The ICAST 2011 Showin Las Vegas last week was Backwater Paddle Company’s (BPC) first venture into the fishing sports marketing arena. Our national distributor, Outdoor Specialty Innovations (OSI),invited me to attend as their guest. Ron Baskett, OSI’s main man, and his crew helped soften the sensory overload by providing a booth chair for me to observe how the game is played. I had to mention “chair” for the simple fact I spent a lot of time holding it to the floor, as I just blown my knee out earlier in the week. Being in Las Vegas and confined to a chair was not the experience I had in mind for this road trip!
Mind you, my full intentions in coming to Las Vegas was for the ICAST Trade Show experience. I had to see and feel the atmosphere of an event of this magnitude. Next week Backwater Paddle Company will be sponsoring our own booth (Booth MZ-163) at the Outdoor Retailer Show (OR) in Salt Lake City, Utah. What a wake up call the trip to Las Vegas has been!
So being semi-incapicitated, I was forced to slow down, watch, learn and observe the tactics being displayed to posture your product before the respective buyers. The atmosphere is electric. You cannot imagine the scope of this venue. It takes a couple of hours to saunter by and visit each booth throughout the venue. Quite frankly, I’m not sure that I even saw every booth displaying their wares? It was that massive.
The dollars budgeted for the displays alone by some of these well entrenched and major sporting goods companies is mind blowing. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent to provide the most attractive, ginormous and eye catching display possible. Think Eagle Claw, Daiwa, Shimano, Rapala, Zebco all laying it all out for their buyers. In this business, you do not get a second chance to make a first impression!!
So coming back to Florida was a bit titillating. Now I had to face reality and the scope of the upcoming OR Trade Show. Suddenly it was not just new ideas on how to market our product, but realizing how small BPC really is! Now it becomes…how do we maximize our exposure without going bankrupt…basically, getting more bang for our buck. Again, realizing that simply stretching our 3 x 5 BPC logo banner between two stanchions is not going to cut it!
As we prepare for the upcoming Outdoor Retail Show in Salt Lake City next week, it is Backwater Paddle Company’s time to step off the porch, get down into the yard and run with the big dogs. With great anticipation and some trepidation, we are hoping to make our mark in the paddle sports industry.
At the ICAST Show we met, and will be networking with, some of the more experienced sporting goods manufacturers in establishing industry contacts for Backwater Paddles future growth. As we work on a time frame for the introduction of our new Piranha-X hand paddle, these new contacts will be instrumental in achieving our goals.
Now I sit here blogging, patiently waiting for my $2000 pop-up display to arrive here in Florida. After observing the “minimum standard” of displays at the ICAST Show, we had to bite the bullet and not be the odd man out for the upcoming OR Show. This short time frame between the events is all we had to work with in providing a unique and eye catching display.
Actually, the graphics are what we hope to be the attention grabber. This pop-up display is 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide, and collapses down into a shipping container. My main man, Terry Griffin at Colossal Signs in Cocoa Beach, tightened up the graphics for the display.
So again, we wait patiently for the display to be sent from Rhode Island for our inspection and trial set up prior to sending it on to Salt Lake City. How tight is the schedule you ask…the display is supposed to arrive August 2nd and we are on the plane August 3rd.