Safari Club International 47th Annual Convention A Rousing Success 2019

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By all measures, Safari Club International's 47th Annual Convention in Reno, Nevada last week was a huge success, setting the stage for an even bigger and better Convention next year – don't miss the biggest party in the hunting world to be held in Reno Jan. 15-18, 2020. Mark your calendar now and plan to attend!

The SCI Convention this year ran from Jan. 9-12 and saw more than 15,000 of the world's most serious hunters from more than 100 countries around the world rendezvous at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center for a great time and to raise millions of dollars to support SCI's mission to protect the freedom to hunt and promote wildlife conservation worldwide.

Nearly 1,000 exhibitors were at the Convention, offering goods and services. The SCI Convention includes more than 460,000 square feet of exhibit space, making it the biggest and most important event of its kind in the hunting world. The overall economic impact of the SCI Convention on the local economy is nearly $20 million.

"It was a great week for SCI," said SCI President Paul Babaz. "The enthusiasm of members and exhibitors was incredible – the best I have ever seen! This Convention exhibited the embodiment of the concept of HUNTER PRIDE. Now we are looking forward to an even bigger and better SCI Convention next year. Mark your calendars: Jan. 15-18, 2020 for the SCI Convention in Reno."

Although funds from the Convention are used for the serious business of protecting hunting and conserving wildlife, the Convention also is a time when members celebrate the hunting heritage and have a good time.

"On Saturday evening, the party atmosphere was palpable," noted SCI Chief Executive Officer Rick Parsons. "Bidding on auction items was competitive and folks were whooping and hollering in support because everyone knew that the money was going for the cause."

He also noted that an impromptu appeal from the podium by SCI President Paul Babaz, asking for donations to the Super PAC, resulted in thousands of dollars being raised on-the-spot.

The Saturday evening auction demonstrated the overall feel and effectiveness of the entire convention when the fifth and final rifle in the World Heritage Rifle Series brought $260,000. The rifle, created by John Bolliger's Mountain Riflery in Pocatello, Idaho, honored The Americas. The total package included a breathtakingly beautiful credenza by Tom Julian & Sons.

"There was more support for the cause than I have ever seen," noted SCI President-Elect Steve Skold.

The SCI Convention was host to several dignitaries from Africa. Delegations from Ethiopia, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe met with SCI to discuss the upcoming CITES CoP18.

SCI honored Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan with the 2018 Federal Legislator of the Year Award. Sen. Sullivan was joined at the convention by previous SCI Federal Legislator of the Year Congressman Billy Long of Missouri.

In addition to the spectacular Convention for SCI itself, the SCI Foundation also reported outstanding results.

"SCIF had a great show, raising more than $1.5 million for the mission," said SCI Foundation Executive Director Bob Benson. "It was a culmination of exceptional work by our staff and volunteers to secure major gifts and execute exciting events and other revenue generators."

SCI's next Convention will be held in Reno Jan. 15-18, 2020.



Source: Safari Club International (SCI)
 

wesheltonj

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Interesting, in that SCI was complaining that they are losing 1 million a year in lost revenue from the convention, because that can not sell the same about of booth space as Vegas
 

flatwater bill

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Westj.....???
 

Graham Hunter

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Very different report than what I have heard from both Outfitters and attendees.
 

flatwater bill

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The last time I attended, in LV, they announced when the attendance had surpassed 20 thousand. This time, 15 thousand. I cannot easily travel to Reno in winter, and have no intention of trying it again...............FWB
 

vette447

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I have heard it was very poorly attended and that that it was not good for business from a few exhibitors I know.
 

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I was there all week and attended three banquets, two breakfasts, and one luncheon. I stayed at the Peppermill hotel Which is very nice. I had no trouble with the busses they were good. Evening banquets are at the Peppermill which was good for a late night event if staying there. The Atlantis is attached by sky bridge to the Convention Center and had the breakfasts and luncheons there. The events were all very good. I volunteered on the exhibitor welcome team as well as the attendee welcome brigade. I can’t say it was only an older crowd as I saw plenty of young people and families there. Yes SCI tends to be an older crowd and we all know that. The convention center is a good facility but the layout for an SCI convention was just not good. Bottlenecks, hidden rooms of vendors etc plagued the show floor in my opinion. Flight options are simply not good enough for this large international event. My wife decided to go late in the year and used passes on Southwest as her sister is a flight attendant. If this had been Vegas no problem but Reno you must buy a ticket way ahead of time especially if leaving on Sunday. I realize this was a personal decision but the fact remains that Vegas is easier to get to especially for me with a daily nonstop from Midland (MAF) TO LAS.
I was in the ARU Safaris booth much of the time and it was slow. If someone did sit down they were serious but there were few opportunities. Floor traffic was down considerably and that is all that matters to the vendors. I went into one of the hidden little dungeon rooms and found the neatest folks who do Dall Sheep hunts. Thankfully I trudged through the dungeon and found them!
I was terribly disappointed with the seminar schedule, there are several presenters every year that are just awful (I’ve attended many). The exceptions were Michael Sabbeth, Danene van Westhuyzen , and of course Boddington who always has an interesting presentation. DSC looks to have an excellent seminar schedule and I am keen to attend many of them-see you there!
Yes the people in Reno are most welcoming, the protestors are a joke but just as much in Vegas only mustering 20 max on any given day (See Trophy the film and watch me foolishly try to talk to them!)
I kept an open mind but even with the nonsense in Vegas I am simply not a proponent of SCI being in Reno.
Regards,
Philip
 

flatwater bill

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Nice post Phillip.............very good to hear from someone who was seeing both the highs and lows. No one seems to know exactly why Reno has attracted this event....even from the beginning...........something behind the scenes...........and doomed to failure. Can anyone tell us what business genius concluded that Reno was the venue of the future? The hunting industry needs to take advantage of all that is offered. Location would seem to be one potential advantage to me..................FWB
 

BRICKBURN

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This planned move started back in 2013 when the Mandalay Bay did not have open dates for SCI's convention.

Not sure if this was the entire reason.
 

flatwater bill

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Makes sense.........thanks, Brick. Still a bad long term move IMO..................FWB
 

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wesheltonj

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This planned move started back in 2013 when the Mandalay Bay did not have open dates for SCI's convention.

Not sure if this was the entire reason.

"The Safari Club’s 47th annual convention will run from Jan. 9 to 12 at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. The last time the show was held in Northern Nevada was 2013. Reno was supposed to host the event in 2015 but Safari Club pulled out, citing insufficient air service for its attendees.

The organization, however, announced in 2016 that it will return to Reno for a three-year stint from 2019 to 2021. The group plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for 2022, with the site of the next convention still to be determined. Reno is actively trying to land the 2023 show, with results likely depending on certain key factors, said Reno-Sparks Visitor and Convention Authority President and CEO Phil DeLone.

More: Public funding required for Reno convention center expansion

“SCI’s return to our destination hinges on successful financial results for these conventions in 2019 and beyond as well as the community’s commitment to building an expansion to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, which is necessary to meet Safari Club International’s trade show growth and requirements,” DeLone said.


Safari Club, meanwhile, described the return to Reno as “going home,” adding that Reno has hosted more conventions for the organization than any other city. This year’s convention will be the 21st time that Reno has been the site of the event. Las Vegas has played host to the convention 16 times.

The return of the convention, which attracted more than 18,000 attendees in 2018, has been a boon to area hotels. As of last week, advanced reservations stood at 17,950 room nights, according to DeLone. More than 20,000 attendees from about 103 countries also are expected, bringing an estimated economic impact approaching $20 million.


Phil DeLone, former Safari Club International CEO, talks about returning to Reno and what it will take to ensure the group keeps coming back. . . Prior to his return to Reno to lead the RSCVA, Delone served as Safari Club CEO from 2012 to 2016. It also was DeLone who announced the annual convention’s return to Reno back in July 2016, several months before taking the RSCVA post."

Hummm, I wonder why they went back to Reno?
 

SafariA

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Interesting numbers .....I am sure some or most of the 15 000 never saw the inside of the Convention centre ....or got lost between the maze of convention space.

Mandalay Bay not a good choice either ....spent a lot of time in Vegas this year . Seem like the Shooting there did them lots of harm .... pretty quiet part of the strip this year ...
 

Philip Glass

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I did not enjoy Reno. The Peppermill Hotel messed up the hotel reservation twice (SCI and Wild Sheep Convention). The distance between the host hotel and convention center, weather, cant get dinner reservations without planning way in advance, are just some of my complaints and overall Reno is just not that great.
I really enjoy Mandalay Bay for so many reasons. Vegas is super easy to get to especially for me. 2 hr direct flight. The Mandalay convention center is much better. I agree Vegas is well Vegas with too much going on but It is just so much better than Reno.
I hope 2023 and beyond are in Vegas.
Philip
 

SafariA

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I have clients that are religious SCI members that goes EVERY year . He was one that booked over $100 000 hunts this year..... They will not be back. Firstly they were lied to about the hotel reservations. They were told the Hotel is onsite ..... well the Peppermill is a mile away . They do not want to stand in lines waiting for shuttles. They will go to DSC next year and wont be back ....
 

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We’ve made the move to Dallas. We find it to have a much more relaxed atmosphere making it easier to visit.
 

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I have clients that are religious SCI members that goes EVERY year . He was one that booked over $100 000 hunts this year..... They will not be back. Firstly they were lied to about the hotel reservations. They were told the Hotel is onsite ..... well the Peppermill is a mile away . They do not want to stand in lines waiting for shuttles. They will go to DSC next year and wont be back ....

If they religiously go every year they don't seem to know much about the show in reno......been going since 1990 and it was way more fun and busy in those days when the show was in the hotel exhibition halls....when it was ballys ....when it first moved to the reno convention centre is when it changed character.....just got bigger and bigger and lost the more intimate friendly setting it had up to then......too many booths now that I haven't a clue what they have to do with hunting ......
 

SafariA

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If they religiously go every year they don't seem to know much about the show in reno......been going since 1990 and it was way more fun and busy in those days when the show was in the hotel exhibition halls....when it was ballys ....when it first moved to the reno convention centre is when it changed character.....just got bigger and bigger and lost the more intimate friendly setting it had up to then......too many booths now that I haven't a clue what they have to do with hunting ......
I guess you answered your own question ....it wasnt what it used to be .....
 

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