8. Increased Parking Sales – Sales for both passes were up, the $70 show-long pass and even more $25 single-day passes. “We had more of those people who would drive in for the day,” Cam says.
7. More Media – According to Cam, OQHA did more local advertising for the 2010 Congress, and the local media was “attentive.”
6. Away Games – The Ohio State University Buckeyes played away football games on both Congress Saturdays. “Believe it or not,” Cam says, “our attendance is down when Ohio State plays at home.”
5. Happy Vendors – Cam visited with all of them and, for the most part, the reported sales are up or even with 2009. “Big ticket” items – trucks, trailers, etc. – are still experiencing a depressed market, but not so with things like clothing and tack.
4. Savvy Schedule Changes – What everyone calls the “first Congress weekend” is actually the second, but the first with crowd pleasers. This year it included big draw cutting, reining and roping events. Cam says, “It was the largest first Saturday in the history of the Congress.”
3. Sold Out – The Congress freestyle reining habitually sells out, but this year so did the October 22 Congress Masters evening showcasing the big purse 2-year-old hunter under saddle and western pleasure classes.
2. Fantastic Weather – Can you ever remember a Congress where every day permitted short sleeves and there was only one with rain? Come on, honey, let’s go shopping!
1. Riding Outside – Weather gets another spot and No. 1 from the exhibitors’ view. With little cold driving everyone to crowded indoor arenas, horses and humans were happier.