I know it is fun to attend shows for many, but I do not do shows any longer and have not for quite some time. Twenty five years ago shows were productive, however they just kept increasing in numbers to the point that there are several big shows in every major urban center now. When you combine the regular show circuits put on by several companies that blanket the US and some of Canada's larger centers, with the big ones put on by Wild Sheep, DSC, HSC, the main SCI convention and the many Chapter banquets and conventions, now the African Hunting shows.......... we are showed to death.
I know some operators do okay at certain shows but most operators have found that the number of bookings has been a downhill slide unless they were offering something that is in limited quantity with respect to demand. For a lot of operators doing shows is more of a bad habit and a very expensive one. I know operators who go to a few simply because their past clients expect to see them and visit with them.
The economy, or perhaps I should say the lack of one, the huge number of shows and the proliferation of auctions that offer hundreds of donated hunts have all taken their toll over time. Unfortunately many shows are now nothing but thousands of tire kickers, looking around and waiting to hit the next show. Many hunters have become bargain hunters, reluctant to put down a deposit because they just might find a better deal at the next show they go to or get a hunt for a song at the next auction. I think that doing shows seems to be something that many do because it is expected and if nothing else they feel the need to have their name on display and can say they were there. Unfortunately for those offering a product that is, shall we say common, such as regular plains game hunts, black bear hunts, mule deer and pronghorn combos........... well it is questionable whether shows are a good bang for the buck as those sorts of hunts are a dime a dozen with many hundreds of operators offering a similar product.
Some of you folks just like to go to them and love the glitz and glamor, along with fancy dinners and rubbing elbows with our so called 'celebrities' of the hunting world. That is great if you like that sort of thing as it is sort of a holiday for you............. but I think if you are dropping $10K to $12K or more to do a show you could go on a pretty nice REAL holiday.
For me shows are mostly just long days of misery in the big city.......... rather be at home in the winter feeding the cows and shooting coyotes.