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JT Bagwell

What Are Outdoors Shows Like?

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What are the outdoors shows in your area like now compared to 15 to 20 years ago?

 

Mine personally are almost horrible now. I am not even sure why I go other than the fact it signals that fishing

season is right around the corner.

 

When I was a kid they used to bring in a handful of B.A.S.S. Pros and they would have the demo tank loaded

with giant bass. Now they bring in the same speakers every year and if they do bring in the demo tank it barely

has anything in it.

 

They used to have wall to wall tackle and boats.

 

Now there is very little tackle and a smaller amount of boats. Instead they have pickups from the car dealerships, a big

section that looks like a dang flea market of non-fishing items and just random stuff.

 

I am sure the internet and mega retail chains played a part in lower sales but come on people at least have a lot of fishing stuff

at the outdoors show.

 

 

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I really enjoy watching kentucky afield, host Tim Farmer always does something entertaining. For you non kentucky guys you can check it out on YouTube channel name is Kyafield. Has some good fisjing segments.

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The number of vendors has been reduced by 50%.

 

Fewer boats are being shown.

 

Nothing new in products.

 

Lowrance no longer has a display nor anyone from the company to tell you about them and how they work. The Professor will show up hawking his DVDs about sonar units.

 

Same old - same old vendors. Very few new vendors. Refreshing when MegaStrike showed up in Richmond, Virginia, last year. Bob is returning this year.

 

Fewer pros attend other than the ones at the Oklahoma tub. National pros are great but we really would like to have local pros tell us about fishing in local waters. Crews does show up at this Missile baits retail sight.

 

No "hard to find" baits and plastics presented.

 

Now, with all that said it is still nice to go to the event and meet old friends and guides. And the vendors that do show up will talk with you and discuss their products and services.

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JT, they were bad 20 years ago!

 

Back then, it was almost worth paying $5 to plod behind thousands of old fat people clogging the aisles.  You had the chance to meet with factory reps, a number of boat dealers, and maybe get the chance to attend a seminar put on by someone worth listening to.  An even better reason was to find those small lure makers who used these shows to try to launch their companies. 

 

These days it costs you $10 to walk through the door.  The vendors you used to look forward to visiting gave up paying excessive booth rental prices and now they all have websites.  Factory reps find it easier to visit the big box stores during special sales events.  Most of the decent speakers got tired of receiving reduced pay, and can make more having a YouTube channel. 

 

And now that I'm approaching 60 years of age and tote around 250lbs, I've become one of those old fat people!

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The best show by far around here is the Bass Pro Spring Fishing Classic.

We have contiuous demonstrations and seminars from Tournament Pros

and regional celebrities. Company reps from most of the major brands are

there to answer questions and participate in many of the activities. And BTW,

it's free! 

 

Back to your point, the Hunting and Fishing Expos are mostly booth rental

with everything from candles to dog leashes. The "fishing" participation is

VERY limited.

 

 

 

:winter-146:

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I don't know what they were like 20 years ago but our outdoor shows are catered to hunting and a tiny resemblance of fishing which is mainly fly fishing :sleepy2:

 

 

Oh, and there's no way I'm going to spend $15-30 to them anymore, such a waste.

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Just went to the outdoors show here in MN, and it was horrible. Yeah I love to look at the new boats, but there are so many places selling fly aways.

It use to be you went and seen boats, say a pro or two, and the vendors were everywhere. I love there is always this one vendor that clearance cranks for 1/3 of the price. But there display got cut down for more boat and trailer displays.

I guess I will wait until the sportsman show come. I know it is more geared towards fishing. And we have a musky expo in April. Last time at the expo Abu Garcia was cleaning your reel and upgrading the bearings for free... as long as it was an Abu.

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I am ashamed to admit it (funny how often I end up saying that on this site), but last year was my first time going to the big one nearby in Indianapolis. I was pretty impressed, but I must also say that I have nothing to compare it to. Once you wade through the acres of RV's and Speedboats, the fishing wing was pretty darn big, I thought. Lots of charter services, but a bunch of smaller local tackle vendors, demonstrations, gear, and clubs too. I plan to go back in the next couple months. I'm sure though, that it was probably better in years past. I guess that I'm lucky for not knowing what I may have already missed out on.

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The Outdoors Show at the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex is pretty weak as far as displaying new lures and for fishing overall. It is basically outfitters from all over the world attempting to book hunting and fishing trips.

 

In all the years I've gone, I've never booked a trip with anyone from the show. It seems really "used car salesman" to me.

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Most of the one's around here are mostly hunting guides, fishing charters, taxidermists, truck and quad dealers, various hunting call companies, and very little fishing related stuff. On top of all that, they're packed to the hilt full of people who think its the greatest thing ever. 

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I was planning on going to the one a bit north of me in Kokomo this coming weekend. Jonathon Van Dam is their premier speaker, but it's on a Sunday, and I'll be at church.

 

I saw the list of their main booth rentals - looks like you all say, quad and truck dealers. I don't know why these places don't list all of their booth reservations. I don't want to spend the door charge just to be disappointed.

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Chicago has a long history with outdoor shows. Years ago, it was held at the International Ampitheater, it then moved to a convention center near the airport. It was huge and it was great. Hunting, fishing, resorts, boats everything was there. As the Internet became more popular, the importance of the show as the place to get all the information diminished. The show ran 10 days and was very expensive for vendors to attend especially when you included the cost of meals and lodging around the airport. Parking and admission fees kept rising and attendance dropped. The show got smaller and smaller every year. Tackle manufactures who use to have their own hall disappeared. Lots of non-outdoor related vendors showed up. Other companies were doing competitive shows. Today, the "Rosemont show", as everyone calls it, is just a fraction of what it once was. It has been sold several times, but the new owners never seem to make any significant changes. There is anther show that is devoted strictly to fishing that seems to be trying to go back to the way things used to be. It's a nice show, but the days of the big outdoor show are in my opinion over. It is very tough to make a profit doing these shows. Charge the vendors too much, they don't come. Charge the public too much, they stay home. I still like the shows, I spend a lot of time myself in a booth representing my smallmouth club. But we've seen the effects of the lack of interest in shows. We used to sign up 100 new members while doing up to 5 shows. Now we've cut back to attending just 2 shows and we'll be lucky if we get 10 new members altogether.

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Sadly I see the same story all over the country.

 

That is too bad because as a kid I got so excited every year when my grandparents took me

to the outdoors show in Rock Island, Illinois. I would look forward to it for weeks.

 

I have taken my 8 year old a few times and he looks bored out of his mind because there isn't

much to look at.

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I don't see too much fishing equipment displayed at the Kansas City Boat and Sport shows that I have attended, and it sounds like the description others have provided - boats, outfitters, and guides for the most part.  However, they do a good job of bringing in current and past professional anglers for seminars.  Quite often, we have two or three big names.  The Kansas City show is coming up January 22nd - 25th and we have Dion and Guido Hibdon as well as Brent Chapman and Casey Scanlon this year.  There are additional seminars on spybaiting, fishing jerkbaits, crappie fishing, and hunting Whitetails.  There are also a number of seminars on taking care of your boat including the engine.  Sometimes you have to look at the itinerary, rather than what is on the floor, to find the diamonds in the rough.  The itinerary for this show is in the link below.

 

http://www.kansascitysportshow.com/attendees/features/seminars.aspx

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I was planning on going to the one a bit north of me in Kokomo this coming weekend. Jonathon Van Dam is their premier speaker, but it's on a Sunday, and I'll be at church.

 

I saw the list of their main booth rentals - looks like you all say, quad and truck dealers. I don't know why these places don't list all of their booth reservations. I don't want to spend the door charge just to be disappointed.

JVD, huh? Might be worth going just to see him, depending on door price. What time does it start? What is the entry fee?

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Same story in the PNW too.  Same exact story, truth be told.

 

But now I go to the Classic and ICAST every year, so I can't complain.  :)

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JVD, huh? Might be worth going just to see him, depending on door price. What time does it start? What is the entry fee?

 

Here's their link....it's at the Convention Center on the north side of Kokomo

 

http://www.ivytech.edu/kokomo/wildindiana.html

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What are the outdoors shows in your area like now compared to 15 to 20 years ago?

 

Mine personally are almost horrible now. I am not even sure why I go other than the fact it signals that fishing

season is right around the corner.

 

When I was a kid they used to bring in a handful of B.A.S.S. Pros and they would have the demo tank loaded

with giant bass. Now they bring in the same speakers every year and if they do bring in the demo tank it barely

has anything in it.

 

They used to have wall to wall tackle and boats.

 

Now there is very little tackle and a smaller amount of boats. Instead they have pickups from the car dealerships, a big

section that looks like a dang flea market of non-fishing items and just random stuff.

 

I am sure the internet and mega retail chains played a part in lower sales but come on people at least have a lot of fishing stuff

at the outdoors show.

I loved going to iCast 2014, so much fun , but i guess thats different.  cant wait till iCast 2015

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I used to look forward to the fishing shows but not anymore. They have taken on a kind of roadside carnival atmosphere. Their sole purpose now is to see how much money they can suck out of you before you wise up and leave.

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Sadly I see the same story all over the country.

 

That is too bad because as a kid I got so excited every year when my grandparents took me

to the outdoors show in Rock Island, Illinois. I would look forward to it for weeks.

 

I have taken my 8 year old a few times and he looks bored out of his mind because there isn't

much to look at.

You live in IL in Quad City area?! Im 25-30 mins away from you. 

 

We have QCCA Expo Center. Last year we had some Canadian FLW speaker. He was worthless. Good deals on baits. It was boring last year. 

 

This year I guess Timmy Horton is going to be there this year. I'll be going to just meet him. It'll be a good time.

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Yes, here in Long Beach Ca, the Fred Hall Boat Show used to be the big event to go get tackle at cheaper prices and find deals.  Retailers had booths and you could buy all kinds of things, meet people in the business, look at fishing venues and get info for lodges and resorts all around the world....and they had a lot of boats.....for the low price of $6.  Now $20 gets you in the door, used to be 2 different areas in the convention center is now down to maybe 1 and a hallway.  Nothing to buy, no deals, not many boats to look at, overpriced snacks and beer, and the "wow" factor of old is gone.  I've asked why to a few vendors that I know and the number one reason for no longer having anything to do with the show is it costs them too much money.  They get no return on the investment and time it takes them to set up.  The cost of getting in has dwindled the appeal of the big boat shows and the costs to the vendors to cover the lack of attendence drives the smaller operations away limiting the experience to just a few big names and nothing else. It's just boring, and a complete waste of time now to attend all but what Bass Pro Shops or some of the other giant outdoor stores do in comparision that like someone said before IS FREE.

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Mine has gotten a lot worse. It never has the tanks anymore and it's pretty much the same every year. I remember going when I was really young and there was a lot more stuff there.

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The Outdoors Show at the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex is pretty weak as far as displaying new lures and for fishing overall. It is basically outfitters from all over the world attempting to book hunting and fishing trips.

 

In all the years I've gone, I've never booked a trip with anyone from the show. It seems really "used car salesman" to me.

Yea when I was younger. Harrisburg had alot of sample baits that were handed out. Demonstrations and selling of rods reels baits.

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Chicago has a long history with outdoor shows. Years ago, it was held at the International Ampitheater, it then moved to a convention center near the airport. It was huge and it was great. Hunting, fishing, resorts, boats everything was there. As the Internet became more popular, the importance of the show as the place to get all the information diminished. The show ran 10 days and was very expensive for vendors to attend especially when you included the cost of meals and lodging around the airport. Parking and admission fees kept rising and attendance dropped. The show got smaller and smaller every year. Tackle manufactures who use to have their own hall disappeared. Lots of non-outdoor related vendors showed up. Other companies were doing competitive shows. Today, the "Rosemont show", as everyone calls it, is just a fraction of what it once was. It has been sold several times, but the new owners never seem to make any significant changes. There is anther show that is devoted strictly to fishing that seems to be trying to go back to the way things used to be. It's a nice show, but the days of the big outdoor show are in my opinion over. It is very tough to make a profit doing these shows. Charge the vendors too much, they don't come. Charge the public too much, they stay home. I still like the shows, I spend a lot of time myself in a booth representing my smallmouth club. But we've seen the effects of the lack of interest in shows. We used to sign up 100 new members while doing up to 5 shows. Now we've cut back to attending just 2 shows and we'll be lucky if we get 10 new members altogether.

Very true. When I was a kid the Rosemont had a pretty good show with a little bit of everything. Once they started to sell the show they made it worse for the small clubs and store owners. Henrys gave up on the Rosemont Show as the cost to do it wasn't worth it any longer. We're talking about a Chicagoland fishing show without one of the oldest bait shops. At any rate I'll have to stop by your booth this year.  

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 I went to the ISE Sacramento show. Didn't buy one thing lol But I sure had a Blast seeing for the 1st time in my life Jerry Mckinnis from Fishin Hole. Was nice talking to him. Sharing with him I back reel to this day with a spinning reel because of him.  And these boys in this pic, some not shown, hanging out and talking big bass for about 2 hours with them over a beer (and Im not a drinker lol) was well worth their company, seeing old friends and making some new. Checking out whats coming new like a Daiwa 9 to 1 reel and all that fun stuff. I think I may go to more shows just to be with the people of and who love this sport. I guess thats what its about to me. 

I will go have fun with the people at the Fred Hall show too and get some Titos Tacos on the way lol. I could have bought a few things but had to much fun visiting because on the water ... it's just me. At the show it just people ; )  I also had a Blast this year at bassathon in Southern Calif too. I picked up a few things there but again had more fun with the people. 

They may not be what they were but if WE don't go , they won't be. 

 

I guess the pic didn't take. 

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