EDGEFIELD, S.C. — With concern for the safety and health of its members, partners and the public, the National Wild Turkey Federation announced its 45th annual
Convention and Sport Show will be held virtually in February.
Due to the ongoing pandemic and the inability to guarantee the health of convention-goers, the NWTF will be conducting its popular annual convention online in a format that will be announced at a later date.
The NWTF’s 2020 Convention and Sport Show drew record attendance to Nashville’s Opryland Resort and Convention Center with more than 57,000 people attending the three-day event. It has become the largest consumer show in Music City and is revered as the greatest gathering of turkey hunting and conservation enthusiasts in the nation.
“The show’s scope makes limiting audience sizes and implementing social distancing measures in compliance with government guidelines extremely difficult,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “Even if guidelines change and restrictions are eased by February, it is not feasible for us to quickly adjust an event of this magnitude.”
The NWTF will share more details in the months ahead as it finalizes strategic plans for a new and exciting virtual convention in 2021. Rest assured, there will be unique ways to engage with the virtual convention, including partnering with Bass Pro Shops to host elements of the event from Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri.
“We are confident we can provide a virtual experience that allows us to deliver our message, educate our volunteers and celebrate the spirit of wild turkey hunting and conservation,” said Jason Burckhalter, NWTF Chief Information Officer.
Convention staff will contact vendors, who currently have reserved booth space for 2021, in the coming weeks with additional details on a virtual booth for 2021, guaranteeing a space for 2022 or applying for a full refund with no guarantees for 2022. Vendors should send immediate inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Select contests of the Grand National Calling Championships will be held in person at the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium with an adjusted format and limited capacity. In addition, the NWTF will hold the Grand National Callmaking Competition with a new format. Staff will release details for both competitions soon.
“This is a one-year pivot, as we manage through the pandemic,” Humphries said. “We look forward to returning to Nashville in 2022 for our beloved Convention and Sport Show. In the meantime, we will provide the best online convention experience we can to celebrate our great conservation and hunting heritage successes and all of the volunteers who make it happen.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters' rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org.