The 2010 ATA Trade Show drew thousands of bowhunters to the Greater Columbus Convention Center last week, and at final tally there was a 12 percent increase in traffic from last year's show.
The attendance spike seems to prove that while the economy may be stumbling into the new year, the archery world is going to hit the ground running in 2010.
“The mood on the floor was the most upbeat I recall in the 10 years I’ve been with the ATA,” said Jay McAninch, ATA CEO/president. “All told, many exhibitors sighted increases that — in some cases — amounted to double the business from the 2009 show, a very good show in its own right.”
The Trade Show floor featured 478 exhibitors, 25 more than in 2009. This total included 90 first-time exhibitors, as well as 24 start-up companies in the ATA’s new Innovation Zone. International attendance continued its upward trend as the show saw a 51 percent increase in the number of international retail and distributor companies attending.
Those that didn't have a business interest in archery could walk the floor at the ATA show and see just about every hunting celebrity to ever pick up a bow. Michael Waddell, flanked by his Bone Collector crew, signed autographs and chatted with hundreds of interested ATA members and fans, while Lee and Tiffany Lakosky held court a few booths down the row. Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones hung around with the Buck Commander boys and even quipped during an autograph frenzy, “you got to love the hunting crowd.”
Jim Shockey also made an appearance pushing his new Signature Series Yukon bow by Alpine Archery.
If you couldn't make it to the ATA Trade Show this year, here are a few notes on what you missed:
--A record 40 shooting lanes were rented in Columbus.
--A total of 334 people from 37 international countries are registered for the show.
--Industry professionals are here from every state except Hawaii. Ohio tops the list with 792attendees, and then it's Michigan, 605; Indiana, 387; Wisconsin, 385; and Illinois, 329.