-By Brandon Wikman
This is the time of year when consumer hunting tradeshows and outdoors expos substitute for our beloved time spent in a tree. It’s an exciting time of year because so many industry trends are changing, revolving and revamping. New products seem to pop-up like dandelions and we all sit back to watch and listen about the latest news feed from reputable media sources.
Consumer tradeshows play a major role in the success of hundreds of outdoor businesses. It’s a place to promote, market, advertise and sell. In a consumer’s point-of-view, there isn’t any better place to ask questions, dig details or speak with the people who develop the products you use on a daily basis. Exhibitors range in all different types of backgrounds. Businesses from archery to firearms, cutlery or dog training, all call it home. Anything or anybody that has something to do with the outdoors is liable to make an appearance. That is the most interesting part.
I’ve been preparing hastily for the tradeshow season here in the state of Wisconsin. The Deer Classic circuit begins only a mile from my house in Eau Claire, WI (www.Deer-Expo.com). The highly anticipated event tears across the entire Midwest. It covers many of the regions where hunting is not a hobby to the locals, but considered a lifestyle. Attending a show is a perfect opportunity to personally meet your favorite television show hosts, writers and many others that are integrated within the industry. Not only does this provide a nice weekend get-a-way, but also a time to get a sneak peak on some of the latest gear and services introduced in 2009.
During shows, handfuls of hunting representatives from across the country conduct seminars and hands-on learning classes to sharpen your hunting 101 skills. I’ve always enjoyed listening and taking notes from some of my greatest hunting heroes. Each speaker represents a specific topic, which may range from shed hunting to implementing food plots.
I will be conducting seminars at all the shows scheduled in Wisconsin. I specialize in speaking with youth and parents. I always stress a focus on the importance of taking a child hunting. It’s these valuable lessons taught that will provide a lasting foundation for the future of our heritage. I will also be representing my business, Wik’s World Outdoors Camp during the shows. I’ve had the fortune of meeting some of the most incredible people while at these events. I’ve learned that you never know who may stroll by next.
Tradeshow junkies have an amazing time and always bring their family and friends along for the experience. It is a great way to sample new equipment for this fall or perhaps this spring. Take a moment to surf online and see if there are any shows in your area. Often times, shows and expos are listed in state newspapers or hunting publications. Bring a friend or a newbie for a chance to see what makes the industry go-round!