2011 ATA Trade Show at Indianapolis hailed great success
Jan 11: The 58th annual 2011 ATA Trade Show was held at the Indianapolis Convention Centre, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, held over 3 days from 6th to 8th January 2011. This is the world's largest and longest running show - the most important trade event on the archery calendar & attracted more than 8,000 industry professionals with manufacturers reporting heavy booth traffic and order writing.
Abbey Archery attends the show annually and uses the opportunity to see new products first hand, try out new compound bows and equipment and assess what is suitable and will hold up under our harsh Australian and New Zealand conditions. We also attend breakfast seminars given by experts on archery topics, meet manufacturers and suppliers, where some relationships go back more than 36 years and are invited to the ATA's International Reception, sponsored by our good friends at Bohning, in recognition of the importance of overseas show attendees. We also learn about the state of the US archery market. If there is a trend in the US, we are more than likely stocking that product within months.
This year, our Castle Hill store manager, Grant Hughes, who hails from Montana, USA, attended the show with Tony. Grant left here just before Christmas to spend time with his family back home over Christmas before the show. Grant who recently clocked up 12 months with us, has been very popular with store and web customers and takes great delight in helping people, no matter how small that enquiry may seem. He has a happy knack of de-mystifying things so the purpose or workings of archery accessories are understood by novice archers.
There were 513 exhibitors (478 in 2010, 453 in 2009) who rented 167,550 square feet of space (154,320 in 2010), including a record 55 shooting lanes (44 in 2010). When the aisles are added, the show covers about 300,000 square feet of floor space - and that equates to an unbelievable 1.5 football fields! (Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour is 325,000 square feet but this area is spread over some 8 halls). If during the show you visited every booth, you could spend just 3 minutes at each of the 513 booths. Attendees must cover miles of carpeted cement floor. This area is just huge and unless you have visited this enlarged convention hall, it is hard to imagine its size.
In addition to booth space occupied, there were 2,989 dealers, buyers and distributors on the show floor (3,300 in 2010 & 2,650 in 2009) & included 98 first-time exhibitors (90 in 2010), as well as 24 start-up companies in the ATA's Innovation Zone. For 2011, the ATA introduced an interactive floor plan and directory, "You Are Here". You cannot help to be amazed by the show's overwhelming size, the number of manufacturers, the diversity of product lines and amazing product innovations.
Bowhunting celebrities always attend and sign autographs for fans and this year was no different with former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels, bowhunters Mark and Terry Drury, Ralph and Vicki Cianciarulo, Fred Eichler and Chuck Adams, to name a few. This year, cable TV network, the Outdoor Channel, broadcast on plasma screens throughout the convention centre and in 9 surrounding hotels to more than 2,000 hotel rooms, archery related topics throughout the duration of the show to promote awareness, appreciation, education and support of all archery activities for future generations. The ATA show moves to Columbus, Ohio in 2012.
Some archery and bowhunting facts:
- There are about 7.5 million archers in North America
- 6.2 million bowhunters are in North America; 3.5 million are licensed, including 106,000 bowhunting licences sold in Indiana in 2008.
- About $700 - $800 million worth of archery and bowhunting equipment is sold in North America each year.
- In some countries, archery is a major sport; there are 7 million archers alone in France.
- Korea fills a 60,000 seat stadium just for archery tournaments.
- 40% of US archery retailers live within a 643 km or 400 mile radius of Indy, which makes it an ideal venue.
The population of Indianapolis is around 810,000, the 3rd largest city in the US midwest (behind Chicago and Detroit) and the 14th largest city in the US. Perhaps the city's most well known sporting event is the annual Indianapolis 500 mile or 804 km (also known as the Indy 500) car race, which since 1911, has been the premier event in the USA in the National Championship of open wheel car racing & is held each Memorial Day weekend on a 2.5 miles or 4.0 kms oval track. It is the largest single-day sporting event and highest-capacity sporting facility in the world, hosting more than 257,000 permanent seats plus the in-field area, which takes numbers to 400,000 attending. The track is often referred to as the Brickyard, as it was paved with 3.2 million bricks shortly after its construction in 1909. Today the track is paved in asphalt, although a one yard or 0.91 metre strip of bricks remains at the start-finish line.
Other major sporting events held in Indy include the Brickyard 400, an annual 400 mile or 644 km NASCAR Sprint Cup and the Men's & Women's NCAA Basketball Tournaments. The city's stadium, RCA Dome, capacity 57,980, was for 25 years, the home of the Indianapolis Colts, a professional American football team, but was demolished to allow for expansion of the adjacent convention centre. Lucas Oil Stadium, capacity 63,000, with a retractable roof and window wall, on a site near the Dome, was completed in August 2008 and is scheduled to host Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.
Indianapolis was the home of the first Union Station or common rail passenger terminal in the US and is considered the crossroads of America. Abraham Lincoln travelled through Union Station in 1861 after being elected President of the USA. Today, Indianapolis has a diversified economy, contributing to the fields of education, health care and finance with tourism also a vital part of the economy as the city plays host to numerous conventions.