UPDATED ON: May 1st, 2015
What is it exactly that the near mention of the ATA Show results in glazed eyes, awkward body movements, thumbs up, whoop-whoop noises and even goofy smiles of people who have never attended the show before? All I know is that when I received an email back in November from the ATA stating I was signed up to attend this year’s event in Nashville TN, I’m sure I did a little dance myself. The first thing I did after receiving the notification was to check and see if the app for the ATA Show 2014 was available yet for download. For a Newbie preparing to attend the largest archery show in the country, it definitely takes some preparation to visualize the lay of the land, locate and map out favored vendors and also check out what special events are occurring when and where. There is so much to see and do in 3 days it is important to map out every minute of the day.
Checking out at the Steady Form booth looking at the Torque Eliminator System
Walking into the main exhibit hall is where my glazed eyes first came into play. All the new shiny toys an archer can imagine and think of were on display to see and touch. It is like arriving at Disney World and knowing you want to go to Space Mountain but you pass the Haunted Mansion on your way there so you decide to stop there first. My Newbie eyes barely recovered from the electrifying glow of all the shiny new archery items and I see stars. Literally, around every corner you can catch a glimpse of a favored TV celebrity hunter/huntress. As a Newbie there is the awkwardness of really wanting a picture with your favorite hunter/huntress but then also wanting to play it cool, so you keep walking by; catching a glimpse of him/her out of the corner of your eye. .
Angie & Scott Denny, hosts of the Life at Table Mountain, are some of the nicest folks in the business
As the first day ends with a beer and gear session, and the second day begins, you no longer remember what your greatly thought out plan was. Instead, you decide to stop by every booth just to see what the new products are. By the middle of the second day, seeing your favorite hunter/huntress gets the better of you and you stop and ask if you can get a quick photo. IN which he/she smiles and replies, SURE! Your Newbie ATA walking shoes have your dogs barking by this point but you push on because you know there are still products and vendors to see and meet. As an ATA Newbie the most surprising and positive lesson I learned was how nice all the people are that attend the show; from the registration desk, to the coat check, to the company contacts and other people in attendance. I look forward to attending the ATA next year as a “seasoned” attendee. However, I’m sure that my favorite hunter/huntress will once again be stopped for a picture and I will have the same big, goofy grin on my face. .