Receipts are counted, gate figures tallied. By every metric used to score events, the 2015 DSC convention and expo is going into the books as a record-setter. And it’s all translating to record funding for conservation, education and hunters’ rights worldwide.
The event netted $1.4 million for this year’s DSC grants, to be announced soon, plus $1 million especially for the groundbreaking youth education program, Outdoor Adventures.
DSC’s mission-related fundraising and effectiveness have been steadily rising:
2015 – $1,400,000 + $1 million for youth education
2014 – $1,256,000 + $350,000 for black rhino conservation
2013 – $1,010,000
2012 – $998,000
2011 – $702,000
2010 – $577,000
2009 – $247,000
“We’re pleased with our growth, grateful to our supporters and determined to keep making our show better than the one before,” said Ben Carter, DSC executive director. “Over the past five years, we’ve raised more than $6.7 million to benefit wildlife and preserve traditional sporting lifestyles. That’s an amazing figure. And it’s a powerful statement about the passion of our members, supporters and volunteers.”
Other interesting figures from the 2015 DSC convention and expo:
- Total attendance over the four days was just over 45,000, a new record.
- Record DSC membership sales with nearly 800 newcomers, bringing the club’s total membership to 6,300 (about 60 percent of DSC members are from outside of Texas).
- Record 1,000-plus exhibitors, who rented 1,730 booth spaces filling 850,000 square feet.
- Most-ever on-site booth renewals for next year’s show, with 60 percent of 2015 exhibitors signing contracts and paying in advance for 2016.
- More than 600 companies now on a waiting list to exhibit at future DSC expos.
- About 150 booth spaces will be added for the 2016 event. Most have already been acquired by existing exhibitors.
- Record number of tickets sold (1,400) for DSC’s final night banquet and auction.
- Record attendance at the prestigious Weatherby Award banquet hosted by Weatherby Foundation International.
One of the most memorable highlights of the DSC convention was raising $1 million in one minute for Outdoor Adventures, a Texas-borne program that introduces students to traditional outdoor activities. The curriculum is now being taught in more than 170 secondary schools – many of them public – across Texas and in a growing number of other states.
DSC is a longtime sponsor of the program, administered by the Dallas Ecological Foundation.
Convention sponsors for 2015 include Sports Afield, Shikar Safaris, Trijicon, EuroOptic, Boyt Harness Co., Yamaha Motor Corp. USA, Hornady, The Hunting Consortium, Bass Pro Shops, Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, The Wildlife Gallery, Capital Farm Credit, Rungwa Game Safaris, Blaser USA, Legendary Consortium, Sovereign Bank, Global Rescue, David R. Oakes CIMA, Ruger, Capt. Peacock Yachts and Expeditions, and many others.
The 2016 DSC convention and expo will be Jan. 7-10 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and Omni Dallas Hotel. More info is available at www.biggame.org.