The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

O’Loughlin Sportsmen’s Shows Bring Crowds, Sales and Fun

“It isn’t until the doors open and the crowds flood in that anyone really knows how the show season is going to go”, started Bill O’Loughlin the President of O’Loughlin Trade Shows.  “I’ve been in this business for 35 years and no two years are the same but thankfully, this year, we had several pleasant surprises.”

“From the outset last fall, our RV shows performed well even with the sharp increases in fuel prices and uptick in interest rates”, said O’Loughlin. “Our Portland Boat Show in January saw strong sales even though some dealer inventories are still challenged.  And then came the Sportsmen’s Shows and we had three very strong events.”

Mark Akerill from Englund Marine Supply observed, “We’ve been doing these shows a long time, they’re always good for us but this year was the best ever.  Everything was up! The number of transactions we processed were up, revenues were up, we couldn’t be happier.”

Attendance numbers continue to rebound after COVID.  O’Loughlin Trade Shows were one of the few in the country to run shows in 2021 and the only one to run sportsmen’s shows.  Bill O’Loughlin continued, “We lost half our crowd in 2021.  It was tough on us as a company but our exhibitors did well because consumer spending at all our shows was through the roof. That set us up nicely for 2022 which was quite a bit better and 2023 we saw another increase that ranged from a low of about 20% to a high of over 30% in attendance depending on the show.”

“A welcome surprise for us was our Washington Sportsmen’s Show.  The crowds on Saturday and Sunday were on par with some of our best years.  That show’s in a very good place for 2024 and we expect to see continued growth in attendance and our exhibitor base.  Our Portland show, the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show, saw strong attendance every day that just built into the weekend.  It’s one of the largest Sportsmen’s Show events in the country and this year was definitely special with all the new changes, features and personalities we had aboard.”

“The Central Oregon Sportsmen’s Show, our last Sportsmen’s Show of the season, continues to sellout early with all the space committed two months before the doors open.  We were close to a historic high for attendance, hopefully we’ll get there next year.”

Jarod Higginbotham of Yakima Bait commented that “the Washington Sportsmen’s Show and Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show were two of the best shows I’ve ever been to.  They were amazing!”  Yakima Bait had a big presence in both shows participating in evening events through giveaways that were held at both shows.

“We’ve completely retooled our seminar offering and have been working hard on changing the look and feel of our shows with new evening events and moving exhibitors around”, said Trey Carskadon, O’Loughlin’s PR Director.  “This year we had all ‘A’ list speakers for our seminar series who only had one speaking time slot all week.  It was a lot of work putting it all together but attendees told us they came to the show multiple days to catch the seminars and shop the show….they couldn’t do it all in one day.  Over the three Sportsmen’s Shows we had more than a hundred speakers scheduled.”

Carskadon continued, “The addition of our evening events has really brought a new and refreshing spark to the shows.  We’re fortunate to work with the region’s top influencers in hunting and fishing and having them in the shows has been very productive in growing attendance.”

KastKing Fishing exhibited in the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show in Portland using it as a platform to launch their new Hammer Braid.  Company President Al Noraker commented, “Amazing show in Portland this year! As always, attendance was strong and the consumer was eager to learn about new products that will make them more successful on the water. KastKing was extremely proud to be working with the team at Sportsman’s Warehouse as we launched the new KastKing Hammer Braid! The promotion was a huge success in every way. Great launch for an incredible new product, raised money for a great organization and we made a lot of new friends from all over the northwest!”

The KastKing promotion went a step further tying it to support a regional non-profit, the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association (NSIA).  With a $5 donation to NSIA, attendees were given a one-shot spool of Hammer Braid.  Anglers lined up to take advantage of the promotion as local media covered the giveaway that sent social platforms and endemic media buzzing for the full five days of the show.

“We’ve worked for 48 years in making the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show a premiere national event”, said O’Loughlin, “there’s nothing else like it in the country.”

“This year we pulled out all the stops in Portland with an indoor kayak fishing lake sponsored by Old Town, we’ve been focused on the growth in kayak fishing with all the major manufacturers represented with factory booths at the show.  With more than 800 fishing and hunting exhibitors squeezed into 325,000 square feet of space, this year’s show was spectacular! Born and Raised Outdoors a popular regional YouTube channel, hosted a show-within-a-show, a first for us that was a huge hit.  Addicted Fishing, another popular social media group, played to a huge standing room only audience at their Mega-BASH, Thursday evening of the show.  Our presenting Sponsor, Leupold, also had an evening VIP event as well as a passport activation that thousands of attendees completed, and this is just a sampling of the hundreds of notable features at just the one show!”

Planning is already well underway for O’Loughlin’s 2024 events with robust space sales for their fall 2023 and 2024 shows ramping up nicely early in the year.

About

O’Loughlin Trade Shows is a 4th generation trade and consumer show business that currently produces the Portland Fall RV Show, Tacoma Fall RV Show, Portland Holiday Market, A Victorian Country Christmas Festival, Portland Boat Show, Tacoma RV Show, Washington Sportsmen’s Show, Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show, MHRV Seattle RV Show, Saltwater Sportsmen’s Show sponsored by OCEAN, Central Oregon Sportsmen’s Show and MHRV Puyallup RV Show.  For show info visit www.OTShows.com.

Keep your finger on the fishing industry pulse

The Definititive News Source of the Fishing & Marine Industry