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Thread: Great Alaska Sportsman Show...Is it in trouble?

  1. #1

    Default Great Alaska Sportsman Show...Is it in trouble?

    This was my 18th year working a booth at the Show. I spoke with a lot of vendors and old timers who say the show is heading downhill. I sort of feel that way myself. This was the first year I and my other booth workers did not make any purchases. And, to me, it seemed like people wern't buying as much. Some ideas I have heard about the decline are.
    1. Too much money to park and get in
    2. Lack of regular deals, ie Boondocks, Fred Meyers etc
    3. Having it on Easter weekend
    4. Big box stores have filled the need

    Just curious about what other folks on here think?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildlife Tech View Post
    This was my 18th year working a booth at the Show. I spoke with a lot of vendors and old timers who say the show is heading downhill. I sort of feel that way myself. This was the first year I and my other booth workers did not make any purchases. And, to me, it seemed like people wern't buying as much. Some ideas I have heard about the decline are.
    1. Too much money to park and get in
    2. Lack of regular deals, ie Boondocks, Fred Meyers etc
    3. Having it on Easter weekend
    4. Big box stores have filled the need

    Just curious about what other folks on here think?
    I'd have to agree with ya for the most part. Only purchase i made was a raffle ticket from the Dimond Baseball team, and only cuz i played baseball for them back in the day. Gotta support the team, as Puddy would say.

  3. #3
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    Saturday was much too pretty to be inside; especially if you consider yourself a "sportsman". And I am not interested in something like this on Easter Sunday.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    My first time to the Anchorage show. I wasn't impressed by the cost to park and pay admission. Lots of non-outdoor related booths such as roofers and chiropractors. A few deals to be had such as SWH had socks about half price. Mostly nothing I could afford and in most cases didn't need. I picked up a good book on paddling the Yukon at this forum's booth, however

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Agreed the Pay to Park and Enter when you are going to buy or look to buy a product is a negative. I still do it, but don't like it. Obviously Easter weekend is not a good choice. The economy may not be as good as we are being told. People do not have as much discretionary spending, and pretty much everything there is discretionary. Also not really allot of super deals and I don't want to carry a bunch of products around for a few hours while I am looking at everything.

    PS I did buy an Alaskan Berry book at the Outdoor Forum booth

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I haven't been to the show in YEARS! Never was anything there I needed. Or stuff at a price that made me want it.
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    Parking and gate fees are way too high for an Sportsman Show that features Police, Jacuzzis, Credit Unions, Candy, Jerky and raffle tickets.

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    Not only was it Easter Weekend, but also Arctic Man as well as Tailgate AK.

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    Were the infomercial people there selling pots and pans? Oh, and the shamwow folks?
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Id rather see the vendors for alaska outdoors show up at the state fair instead. Then I can watch acrobats in between seeing ted saddler dance and being amazed at how much a jacuzzi costs, while still entering a million raffles, eating sweet chicken wings, and still stop by the AOD booth. That would be a cool fair.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    I haven't been to the show in YEARS!
    Me neither........it seemed, even back then, that if you've seen it once, you've seen it enough. It never changed and I never found anything that I couldn't live without. If a guy could go there and really feel that he could get good deals around every corner, then maybe more people would show up wanting to buy something.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Since business is about making money some
    Folks have a hard time giving good deals...circle
    Of business.
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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    Since business is about making money some
    Folks have a hard time giving good deals...circle
    Of business.
    I understand, but the way I look at it, this show comes around once a year. Offering a good deal to somebody, rather than not selling anything seems like a no brainer. At least it would be a good way to try and get people coming into your store for the rest of the year......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I'm on board with Ya 4mer! Better a dollar than no dollar.
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    This probably wouldn't work, but if the seminars had a little zest in them it might draw more folks. Maybe invite some controversial people/topics for a type of open debate/discussion. Setnetters vs Commercial fish, dipnetters vs commercial, guides vs locals, feds vs state. Try to have a little fun with no physical fighting.
    How about a seminar for people new to hunting the state?
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

  16. #16

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    Thought I saw Mike doing a seminar on deer-cloth shammies for wiping raft floors on float trips with the info-mercial guy. Could have been Batin though...all "old guys" look the same to me. Attendance was down a bit from previous years. Most guys came to booth knowing what they wanted to buy. Turnout was probably a bit down overall.

    I agree, maybe Easter weekend isn't the best time to do the Show, but definitely need new vendors with solid outdoor gear.

    lb

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    Only my second visit. May go next year but if I do it will just be for an excuse to make the drive up from Kenai & hit Golden Corral & watch for black bears
    Easter weekend is over the top ridiculous (We went Friday) & I too have no interest in the "Home show" style booths. Only ones I saw sell anything were Larry, Barney's, & the Outdoor Forum booth.
    Not much value for the $30 it cost the wife & I to park & get in.
    Vance in AK.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    We went to support the Famous Steve the Pot Builder and the Famous Tony Davis of Kodiak Custom Fishing Lures. That's about it. Got there early to avoid the crowds but we were wrong. It's crazy packed and mostly full of Pampered lifestyle stuff that neither of us are interested in. Guess it's the Great Alaska Sportsman Show that keeps drawing us all to it.
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  19. #19
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    Here's the problem as I see it. The show is more interested in making money than putting on a good show. As long as we keep going, this will continue. I'm going to start paying very close attention to the vendors. If there are too many vendors that don't do outdoors stuff, I'm not going. Even my wife doesn't want to look at or buy that junk when I haul her along to the show.

    Parking fees are probably as high as they are because they have to pay all the guys collecting money for parking....same at sporting events down there. Just let us park the cars for free. Entrance fees should be $5 or less and kids under about 14 years old should be free too.

    As for vendors and deals....I don't need smoking deals for the show. They are more likely to get my money if there is a good deal though. However, bring some good products to look at. Bring some good information. Many years I have been considering a new purchase like a gun, raft, boat, etc. This is a good place to compare many different products.

    Easter is a bad time, they should have anticipated that when scheduling this. I'm sure vendors, especially those out of state have other shows in other parts of the country and getting these put together is difficult.

    As for the seminars, having been a part of putting things like this together (on a much smaller scale), I think it is important to change things up from year to year. How many times do we need to have the same speakers talking about the same subjects? Not that the topic is bad or the speaker is bad, but after you have heard about taking care of meat on a float hunt, you don't really need to do that one again. I would think topics that changed from year to year would really get things going. Maybe things like how to read a river, minor outboard repairs, sheep stalking, shooting, reloading, etc. Heck, maybe even things that relate to the show, like what to consider when buying a new boat or recreational property, etc.

  20. #20

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    In todays age of internet shopping, internet product awareness and education show like this are a dyeing breed.

    It costs vendors an arm and a leg to have a booth, man the booth and get product to the show. this is passed on to the consumers

    Folks go to the show as a cabin fever reliever not to buy or seek out deals that may or may not exist.

    It is a sign of the modern times and the consumer is more aware of the product specs and global pricing than ever before. You are seeing it across the board with the medium and smaller venues.. boat shows, sportsman shows and the like.

    I believe this pattern of decline will only grow and spread in time.

    Tom

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