Members and Exhibitors,
Our third Newburgh Gun Show at Ice Time Sports Complex is now history. May 16 & 17 started off as a perfect weekend for an inside spring event and then the rain turned to sunshine. Whether the weather or other events kept the major crowd away, we still had a fairly constant traffic flow, which turned into a decent crowd. A lot of dealers had a nice show but naturally, others just made expenses.
Cathy and I really put a lot of effort and advertising dollars into this past show and we should have had twice as many attendees than were there. Our radio signals went into Massachusetts, Connecticut, Long Island, NY City and I heard the station myself while traveling through New Jersey on my way to Allentown the week prior. We hit every local weekly paper with a coupon ad plus went into Conn. and the east side of the Hudson via the Yorktown Pennysaver. Four quarter page ads were in the main section of the Times Herald Record with five inch coupon ads daily. From Albany to Hudson, Catskill, Kingston and Poughkeepsie, we covered north of Newburgh. Why we didn’t get a record crowd I can’t seem to figure out. We even had our signs up on 17K for two weeks simply announcing our Gun Show!
Perhaps folks are just tired or working two jobs to still make ends meet. There seems to be a lot more people who are trying to sell something to us dealers than folks who want to buy. I’ve also noticed younger buyers leaving with black guns and ammo, so we also advertised on rock and roll stations trying to attract that crowd. Country and Western radio stations are also being used to draw in the young plus older folks. Whatever the problem is all we can do is keep our shows on the air and in print; basics still draw attendees.
As we did with Newburgh, we are also doing for our next show in Norwich, NY at the Chenango County Fairgrounds. Plus, we have fliers out, post cards being mailed to prior attendees and sent to gun clubs and businesses in the area; again, as we did for Newburgh. The Norwich show will probably also be history by the time everyone gets this letter but I hope you will be with us and have as nice an event as we did last year.
Which brings us to our last show of the spring season, Saugerties at the Kiwanis Ice Arena on June 12, 13 & 14. The flier is enclosed and we have already started our advertising. The April show started off a little on the cool side but the large public crowd certainly warmed the place up and put money in exhibitor’s pockets. We also have an Email campaign and all of you can participate by forwarding this letter or announcement to your friends and contacts. Email is as good as word of mouth and can spread like wild fire – ignite that fire in your area and also put up our flier! Everyone has to be involved in our show promotion – make things happen!
The Hunter Mountain Country Fest will be going on at the same time as last June where we got a nice group of Country Music Artists; perhaps they or new singers will visit our show again. We will advertise there to certainly let them all know about our Gun Show. NEACA joined the Saugerties Chamber of Commerce and placed a quarter page ad in their yearly brochure which is also out this month. The Chamber distributes thousands of copies all year long and with them is our large ad for our two Saugerties events plus website info. We try to do what has to be done to get folks to come. And when we get them to our shows we even put door prize money in their pockets to spend with our exhibitors on the show weekend. Tell me what more we can do and we may just try. I’m already working and thinking on new things in the future.
Send in for Saugerties as soon as possible, again I have to order tables – last show was around 160 with cancellations. I would like to fill the arena with 200 as we did in Newburgh. Motels are tough so you had best book one very soon! Ads have started.
Due to US post office weight restrictions we can only mail this letter and fliers for Saugerties, our next show, then those for our late summer shows in August, Old Forge on the first weekend, July 31, August 1 & 2 and Saratoga Springs, the 4th weekend, August 21, 22, 23.
The last weekend of the month is for our next Newburgh event on August 28, 29, 30. That flier will be in our next mailing, however, it was available at our recent show in May. If you were among the more diligent dealers who actually picked one up and filled it out & gave Cathy a deposit at the show, then you are already signed up. We also had half dozen new gun dealers who also wanted tables in August so we should be in for another sell out, one just came in today. All of our fliers are also in PDF form at NEACA.com, which can be easily downloaded and sent to us with a deposit.
We have also included our calendar and show schedule, which we developed for handouts at shows. This allows the folks and you exhibitors to see at a glance what NEACA has coming up and which you can also use to fit in other shows you may go to. The next events we have confirmed are in Saratoga in 2016. You may notice that our January show had to be moved to the end of the month while March is back on the normal third weekend, as will be the case also in 2017.
NEACA is always working on our show schedule and we will have fall and winter shows. But until we actually have a signed contract we can’t list them. I would keep your options open for the fall while you all enjoy the fine summer weather. There will be ample time to commit to upcoming events. If you fill out the fliers you are receiving now and submit a one table deposit to us that is one less thing that you have to do in the fall. Make your plans and reservation for Old Forge, Saratoga and Newburgh now – even in 2016, which then allows us to concentrate more on getting ads out and confirming exciting new shows for the future.
Now here is a question for you to ponder. Is there another Cathy & Dave team out there who would like to work for us in this show business? We would like to expand greatly but being only two of us makes it impossible. We either need to hire full or part time help who can work in our local office or perhaps hire a team who can run shows we develop in other areas. Our grown kids have very good careers on their own and it is unlikely any one of them will pursue our chosen vocation. So, we must get realistic and start looking to hire astute individuals and create a team. If someone would like to talk to us about any future possibilities, please do so. Hope to see you in Norwich and also in Saugerties in a couple of weeks.
Happy hunting, Cathy & Dave