Hours of careful planning and logistics culminates in the biggest show of its kind, the 2016 National Wild Turkey Federation's National Convention (NWFT) and Trade Show. Here's a look behind the scenes during setup.
Planning for next year's NWTF Convention begins before the current one even starts. Planning with the host facility in reference to floor plans and such begins early in order to allow vendors to begin planning. Current vendors begin reserving spaces for the following convention while still setup.
Here's a look at some of the behind scenes action, especially on the trade show side of the convention.
Setup begins on Tuesday prior to the beginning of the convention. Local contractors handle laying over seven miles of carpet over 1.5 days prior to the vendors beginning to move in.
Drapes and curtains marking off the booth spaces begin going up and the multiple halls begin taking shape.
While the vendor area is being converted from open floor space to mecca of turkey hunting, there are other activities going on around the Opryland Hotel, home of the convention.
Numerous venues must be decorated and setup for the National Championship Calling Contest, auctions, seminars, workshops and more.
The Watering Hole, sponsored by Wild Turkey Bourbon, is a favorite hangout for convention goers.
The biggest auction of the convention is the Grand National Auction. It takes a lot of work to setup for this event, which is home to auction items such as once-in-a-lifetime hunts with celebrities like Michael Waddel of Bone Collector and Kyle Bell from The Mountain Man.
Back downstairs, supporters like Bass Pro Shops begin their move in. The King of Bucks trailer is an annual favorite as are the Bass Pro Shops race cars on display.
Finally, the day arrives for vendors to move in. It takes 1.5 days to get vendors in and setup. Lots of planning and precision execution goes on to make this event happen. The process is helped along by the wonderful cooperation of the many vendors.
Vendors come from all over the United States and even Mexico. They include outfitters, retail outlets, taxidermist, manufacturers and pretty much anything you can imagine in the outdoor industry.
Anticipation is in the air as the hour approaches for thousands of NWTF members to descend for the three day convention and trade show.
The NWTF Convention and Trade Show is more of a family reunion than anything else. It's a time for old friends to get together and new ones to begin life-long relationships. It's the gathering of the flock and a great opportunity rekindle the spark of excitement that is the NWTF.
It is also a perfect platform for the NWTF to roll out initiatives such as the new Rise and Fly program. Click on the link to find out more.
If you've not been to the NWTF National Convention and Trade Show, be sure to start your plans now for 2017. We hope to see you in Nashville in February 2017.