Sioux Falls Hosts National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic for the First Time

Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts of all ages traveledl to Sioux Falls for the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic February 16-18, 2018. These individuals partook in everything that both the event and the city had to offer. See what Lacey Anderson, Event Coordinator, had to say about electing Sioux Falls as the location for this momentous event!

Q: What is National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic?

This event combines a sporting-themed tradeshow and organizational convention focusing on wildlife conservation, upland game bird hunting (pheasant and quail), dog training, and wildlife habitat management and restoration.

In connection with the trade show, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever hosts seminars on several topics, such as:

  • Habitat improvement
  • Pheasant hunting
  • Shooting sports
  • Wild-game cooking
  • Dog training
  • Conservation
  • And much more!

This is a can’t-miss event for men, women, and children who appreciate the outdoors!

Q: What stood out about Sioux Falls vs. other locations?

As the “Gateway to the Plains,” Sioux Falls represents the heart of pheasant country. It’s located in the tri-state area, which makes it very appealing to outdoorsmen and women. Pheasants Forever is highly impressed with the Denny Sanford Center Premier Center, as well as the other amenities offered by the city of Sioux Falls for lodging, entertainment, and overall atmosphere.

Additionally, South Dakota is celebrating their “pheasantennial” in 2018 (100 years of pheasant hunting in the state) and we believe that Sioux Falls provides a perfect venue for this historical benchmark celebration.

Q: Where did you be host the event?

The 2018 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic was hosted at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. The hotels we selected are the Sheraton Sioux Falls & Conference Center, the Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel, and the Ramada Sioux Falls Airport Hotel & Suites.

Q: What were your expectations for the event during its first year in Sioux Falls?

Pheasants Forever expected to have a great show in Sioux Falls, and it was! It was our first time in the state, and the city’s outdoor culture delivered to make the 2018 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic a very successful event.

Our tradeshow and convention represents the largest show of its kind to ever be hosted in South Dakota.

Q: What did attendees look forward to in Sioux Falls? 

Attendees celebrated all things related to conservation and upland game hunting. Some highlights included a wild game cooking stage, seminars on habitat improvement, dog training, children’s activities, and much more. 

Q: What has your experience been like with the local Sioux Falls partners or vendors involved?

The Sioux Falls community and businesses have been overwhelmingly kind and grateful about this event. We are lucky to have had such a great number of supporters spreading the word and getting excited this long before the actual show.

Q: Would you recommend Sioux Falls as a host city to fellow event planner colleagues at this time?

Indeed! The inviting atmosphere of the city and the passion that Sioux Falls residents exude for conservation is second-to-none. All of our contacts in Sioux Falls have been nothing but helpful, and all of the facilities—especially the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center—are top-notch establishments.

Q: What were you most looking forward to leading up to or when the event was in Sioux Falls?

Pheasants Forever looked forward to bringing the nation’s top outdoor tradeshow and conservation convention to the residents of Sioux Falls! We firmly believe that the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau, and all of the facilities we worked with were 100 percent committed to making this the best event the city has ever hosted. The organization is extremely grateful for the support and enthusiasm shown by city and state leaders throughout the entire process.

Q: What has surprised you about Sioux Falls?

Sioux Falls is one of the most welcoming cities. We always feel special when coming to town, and the people are beyond friendly and considerate. Sioux Falls is beautiful and has something for everyone!

Q: Were there any event location criteria that Sioux Falls had to meet? 

The location had to have:

  • Approximately 150,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space
  • 1,200 room nights available
  • ​Passionate outdoorsmen and women who support Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, along with our mission.

Q: When choosing a host city, what top three factors did you look for?

There are several factors taken into consideration before electing a host city for the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic. Our top three were:

  1. Size and availability of convention and meeting space
  2. Hotel room availability
  3. The number of Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever chapters and members in the area

Q: What role did the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau play in bringing the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic to Sioux Falls?

The organization has gone above and beyond our expectations. This has been a journey, to say the least, and credit must go to our friend Teri Schmidt who won us over in the end. She and her team have set up numerous tours, face-to-face meetings, and many phone conversations. The Sioux Falls CVB assured us that this was the right city for the event.

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