2012 Expo Wrap Up

The 2012 International Custom Rod Building Exposition was the largest in history – by far. We topped the 3,000 attendee mark. For the first time ever, I had to join the ticket sales operation for the first few hours Saturday morning.


The seminar presenters become more polished each year.  As good as our seminars were in 2004, they pale in comparison to those that took place this weekend.  It’s been very rewarding to watch various individuals move from a place of nervous tension to absolute command of the seminar room.  Of particular note, Lana Preston, a first time presenter this year, managed to do this in less than a single hour!


The attendees spent money – a lot of money. But the distribution of sales changes a bit each year.  For every exhibitor that remarked something along the lines of “We were off a couple thousand from last year” or “Attendance seemed off this year” there were an equal number that reported “Our sales were up a couple thousand over last year” and “This was the biggest crowd we’ve ever seen here!”  Johnny Kuhne from Angler’s Roost reported that his 2012 Saturday sales alone, eclipsed his entire two day total from last year. Similar successes by other exhibitors were common.


There is a great sales lesson here – you can’t stand still. The key to availing yourself of the Expo sales dollars is keeping your product line fresh and exciting.


As always there were a few surprises. Two exhibitors canceled at the last minute (Thursday), but another signed on that very afternoon. One of the seminar camera tripods was found lacking, but that was taken care of without too much trouble. As any event grows larger, minor slips are apt to happen, but the ability to deal with them becomes easier. We’ve seen just about everything by now.


All in all, the 2012 Expo was easily the largest and best in our history. To get a better idea of this year’s event, please copy and past the following URL into your browser address window:




Hit the “next photo” button at the top of the first photo and view roughly 40 photos from the 2012 Expo. Enjoy!


Tom Kirkman



1 Comment

  1. Steven Libby on February 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    My wife and I attended for the 1st time since 2006, when it was still in Charleston, and we were both completely blown away by the changes. Great job Tom, and thanks for an excellent time both at the reception (where I won a beautiful Lamiglas xl844) and at the show. We hope to make it again next year!