IBO World Championships – Vendors

Following the 2014 IBO World Championships my only complaint was related to the poor quality of manufactures’ representatives on hand to support their booths. This year, vendor representatives remained rather sad. If you were in NY, perhaps, you too noticed that the sales people often seemed dull and unresponsive or basically full of their self importance.


For decades I was in business practice at an executive level. The last business I was associated with I was an executive VP and Chief Medical Officer. You might think, “Well, you were over the science and medical group, you don’t really understand business.” You’d be wrong; I also have a law degree and completed an accounting program. Of the things where I have an expertise, business (sales and marketing) is an area where I am very strong. This is why I could retire at 57 and can shoot a bow full time.

The manner in which many of sales representatives spoke to customers (archers) at the IBO was appalling. The vendor representatives were often arrogant to rude or both. Many seemed uninterested and worked to cut conversations short.

During my working career (not that shooting isn’t work when you do it 6 days a week and travel nearly every week to compete) our sales and marketing team did things differently. Our booth representatives had goals to achieve, products to highlight, results to share, individuals to meet and new relationships to cultivate. I’m not certain I witnessed a lot of that sort of activity at the tournament. I’m am certain I watched a lot of rudeness from company reps directed to customers (archers).


Well, you might think that the IBO World Championship isn’t exactly a business trade show like the ATA.  OK, let’s grant that train of thought.  I’ll match the IBO vendors with Ironman vendors.  At the  Ironman World Championship there were probably 10 times as many vendors compared to the IBO on the Big Island of Hawaii.  At every booth athletes (customers) were treated with great respect.  The sales people went out of their way to see that every competitor was treated like a champion.  Too many of the vendors at the IBO acted like they were doing athletes a favor to get off their butts and answer a question.  In fact, many didn’t bother getting off their butts.

Granted, there were some great company reps at several of the booths. Still, there were a surprising number of booths staffed by people that made me ‘not’ want to purchase that manufacturers products.  To be sure,  I remained smiling and pleasant regardless of how poorly good manners were reciprocated. What was more difficult was keeping my mouth shut when I witnessed rudeness to others.

There are plenty of archery vendors. Some are better than others when it comes to the treatment of the athletes that compete in this sport. Seriously, though, there were some very bad company representatives at this major tournament.

7 thoughts on “IBO World Championships – Vendors”

  1. Dave, I find this very interesting. I wonder if they were actual sales people. I know that Parker Bows (look on website) will hire you or me to be a “associate” of sorts. You make a commitment to do some presentations in a years time (usually August , Sept.) and they pay you a fee, gas and give you a “free bow ” or crossbow, some shirts, hats etc. I would guess most do it for the freebies. Some minor training. A good sales person can sell an Alaskan an air conditioner. i don’t go to guns shows anymore for the same reason. the sales people don’t seem to care one way or other.

    1. Hi Carl, You know a bit about my prior work background, and I can assure you it was pretty bad at the IBO. We put a lot of work into our sales and marketing group. After decades of being in business, I find it amazing companies get away with the poor quality of customer relationship practices that were evident at the World Championships.

  2. I love the IBO but as a owner of an arrow company it is not worth the time or money to attend the events to try and promote or sell product. Archers shoot their bows and leave as soon as they are done. There is mother to keep them around and many vendor see that it’s just not worth going. Maybe if they would not charge so much for booth space more would attend. I suggest free to vendors and then so many vendors would show up and more archers would stick around and shop:-)
    They could also generate money for the IBO by having more fun events during the day.

    1. I understand the trade show expense dilemma. Yes, there was very little to keep an archer around, although a great many of us repeatedly walked the vendor area. If I were a vendor, knowing there is little to attract archers, I’d have put together my own program to bring customers to my booth. For example, if I owned an arrow company I might have had my top product manager provide scheduled talks on the design of my arrows and why my arrows are better. That would have been done at the booth where I’d have had a sign in sheet to get names and addresses for follow-up communication. I’d also have had my top pro staff speaking and giving demonstrations. Archers might have enjoyed hearing ‘live’ how your company meets arrow specifications or exceeds them. What I’d work for would be becoming the arrow company that “owns” the IBO so that no archer would have departed without knowing more about my company. Bringing customers to a booth is a challenge we have in all businesses. That can be resolved. What I found unusual were the representatives that seemed bent on chasing the customer away.

      1. I can remember going to my first indoor nationals and the trade show was anazing.. coming from a rural are I got to put hands on items I had only seen in magazines and on the computer and to actually talk to the owners and pro staffers about all the pros and cons was very helpful.. now all I see is people wondering around looking at stuff and not having a clue on how the work or if it will help their shooting. My wife gets irritated with me when I stop and help a total stranger better understand a release they are looking at because the reps in the booth are to busy with all the people in their little click.. it really irritates me to see this..

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