For Atlantic British, Overland Expo East prep starts months in advance. One of the first things we need to decide is what off-road accessories to bring, and how to set up the booth the best way to show what we brought. Oh, and we have to try and convince a few friends to come along to enjoy the event and help out.
This year we had a three-part booth, featuring Atlantic British, BajaRack, and Clearview Accessories. It worked really well, and having a functional Clearview EasySlide fridge display on an overland truck was a great attraction.
I left for the event with a trailer chock full of merchandise that had been chosen as show specials. It is always a challenge to prep and bring the correct stuff to an event like this. We might be a Land Rover company, but Land Rover customers have been overlanding since 1948, and we have been supplying them for 50 years, so we know a few things about what it takes to do it. Our repair parts business may focus on Land Rovers, but our large overland accessories catalog can supply any off-road vehicle, and we offer our off-road expertise to a wide range of vehicle owners at an overland event like this
My ride to the event was a breeze; no traffic or construction tie-ups to speak of. Arriving at the event in Arrington, VA, I rolled in right behind Ron from Ridgeback Guide Service. Ron has been a personal friend of mine for many years, and we always seem to find each other at events all across the USA. I checked in at the tent and grabbed a map of where our booth was located. I drove down and very quickly got the trailer situated for set up the next day.
The next day we ran around town, provisioning food for the weekend and loading it into the ARB fridge. It is great to not have to buy ice at events, and the fridge makes booth life much better. By noon, we were on site and setting up the booth. Unlike the infamously wet 2018 event, this year was dry and the ground was amazingly hard. Driving stakes was a real hammer job -- no screw anchors this year! As the afternoon went on more vendors were showing up and this shopping mall of outdoor gear was really taking shape!
Friday morning was opening day for vendor sales, and the foot traffic was heavy. This lasted through all three days of the event. I met new and old customers from coast to coast. It’s amazing how far people travel to experience events like this. We had multiple raffles for attendees to enter, which was a great draw. At the booth, most everyone stops by with a story of their travels, their rig, or some cool thing they just saw over there, or there, or there.
Sunday afternoon we broke down, packed up and headed home. The traffic was horrible and added six extra hours to the trip, but we made it safe and sound.
It was a great event and I would recommend it to anyone interested in overlanding or serious camping. Come for the builds, new ideas, innovative products, stories, and people. Life is an adventure, and “adventure is the respectful pursuit of trouble." Get out there and find your next story...and a little trouble!
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