First, let me just say that the week we happened to be in Knoxville was one of the coldest (me being from California!). I think one day it was something like 20 degrees…very cold!
We usually arrive on the day of the Opening Social. This is a great time to meet and greet those we have not seen or spoken to in awhile. There is usually a good turn out and this year was no different! Lots of good snacks, drinks and hellos! The conference was held in the Knoxville Convention Center which is a fairly new, modern building…it was also decked out for Christmas!
The next day is usually a very busy one with booth set up for us, seminars and meetings for the outfitters and then the opening of the Trade Show which runs till about 8 PM (keep in mind that I am on PST and have lost 3 hours!). After the show, I elected for an early bedtime and room service for dinner!
On Thursday we see many clients during the show. It’s a great time for us to review our services, talk about the upcoming year and see what our clients needs may be.
Some of our clients who attended the show are: Adirondack River Outfitters, Adventure Connection, Arizona River Runners, Arkansas River Tours, BTI Whitewater, Carolina Outfitters, Cherokee Rafting, Class IV, Glacier Raft Co., River Riders, Sheri Griffith Expeditions, The World Outdoors, Western River Expeditions, Wild River Adventures and I’m sure a few more I may have missed in the list!
Thursday night was also the celebration party for the 20th Anniversary of Confluence. This is always a lot of fun and attendance was high! There is a Silent Auction, food, drinks and even mechanical bull riding to entertain us. Congratulations go out to Brenda Dills for the winning bid on the Adventure Sports gift certificate and a free listing for a year!
Friday was a day to wrap up business, pack up the booth and say goodbye for another year! This is also a great day to purchase that gear you have been checking out all during the show…Many vendors will sell the gear at a great price so they don’t have to pack it back up! I scored a really cool bailing bucket from Jack’s Plastic. Friday was also my 50th birthday.
After packing up the booth, I took the opportunity to visit downtown Knoxville (a few blocks away). It is a very nice downtown with old buildings that have all been preserved and are in use. The big event that night was the annual Santa Parade….I found a place to eat and got back to the hotel before the parade started!
All in all it was a fantastic show and we will be back in Reno, Nevada for next year’s Confluence!