Over the years Iâ€™ve gotten many requests for Expo booths from folks who arenâ€™t really associated with the custom rod building craft. While booth sale money is always nice, Iâ€™ve always preferred to keep the Expo an exclusive rod building event. So, aside from the kayak manufacturer (who provides us with a fishing related grand door prize each year) Iâ€™ve politely turned away any exhibitor that is not somehow related to custom rod building. So how did a group selling duck calls wind up at the recent 2011 event?
Last spring I was having some issues with my phone service. The repairman that the local phone company sent out asked about the Expo. He explained his duck call business and asked if he could obtain a booth at the Expo. I explained why I didnâ€™t think it would pan out very well for him, but he wanted to take a shot. He was obviously a craftsman and worked with the same types of wood that so many rod builders do.Because he went above and beyond in getting my phone fixed, I rationalized the connection and allowed him on board.
My mistake, however, was in overlooking the effect that the constant quacking and clucking, sometimes at very high decibels, would have on nearby exhibitors and attendees. Some were not very happy about it and they let me know.
I spoke with the company owner on Sunday morning and he understood and agreed to tone things down for the remainder of the Expo. He was as good as his word.
On the upside, one of the Expo vendors was more than a little happy that Lodge Creek Calls was in attendance. It seems that the guys making the calls were looking for a supplier of quality stabilized wood and Steven Kincaid at Reelseatblanks.com had just what he was looking for. The business relationship that was forged between them on Saturday morning boosted Stevenâ€™s sales by more than a little.
But, no more non-related rod building exhibitors will be allowed. Iâ€™ve already turned down the group that wanted to hawk their custom made digeridoos in 2012.