When was the last time you went to a trade show? I recently attended a few, and I must admit that after a couple of years of no shows, I didn’t know what to expect.
I took off on January 5th, en route to Dallas Safari Club. When I walked into the convention center, I was pleasantly surprised. The place was absolutely packed with people setting up for the show. This made me happy to see that people were excited to get back to some normalcy. Attendees swarmed the show, booking hunts and buying guns. I felt that this was a great forecast of things to come this year!
Of course, the show did present a number of issues, the main one being COVID-19. A number of people did get sick. The people that I know have thankfully done okay with the virus, but I don’t want to make light of this. It’s very real and has affected families differently.
We had a booth at SHOT. It was great to catch up with friends, but, in my opinion, this show was way off the attendance mark. Business was still being done, but you had to work for it. The SCI show was okay too, and the outfitters said they were booking hunts.
On the whole, I feel that our industry, the outdoor industry, is still strong, but we will have to adjust with the times. Supply chain issues are wreaking havoc on everything. But if the attendance at the Dallas Safari Club is any indication, we are definitely looking forward to seeing what this year brings.