitable use of ranges and retail space. The more you know about sales, products, marketing and your customers, the more profitable you’ll become.

Insider Tip: Assign your staff different seminars to maximize your team’s education. And remember your pen and paper! Take notes so you can share and compare what you learned with your coworkers afterward. Did we mention there’s free coffee, juice and continental breakfast?

5. Join a Buyers Group and Attend their Event

The Archery Range and Retailers Organization’s Hot Show is held 1½ days before the ATA Trade Show, at the same location. The Hot Show features many one-day-only deals on great products. ARRO is a buyers group, meaning it harnesses the buying power of individual archery and bowhunting retailers into a cooperative membership group to receive manufacturers’ best wholesale pricing. By attending the ARRO Hot Show right before the ATA Show, attendees can save time and money by working two shows in one trip.

Insider Tip: Before making travel plans, talk to ARRO staff about joining their buying group. If you join, arrive onsite two days early to get a head start on the ATA Trade Show with ARRO’s hot deals. While there, also consider getting certified to teach archery. The Level 2 instructor certification class is taught a day before the ATA Show, on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 8 a.m.

One more tip: Start each day early while excited and energized, and make business your priority. Then, plan to visit and socialize after lunch as you tire.

6. Check Out the Hospitality Events

Attend the Hudalla PreShow event and the Outtech Innovations party for great deals and even better company. Both events help you double dip by mixing business and pleasure in a party-like atmosphere with dedicated industry professionals. You’ll get to network with like-minded industry folks, preview new products and show specials, and take advantage of door-buster deals that jump-start your orders. Don’t miss Hudalla Associates’ Customer Appreciation Night, either. Celebrate the archery and bowhunting industry at all three events with entertainment, free food, and celebrity meet-and-greets!

Insider Tip: Take advantage of awesome business deals at these events while socializing with new acquaintances. Visiting with your peers can spark business ideas or reveal new products to check out ASAP.

By following these guidelines, you’ll help your Trade Show investment pay dividends that make you more profitable.

The ATA Trade Show is a members-only event that’s closed to the public. To attend, you must be an ATA member. If you’re already an ATA member, online registration for the 2018 ATA Trade Show begins June 14. Log into your ATA-member account on to get started. If you own an archery and bowhunting business, and are eligible for membership, join the ATA to register and attend the Show. For membership and registration questions, please contact the ATA Trade Show’s business and membership office at, or call (866) 266-2776 or (507) 233-8130.

Featured photo: The Archery Trade Association (ATA)