ICAST first-timer: ‘All retailers should attend at least once’
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Joey Edens made his first visit to ICAST last year. He has already booked for a return and hopes to take some work colleagues with him this time around.
That is an indication of how important the Manager/Operator for South Carolina-based Anglers Sporting Goods believes that the show is for the business. He told Angling International, “I have been wanting to go to ICAST for years, but other business commitments have contrived to prevent me from going. I now know what I have been missing.
“Every retailer in the industry needs to go at least once to check it out and discover what it can offer their business. From my experience they will not be disappointed. It has certainly helped us. I am hoping to take some staff members because it is important for them to attend also. It will certainly help them when they make buying decisions.”
Edens said that because of his visit, the company signed sales agreements with seven vendors who he would not have met had it not been for ICAST. And he added that three or four other companies are on his radar for a follow-up call.
“Anglers Sporting Goods is a member of a buying group and that is where we source most of our products, but ICAST gives us an opportunity to look at other items from manufacturers that they do not represent,” added Edens. “Many of our customers come to the store and tell us about products they have read about. Going to ICAST is an opportunity to check them out and discover whether they would be suitable for us to stock.”
Edens added that he was blown away by the atmosphere at the show and likened it to being at a rock concert. “There is an incredible buzz around the place and it was also incredible to see and meet some household names within the industry – people I had only seen on the television or in fishing magazines.
“I managed to talk to Kevin VanDam and Bill Dance, icons in the fishing tackle industry. It was amazing to talk fishing with people like that.
Edens concluded, “ICAST is a fantastic experience – the only downside is that the show only lasted three days. I never got around to meeting all the people I wanted to. I can’t wait to return this year.”