Kayak Shows - Canoecopia

If you’re a mid-westerner, Canoecopia is not a Kayak/Canoe show to miss. It’s been going on since 1976, and has grown to over 20,000 annual attendees! In early March, the ground is still hard in Wisconsin when folks are dreaming about kayaking and canoeing. The six speaker rooms spill over into the hallways (while speakers vary their topics, their superb quality is consistent). One fun offbeat event is the Aluminum Chef Competition in which chefs pit their culinary skills against each other usng outdoor stoves, cook kits, and the type of ingredients you would likely take on your next camping trip.

In their own words:
Canoecopia is hosted by Rutabaga, a paddler-owned business in Madison, Wisconsin. Because we're paddler-owned, we're passionate about what we do. There are four main reasons we put on Canoecopia.
First, Education and Inspiration. The folks who make the cut to present at Canoecopia are the best paddlers and teachers from all over the globe, and they're here to teach you about everything from gear selection to how to pack for an expedition to how to improve your outdoor skills. They are also here to give you an insider's glimpse at paddling in exotic destinations all over the world, and to show you that YOU can do it too!
Second, Exposure to Guides, Outfitters, and Schools. Canoecopia has over a hundred exhibitors who are leaders in their areas of expertise. Whether it's sea kayaking in Baja California with the grey whales or an expedition above the Arctic Circle in canoes, we have folks who have been there and want you to go too. You'll also find schools specializing in teaching outdoor skills in many forms, from half-day courses to multi-week expeditions. For those of you of the female gender, many of our guides specialize in women's trips, something that is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds.
Third, we believe in Charitable Giving. We are blessed with abundant resources in this country, and sharing it with organizations who keep our lands and rivers clean, safe, accessible or protected is part of our charter. We donate a portion of the proceeds from Canoecopia to charitable non-profit groups, and Rutabaga, our parent company, matches that donation.
Last (and not least), Access to Great Gear at Great Prices. We search the paddlesports world to bring you the best gear at the best prices of the year. At no other time of the season is everything under one roof on sale. We also beat the bushes to get close-out deals that can save you tons of money, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran.
Canoecopia is the world's largest paddlesport exposition, and it didn't get that way by accident. We love what we do, we love providing these services to the paddling community, and we love the family reunion atmosphere of Canoecopia. If you haven't been to Canoecopia before, we welcome you in advance and hope you enjoy your weekend!