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Big turn-out for French show on 25th anniversary

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Xavier De Robert: Surprised by attendance at the show considering the poor French economy.

Organisers of France’s biggest fishing show praised exhibitors and consumers who attended last weekend’s Carrefour National Pêche et Loisirs.

Angling International spoke to organisers immediately after the show had closed its doors and before official attendance figures had been calculated, but it already seemed likely that last year’s total has been eclipsed.

“We know that we had more visitors than last year,” said Xavier De Robert, Directeur Général of Europêche, the retail co-operative that collaborates with events company, Centre France Événements, in staging the annual show. “The attendance is likely to be around 21,000 over the two and a half days.

“Considering the poor economy, it was a big surprise for us and for the exhibitors. We were amazed by the traffic in the hall. There was a wide age range among consumers and a good mix of different types of anglers. People stayed in the hall a long time.

“Exhibitors made the show very interesting. Consumers were able to see all the latest products on the market. The show is good news for the new season.”

The event, which was celebrating its 25th year, was held at its usual venue, the Grande Halle d’Auvergne, in Clermont-Ferrand, in mid France. And De Robert, whose company works with more than 120 retail shops in France, believes its continued success is evidence that shows remain a very strong marketing tool for the tackle trade.

“Companies thinking of ways to communicate with their audience should include shows in their plans,” he said. “Fishermen like going to big exhibitions where they can see everything on the market. Companies who did not exhibit at Clermont-Ferrand made a mistake. This is the largest fishing-only consumer show in Europe.”

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