An In-Depth Look at the Fireworks Focused Expo Held in Wichita, KS
In mid-September, the National Fireworks Association, or NFA, held their annual trade show right here in Wichita, KS. The expo took place at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Wichita and featured over 100 businesses from across the globe.
Beginning on Monday the 10th and lasting until Friday the 14th, the expo held multiple seminars and demonstrations every day. From 8 to 10 each night, the expo ended the day with a “product demonstration” – a fancy name for a series of stunning firework shows.
The best part? Acumen Connections was there.
“Our company attended the expo because we have a large customer base that are fireworks stands and other seasonal businesses. We wanted to get in front of other fireworks stands across the country to push our merchant processing solutions and be there to support our current customers,” commented Ariel Burress, Acumen’s Director of Marketing.
The Purpose Behind the NFA
Founded in September of 1993 by Cameron Starr and stationed in Kansas City, the purpose of the National Fireworks Association is to lobby for the regulations and laws surrounding fireworks to be more fair. The NFA’s website has a full list of the issues they’re addressing here.
A Firsthand Account of the “World’s Largest Fireworks Trade Show”
Burress had a hands-on experience with the NFA Expo. “I was genuinely surprised to see the market that wholesale and retail fireworks have. There are people from all over the country and all walks of life that are really passionate about fireworks and it was fun to talk to them. Most of them had never been to Wichita, so it was nice getting to promote my favorite features of Wichita, like the great restaurants and local hotspots,” she said.
Expo registration took place everyday starting at 9 AM, allowing visitors to come as they pleased. From 12-1, the expo held a sponsored lunch. The actual trade show didn’t occur until Tuesday but lasted until Friday and went on for three hours per day. The expo closed out on Saturday with a Board of Directors meeting.
“I personally benefited from the expo by getting to talk to current customers and potential customers and learn more about their business(es). What works and doesn’t work with their current merchant processing solutions, how we can be better at providing them our service and what we need to do to improve. It was also good to put a face to a name with some of our current customers and start building those relationships,” Burress continued about her time spent at the NFA expo.
There was a total of 10 seminars featured at the expo. Every seminar had a different topic, with up to three seminars being held each day. Each one was an hour and a half long.
Some of the topics included: New Technology, Motivating Your Salesforce, New Explosives Testing, and a fireworks transportation panel.
Beginning at 5:30 PM, the expo started shuttling attendees to Andover Central Park to watch product demonstrations. We’re sure the products being demonstrated are obvious at this point – for two hours every night from 8-10 PM, the National Fireworks Association put on a display of fireworks. At the end of the week, this culminated into a Grand Public Display – the expo’s finale.
“I wasn’t able to go, but I gave my tickets to my parents. My mom was excited and my dad was reluctant. Both of them made points to call me the next day to talk about how amazing it was! There were about 10000 people there and the show lasted for a couple hours. My mom literally said it ‘was something I’ll never forget. It was amazing.’” Burress recounted of the finale
“I think it was a really good learning experience for Acumen and expos. We definitely have room for improvement, but we learned a lot and are going to be better for it!” Burress finished.
Images provided by Ariel Burress.