The Secret Behind the Expo…

I was asked today why the Expo stands as the most successful custom rod building event of all time. I gave the reason in an instant – I would have thought it was obvious.

Granted, success is usually multifaceted and this holds true with the Expo as well. The geographic location certainly plays a big role. 70% of the U.S. population, and therefore 70% of the Nation’s rod builders, are within less than a single day’s drive of the event.

The extensive, and expensive, direct mail advertising plays a huge role. You can’t reach the bulk of the world’s custom rod builders via the internet – not even close. They’re just not there. You have to spend the money to mail tends of thousands of announcement cards if you’re really serious about reaching the mainstream rod building craft. So we do.

No doubt the educational opportunities the Expo offers is a major factor in the large attendance each year. Aside from the seminars and ongoing demonstrations, just putting 2000+ rod builders under one roof for a single weekend ensures that a ton of sharing and learning is going to take place.

But the one overwhelming factor that I believe has had more to do with the success of the Expo, lies in the fact that the Expo was the first, and really the only event, that supports the industry instead relying on the industry to support it.

At the end of the day, the companies that manufacture and sell the products we use are in business to make money. Sure, they’re run by great people who are passionate about this business and craft. But to be in this business, they have to make money. The Expo helps them do just that. The 2010 Expo generated sales of over $250,000 in a single weekend, and likely several times over that in residual sales during the next few months afterwards.

The key to a truly successful event lies in the value it provides. The Expo provides an unmatched value not only for the rod builders, but for the exhibitors as well. And that’s the biggest reason it continues to succeed.

Tom Kirkman