This year’s Sika Show was the second one to be held at Mystery Creek, Hamilton. Although the shift to the new venue was controversial to some, the stand quality and layout is fantastic, and feedback from exhibitors and attendees alike has been very positive.
The Sika Show itself means many things to the many different organisations and members of the public that attend. For the government and non-government entities, it’s a chance to meet face to face with the hunting/firearms community and get valuable feedback, which is often hard to come by via emails and surveys. At times, some of these organisations receive criticism, but respectful, constructive criticism can sometimes be a useful tool by which to assess and improve services and processes.
For retailers both large and small, the show is a great platform from which to launch new products or just highlight products for sale within their stores. Given the expense of moving staff to the venue for the weekend plus travel and accommodation costs, often any profit is already eaten up, but if you factor in the marketing and networking value, the show is an important conduit for that side of business.
For the public, it’s a great day out with the family and a chance to browse almost all the hunting related gear in NZ. Sometimes discounts are considerable, and at other times hard to come by, but the ability to handle the gear and test it before buying is extremely useful, and sometimes a purchase may happen months after the item was seen at the show. Nonetheless, one firearms retailer sold well into the double figures of firearms at this show, and many had their best year yet in terms of in-show sales.
The competitions that are the heart of the Sika Show represent the best game animals taken over the past year, and it’s always a highlight to stroll along the trophy tables and see the high-quality game animals we have in NZ. The competition is also well supported by sponsors with the top prizes being worth thousands of dollars.
Additionally, it’s a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family with many travelling from around the country to attend. Often a hunting or fishing trip can be attached to the event to make best use of your time.
For the team at NZRod&Rifle, we love meeting the public, including meeting writers we may have only emailed or spoken to on the phone before. And we’re always on the lookout for potential new writers – it’s a never-ending quest to get new writers onboard.
Annually, NZRod&Rifle runs the National Photographic Competition and the Sika Show Roaring Competition. Both events have come a long way over the years and are a real tradition for the show; the prizes from the sponsors are top notch as well. The Roaring Competition was extremely well supported this year with several hundred spectators – this is astonishing given some years we may have had fewer than a dozen. Our goal is to keep growing the interest, to keep improving the prize pool and to continue to get more competitors roaring their hearts out.
Whatever category you sit in, the show represents a unique opportunity in NZ – it’s the only annual event of its kind, and your continued support will ensure that the show keeps improving, growing and giving you a good chance to search for that deal you’ve been after, come face to face with key organisations within the realm of hunting and/or take out top prize at one of the competitions. It’d be great to see you there next year!