Quiet Water Symposium - Lansing, MI

What prevents this event from being bigger than it is ?

Not showing
dates and information in your post?

Sat Mar 7

to the OP question , the duration of the event dictates the audience. No one is going to drive two days each way for a one day event.

That is what has stopped me.

Evolving QWS in Michigan

– Last Updated: Jan-24-15 11:48 PM EST –

Commute plays a role as does the weather quite often early in the year

Roughly 2,000 paid attendees with about 500 folks manning booths, tables, displays makes it a fair size event.

I have heard that people do opt for other events

Limited interest?
People are busy. They have to want to be engaged in these types of activities and make the time. Many are running their kids around to all kinds of events, sports, music, etc. Also, it is a regional event and there are several other similar events in different regions, some on the same weekend, e.g. http://www.adksports.com/summerexpo

Better publicity?

– Last Updated: Jan-25-15 1:43 PM EST –

At least up here at the tip of the mitt. It does seem to be a regional event, which makes sense given population density factors (i.e. downstate Michigan regions).

I looked at the 2015 schedule. Tried to access their FB page from the QWS website to see if I could learn more, but it's not open to general public viewing. Got a message that I had to log in with a FB account to proceed.

It's a three-hour drive to MSU. I did note it on my calendar and would consider attending, weather and schedule permitting.

Great Lakes - Multiple States - Canada

– Last Updated: Jan-25-15 8:34 PM EST –

The Quiet Water Symposium has tripled in size in the last ten years.

I've personally worked at the event, engaging conversations with people who drive in from Canada and other states.

More vendors with more canoe and kayak offerings would only increase attendance and enthusiasm.


The 20th Annual
Quiet Water Symposium
will be Saturday, March 7, 2015
at the MSU Pavilion
- 4301 Farm Lane Rd
East Lansing, MI
Time 9am - 5pm
Cost 10 dollars

Publicity is one of those things that we keep trying to figure out. Rookie, do you have suggestions, other than p-net, on what might work up your way?

All in all, it’s a great one-day show and it’s impressive that it has been going for 20 years with an all volunteer staff. We do understand that a one-day show can be a stretch for someone travelling from far away. We are also more laid back and less commercial than some of the other big shows. No knock on them … just different.

It could be fun to have someone from the Freestyle community do a presentation in 2016 though.

If you haven’t already, send a press release to the following newspapers/agencies and you pretty much cover the tip of the mitt from the sunrise side to the sunset side. If you send by email, follow up with a snail mail hard copy. I included CMU and Interlochen because they do lots of PSAs and have great coverage up here.

I don’t belong to the Traverse Area Paddlers, but heard they are a large group which regularly issues electronic newsletters to their membership.

Cheboygan Daily Tribune, http://www.cheboygannews.com/

Crawford County Avalanche, Grayling, MI http://www.crawfordcountyavalanche.com/

Petoskey News Review, Petoskey, MI http://www.petoskeynews.com/

(They also publish the Charlevoix Courier)

Traverse City Record Eagle, Traverse City, MI http://www.record-eagle.com/

Harbor Light, Harbor Springs, MI: http://harborlightnews.com/

The Alpena News, Alpena, MI http://www.thealpenanews.com/

Kalkaska County News: http://morningstarpublishing.com/leader_and_kalkaskian/

Northern Express, http://www.northernexpress.com/michigan/

Central Michigan University Public Broadcasting: http://www.wcmu.org/

Interlochen Public Radio, http://interlochenpublicradio.org/

Traverse Area Paddlers, http://www.traverseareapaddleclub.org/

I appreciate the list of links. I’ve passed these on to the publicity folks.


Hope to have the chance to meet you March 7. With any luck, it will be sweatshirt weather on campus.

Early March in Michigan

– Last Updated: Jan-27-15 12:29 AM EST –

History has shown the weather that time of year to be a real real nasty bear.
Driving home from this event I've encountered massive snowstorms, a few times.
Prepare accordingly !

One of the organizers
so look for someone with a glazed look on his face. You can also ask for Rich.

Skills Presentations
I have been going to the QWS off and on for a few years and have volunteered for a couple of them. It is an event I look forward to attending each spring. Reading through the feedback, I like the Freestyle presentation comment and think other skills presentations would be a nice addition to the general agenda. I can also understand not wanting to get to commercial, but a little more might help. Events like these sometimes allow us to meet the people behind the gear (much like your current book authors) which is more engaging than picking up a gear from the local paddle shop. If you do not want to be too commercial, how about a used gear swap area. Paddling used gear is a great way to learn and explore the sport without spending as much money. Otherwise keep up the good work! I will be there again this year.

second the gear swap idea

You’re going for the week after Canoecopia. A lot of upper mid-western paddlers have just spent their paddling wad and were on the road just the week before. And they were saturated with “paddle think” just the week before. The Chicago paddling population probably tends to go to one or the other but most probably can’t justify both so close together. There’s a limited “audience” and its being shared.

This seems similar to a problem we used to run into this with another hobby group I was involved in - competing show dates. Doesn’t have to be exactly the same weekend - being close hurt us too, especially until we had a dozen or so big shows under our belts. It took some experimentation to find how long a time was necessary between major events in a shared region for both events to successfully share the same “audience”.

The week before actually
Our timing is pretty much set by Michigan State. We are a part of Agriculture and natural Resources week. That overall event occurs during spring break.That timing has advantages and disadvantages but overall works pretty well. We do keep looking at options though.

Thanks for coming out and for volunteering. Both are appreciated.

We are not against vendors, paddle shops, outfitters, manufactures, etc. Our problem is doing the recruiting. Any help that we can get is appreciated.

The gear swap idea is a good one. We discussed having that this year. We backed off as we are concerned about staffing. We would need someone there and responsible throughout the show. It is still a possibility for 2016 though.

You’re right - I fired off that reply as I was dashing off to work and realized that I had the dates reversed while on the road. (Though I think last year Canoecopia was on the 7th.)

Still, and we found this with the scheduling of our shows in that other club I mentioned, its a good idea to have a few weeks at least between major events that are drawing on largely the same pool of attendees. Only the very hardest of the die-hards will do long drives to events back to back.

Perhaps Lansing would draw on a substantially different geographical area of paddlers than Canoecopia anyhow. Lake Michigan makes it a much longer drive from the West and through some potentially heavy traffic. That discourages me and I presume others as well. I wouldn’t want to even guess about how many attendees might be diverted by other sporting events.

It was just a thought that I hoped might be helpful or at least worth considering or reconsidering. Perhaps some experimentation with dates would help. It did for that other club I was in.

I wish you nothing but success in any case.

Would love to do both
Wouldn’t drive it, though, as it’s close to eight hours if I take the UP route along Lake Michigan to Madison. Too chancy as some of our most memorable blizzards hit in March. Round trip airfare from Traverse City to Madison is $309, so am seriously considering that.

What I have to decide is whether to use two vacation days to travel and attend Canoecopia versus being on the water paddling.

East Lansing is easy: it’s on a Saturday.