Monday, February 28, 2011

Outdoors Experience!

Judy working the WMTA booth!
My eyes have been opened to a whole new world- and that new world is the world of Outdoor Shows. I had no idea anything like these even existed until I came to the WMTA. I will admit it right up front that I am a city girl. So you can imagine my shock when I first walked into an outdoors show.

My first encounter was at an outdoor show in Chicago this past January. I walked into a room full of deer heads, stuffed lions and bearskins adorning the walls of different booths. There were cross bows and fishing rods on every corner- I didn’t even know where to look first. People from all over the world promoting different “hunts” and “fly-in” services (I found out later that had to do with fishing). Luckily I had my sidekick Judy with me to walk me through the ropes. She explained what different hunting terms meant, she went through some quick fishing lingo with me, and she made sure I knew the difference between a bow and arrow and a cross bow. With all my new knowledge- I was ready to take on the show, and it was a great success!

Fast forward a month to this past weekend where I attended my second outdoors show (I’m getting the hang of these things). Judy and I drove the WMTA trailer (successfully I must add) to the Showspan produced show, Outdoorama, in Novi. I have raved about Showspan shows before, and I will do it again.

This time I was prepared for the dead animals and funny turkey calling noises that we would hear all weekend. The show was executed beautifully. They had every outdoor supply you could image. From boats to ATVs, travel information to bear hunts, they even had a trout pond and pool with jumping dogs! Yes, you read that correctly, “Air Dogs” to be exact.

Speaking from an attendee’s perspective and a perspective of an exhibitor, Showspan really out does themselves. From customer services to vendor appreciation, every show of theirs I have attended has been absolutely flawless. As an added bonus, they always make it a point to pack their days full of informative seminars for the attendees. At this past show they had seminars that ranged from fishing tips to gutting a deer (yep, they had an exhibitor gut a deer right there on the main stage). I am not outdoorsy enough for that one quite yet, but there was a seminar that I will never forget and that was the turkey calling information session and competition.

The winning ladies with some nationally renowned turkey callers!
Why the turkey calling you ask? Well, I may be a little biased, but here is why. I told you before that I am a city girl, which obviously means that I come from a city family. I am originally from the east side of the state, and since the show was close to home, my family came to check it out! Much to my enjoyment, they were just as shocked at their first trip to an outdoor show as I once was. A few hours had gone by since they first arrived and they had pretty much seen everything they could have but my mom is one of those people who has to participate in absolutely EVERYTHING there is to participate in (that must be where I get it from)! Needless to say, as she heard the announcement about the turkey calling over the loud speaker, she about jumped out of her seat. Judy and I manned the WMTA booth as my sister, mom and dad went off to the turkey calling seminar/competition. A short time passed before they came back. You could hear them laughing all the way from the end of the aisle and Judy and I were curious as to what all the racket was about. It turns out, my sister and mom WON the turkey calling competition. I don’t know how it happened, but all I know is that it is a moment neither they nor I will ever forget. It’s the little things in life, ya know?

Showspan has another outdoor show coming up in just a few short weeks. The Ultimate Sport Show in Grand Rapids is always a hit and this year it will be no different. Make sure you check out the indoor lake, big buck contest, and the ultimate air dogs. They will also have seminars such as open water walleyes, finding and hunting big bucks, tracking Grand River catfish, and of course the turkey calling competition!

I want everyone to experience an outdoor show at least once in their lifetime, so for the next two weeks, we are giving away three pairs of tickets to the “Ultimate Sport Show” in Grand Rapids the weekend of March 17-20. Just tell us why you want to go, and you will be entered to win! And if you do win, do me a favor and enter the turkey calling competition!



Marybeth said...

World Renowned Turkey Calling Competition I must add!

Andy said...

I'm learning how fish and would love to attend some of the insightful seminars.

Pam said...

I am in the market for a kayak.

Sherry in MI said...

I have two teenage boys - need I say more? *Grin*

Jason said...

Always up for buying some more fishing equipment