Talk about a whirlwind. The 2012 ATA show, for me, was here and gone in a flash. I drove into Columbus last night and left for home this evening! But I sure packed in a lot during that 24 hour period.
Things got kicked off right away when I arrived in town and headed to the Hyatt Regency hotel bar. The mezzanine level floor was packed to the brim with essentially everyone in the hunting industry and that ended up making for a very fun night. One thing I love about being involved in the hunting world is that there truly seems to be almost like family or fraternal feel to it. Everyone bonds so well (for the most part) and it just makes for a lot of great conversations and good times.
That being said, the good times certainly continue onto the tradeshow floor itself. When you walk through the doors into the ATA show it’s like walking into a Disneyworld made for adults, specifically adults addicted to bowhunting. Every major brand you can think of has a huge booth, there’s flashing lights, incredible displays and interesting people everywhere you turn. It’s pretty awesome, but at times can even be a little overwhelming. That being said, the last two years when I first arrived, I just took 20 minutes to just walk around and soak it in. But from there, it’s game on.
One of the first things anyone new would notice at the ATA show is that just about everyone you’ve ever seen on hunting TV is here and walking around! It makes for a neat experience for fans and a great opportunity to network and share experieinces. For example,this year I finally was able to personally meet Michael Waddell and Nick Mundt from Bone Collector, as well as Tiffany Lakosky, while also seeing plenty others too! A mainstay for the show is the “celebrity” signings and you often see lines snaking around various booths, as people wait to get pictures or products signed by their favorite TV hunters. While I don’t really have any interest in getting autographs, it is fun to chat with some of these folks and in fact a lot of these guys are friends now and it’s always great to catch up at these shows. That being said, ATA more than anything is about the products…
And new products are something that were certainly not in short supply at this years ATA show. Thousands of new archery accessories, bows and random gizmos were displayed and touted this week at ATA, and I was fortunate enough to get the scoop on many of them, so look for those product videos soon. But of all the new items I saw, a few stood out above the rest. In particular the new items launching for Muddy Outdoors seemed to be one of the more exciting pieces of news, as they are branching into brand new product lines of scent elimination, bow accessories and arrows! Another product that stood out for me was a new quiver launching from Trophy Ridge that incorporates a number of new features, including internal and external LEDs to help with low light arrow organization and travel.
The new Bowtech Insanity CPX bow was another that seemed to grab a lot of peoples attention and after getting the lowdown from the bow designer, I can see why! This latest offering from Bowtech is super fast and also has some really innovative new features to dramatically improve accuracy, I think we’ll see this bow pick up a lot of fans.
Now on top of these items, I saw tons of other really interesting items from companies like G5, Sitka Gear, Under Armour and many more. So keep an eye out for a lot of product videos and more details coming soon!