The inaugural American Birding Expo is in the books, and we believe this first one can be filed under WOW! Here are some highlights:
- The Expo featured more than 85 exhibitors (all space was sold out!)
- Almost 1,200 people registered in advance as VIP attendees.
- Weekend attendance was estimated at 2,500+ birding consumers
- 41 total countries were represented among exhibitors, attendees, and sponsors!
- 35 U.S. states were represented among exhibitors, attendees, and sponsors!
- We raised nearly $6,000 via donations to the three Expo conservation causes.
- Representatives of 26 bird clubs participated in the Bird Club Coffee Break & Brainstorm on Saturday afternoon.
- The American Birding Association Members’ Summit, held immediately prior to the Expo, attracted more than 100 attendees.
The Expo was held on the scenic grounds of the Grange Insurance Audubon Center (GIAC) and Scioto Audubon Metropark. Inside GIAC were the major optics companies/retailers, artists, and book sellers/publishers, along with several other key exhibitors and hosts. Outside, covering a huge area of the GIAC parking lot, was an enormous (50-by-200-foot), all-weather tent inside which were another 50+ exhibitors. In the adjacent lot was a 30-by-90-foot activity tent, where evening gatherings for exhibitors, sponsors, and hosts were held and exhibitor spotlight talks were presented during daylight hours.
Our exhibitors were almost universally thrilled with the number of consumers with whom they got to interact. Even the crummy rainy, cold weather on Friday and Saturday did not slow down attendance at the Expo. And Sunday’s beautiful weather finished the weekend off nicely.
Mark your calendar now—in LARGE BOLD LETTERS WITH PERMANENT INK—for the 2016 American Birding Expo: September 16–18. Same place. More exhibitors. More fun.
Yes the 2016 Expo has shifted earlier in the season for 2016. This is due to scheduling conflicts at both the venue and with a certain college football team that plays home games in Columbus.
If you made it to the 2015 Expo you know why there’s nothing else like it for birders in North America. Where else can you speak in person to people from so many far-flung corners of the globe—birding travel experts who will gladly help you plan the trip of a lifetime? Where else can you completely take your time while testing all manner of optics and gear, augmented by detailed product advice from experts? At the American Birding Expo! You can view a complete list of 2015 Expo exhibitors here and visit their websites for more information.
More than 95 percent of our 2015 exhibitors have indicated that they’re coming back next year. Some want double booths; some will be bringing more staff. We’ve already added a dozen new exhibitors who will join us for the first time in 2016. We once again expect to sell-out all exhibitor space, even with a doubling of our capacity. So please make your plans now to be a part of the 2016 American Birding Expo. If you are not currently on our contacts list for Expo updates, you can join it here. We’ll be sure to keep you informed as details emerge and exhibitor registration opens.
New for 2016
Some of the new ideas we’re hoping to include in the 2016 Expo include:
- A Brainstorm for Birding Festivals, featuring input from organizers of several of the most successful events both in North America and worldwide.
- Donate your Old (but still working) Optics to Conservation.
- A Birding Film Festival featuring movies and documentaries about birds and birding.
- Other Cool Ideas —but you’ll have to come to the Expo to see for yourself!