A two-day sportsman’s show that fills city lodges and brings in over 600 customers of Infinity Sports of Oakdale, an outdoor sports and recreational wholesaler, will be moving to larger surroundings – the Sacramento Convention Center – next year due to needing more space and lodging accommodations because of its success.
“I’ve got them packed in here,” said Infinity Sports CEO Melissa Dubiel Wednesday at the Gene Bianchi Community Center. “I would have liked to keep it (the tradeshow) in town, but I’ve exhausted all possibilities.”
Dubiel reported that this year’s event had over 54 booths representing some 125 product lines with displays, dealers, and company representatives.
“We booked the Best Western and Holiday Inn out of rooms,” said Dubiel. “As the dates got closer I had to turn away some reps because we couldn’t find them a close place to stay.”
Mary Guardiola of the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce said they targeted having tradeshows hosted in the city due to the ability to schedule them for multiple years at the location.
Guardiola said hosting trade shows and corporate business in Oakdale is important to the local restaurants, shops and especially hotels. Corporate business accounts for over 40 percent of the hotel stays in Oakdale but the city is limited to approximately 200 available rooms.
The show, titled “Year of the Dragon,” had invited guests strolling through several rows of products and equipment lines of camping, hunting, gun supplies, and clothing on display.
Dubiel said since they are a distribution company, the event was not public and was by invitation only and the trend was for the invited account holder to bring some of their customers with them.
“I come to this every year,” said Mike Pierce of Predator’s Archery in Gilroy. “It’s always a good show.”
This is the expo’s sixth year that was once held at the FES Hall on Lee Avenue.
“This is a show I always try to make for my company,” said Metrolight’s Kerry Kinder of New York. “There’s always interest in the business for the Oakdale show.”
New to the show this year was the Federal Premium Ammunition Company, a leader in the industry.
“Adding the Federal ammo side was helpful to us and a great tool for them (Infinity Sports),” said Company Representative Randy Scott of Alliant Technological Systems in Arizona.
According to Dubiel, Infinity Sports has approximately 30 regular employees and hires an additional 30 employees to help put on the tradeshow.
The company rents out the community center from Monday to Thursday.
The event requires two days to set up where Infinity employees are putting up surrounding tent and marking booths on Monday and Tuesday when the dealers and representatives stock their assigned areas. The show is held on Wednesday and Thursday where guests are also treated to lunch during the show and a catered dinner and conference on Wednesday night.
After the show on Thursday the staff takes about four to six hours to break everything all down.
“I’ll be treating all my workers to dinner then,” said Dubiel. “This year we’re looking at going to Suzy Belen’s for Mexican food.”