Results From The Early Hunting Shows - A Barometer for 2011 Season?


Published: February - 2011

Hunting industry professionals went into the 2011 show season on pins and needles, wondering if this would be another year of flat sales with hunters merely "window shopping" for future seasons. Well, if the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) Convention and the new African Hunting Show in early January are any indication, hunters are ready to put down their money and pack their gear for this very season.

The DSC Convention kicked things off in Dallas, January 6-9, with reported record-breaking growth and attendance. According to DSC Executive Director Ben Carter, show attendance was up 23 percent, with a total of 32,000 attendees, 12 percent more exhibitors and 12 percent more square footage of exhibit space. Additionally, Carter reports a 15 percent growth in new DSC members.

While all that is highly positive, the most important indicators of increased hunting consumer activity were reports from hunting operators, who said that bookings at the show for 2011 were up significantly from the previous two years.

In a press release issued by DSC earlier this week, several operators expressed the same satisfaction and success The Hunting Report heard from exhibitors throughout the show. Kwezi Rann of Rann Safaris/777 Ranch reported booking seven safaris, a good result from any show. But of those seven, six were from brand new clients that they had never communicated with before! Rann also reports booking four new hunters for the 777 Ranch, which, she says, is unusually good. Andrew Dawson of Chifuti Safaris said they saw a definite upturn in business from 2009, even better than 2010. "We've taken a number of bookings for hunts this year, as well as for 2012 and 2013," he said. Clive Curtis of Coenraad Vermaak Safaris echoed the same kinds of results, reporting booked safaris with several repeat customers the first day of the show, followed by four bookings with completely new clients and many good leads for next year. "Overall, a very good show," he says.

The Hunting Report also witnessed first-hand the qualified traffic at numerous booths.........(continued)

 
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