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Key changes could be in the pipeline for AFTA show

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Big changes are being considered for the AFTA show, including moving the location from the Gold Coast.

The Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA) has declared its annual show a ‘great success’ after 80 exhibitors and 400 retailers attended the latest event.

However, the organisers say they are committed to making the trade show more ‘attractive and beneficial’in the future and plans could include a change of location and the introduction of a consumer day.

“Visitor numbers were comparable to previous years and the AFTA Board were happy with the outcome,” said Board member Justin Casey, General Manager Oceania, Newell Brands.

“There were varying themes of feedback, ranging from how we continue to grow, to the timing of the forums to the age-old question of how we get more retailers to attend.

“As ever, we continue to seek feedback on how we can make the show more attractive and beneficial to all attendees through a formal survey. All the feedback is taken on board and will be used to refine the show’s success in 2019.

“The Board is always looking at ways in which to make the show better and these include a possible change of location in the future and other ways to deliver a show that is supported strongly by the wholesale and retail communities.

“The Board has also commenced a discussion around the opportunity for a consumer event on the final day of the show to allow anglers direct access to new products and encourage participation.”

This year’s show at the Gold Coast Convention Centre introduced several format changes, beginning with a fishing tournament, round-table board discussions, a wholesale and retail forum and the AGM, preceding the three-day show itself.

“Primarily the show is still the opportunity for wholesalers to showcase their products and services,” explained Casey. “However, this year day one provided a chance for the entire industry to provide feedback to the AFTA Board on a range of matters relating to the future direction of the industry, plus the AGM where AFTA’s financials are presented.”

Highlights of the show included the Industry Gala Dinner, where further format changes proved successful, and the induction of Pat Levy, of J.M. Gillies into the AFTA Hall of Fame. The show also saw increased participation from government and fisheries industry bodies.

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