OWAC Plans 2024 Conference at International Sportsmen’s Expo in Sacramento
Save the Dates — January 18-21, 2024
Outdoor Writers Association of California is planning its next annual conference in Sacramento in conjunction with the International Sportsmen’s Expo. Dates are January 18-21, 2024. OWAC’s annual meeting is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at the Expo, January 20, at 3pm.
“It’ll be wonderful to see each other again,” says Carrie Wilson, President of Outdoor Writers Association of California. “After a hiatus of almost two years, OWAC members will come together again for an annual conference, with the added attraction of the largest sportsmen’s show in California.” No OWAC conferences were held in 2020, spring 2021, autumn 2022, or in 2023 because of disruptions from the COVID pandemic.
The 2024 gathering follows a different conference model increasingly used by other writers organizations: holding the meeting in conjunction with a major annual sportsmen’s show. Afterwards OWAC’s Board will gather member feedback about whether this approach is successful or if people prefer the previous format of seeking visitor bureaus to host our dedicated meetings.
OWAC is setting aside the late afternoon of Saturday, January 20, for its annual business meeting, as required by the by-laws. Also included will be a short program as well as discussions about the future of OWAC followed by a social hour. Afterwards, attendees can return to the show to visit exhibitor booths in search for ideas for their writing, photography, and broadcast markets.
ISE exhibitors cover varied activities for outdoor enthusiasts not only throughout California, but also Canada and Mexico as well as internationally. Displays range from archery to Zodiac inflatables, fishing to game hunting, camping to kayaking. The Show also offers outdoor seminars, hands-on demonstrations, and speaker presentations, and a wide assortment of boats, campers, and vehicles will be on display.
The show typically draws 300 to 600 leading resorts and lodges, outdoor-product manufacturers, boat dealers, regional and specialty retailers, hunting and fishing guides and outfitters, national and local conservation organizations, state and federal government agencies, and nonprofit groups.
“In addition to re-connecting with old friends and colleagues, the tie-in with the ISE offers many benefits for our members,” says Carrie:
— Networking with vendors and tour operators to research story angles and arrange bookings for upcoming assignments later in the spring, summer, and fall.
— Free admission to ISE for OWAC members with press cards as well as free attendance at the OWAC annual meeting and social hour.
— Free booth where members can sell books, display photos, promote their expertise, and mingle with colleagues, courtesy of ISE organizer. With brochures on hand to promote OWAC, this also provides an excellent opportunity to recruit new journalist members.
— The event is not hosted by a tourist board or visitors bureau, so there’s no obligation to write about the destination and its activities.
— Supporting members would likely want to participate with their own display booths not only for the benefit of OWAC members, but also for the wider audience the show will attract.
— The January dates do not conflict with early-season fishing and hunting seasons.
The only personal expenses for OWAC members are for travel, accommodations for one or more nights, and meals. Through ISE organizers, OWAC members will receive a list of nearby motels that offer discounted rates. RV parks can accommodate members who come in their own RVs.
“More details will follow as we get closer to the meeting date, so stay tuned to the OWAC newsletter,” says Carrie. “Looking for a festive gathering of all OWAC members in six months.”
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In the meantime, please provide feedback as to (1) your likelihood of attending, (2) the booth space you would like for displaying/selling your books and photographs, and (2) any ideas that could contribute to our 2024 conference. Please send your comments to either