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UK’s Tackle & Guns Show 2017 is cancelled

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Relocating to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena failed to reignite the show in 2016.

The UK’s biggest tackle trade show will not take place this year.

The Tackle & Guns Show, which was approaching its 17th year, has been cancelled following poor attendance by retailers and exhibitors in recent years.

The dwindling visitor support made it more difficult for the organisers to attract exhibitors, and major absentees last year included Daiwa, Pure Fishing and Leeda.

Despite moving the date and location of the 2016 event, the turn-out at the Ricoh Stadium in Coventry was particularly low.

Roger Mortimer, Operations Director for David Hall Publishing (DHP), which organises the show, confirmed that it will not take place in 2017.

“There are a number of reasons behind the decision,” he told Angling International. “Last year’s venue was infinitely better than Stoneleigh, but moving the venue and the date at the same time was perhaps too much.

“We believe the venue was right, but coming forward to September was probably wrong. We are looking at the Ricoh Stadium for 2018 but favour a return to an October timing.

“We are not sure the date in 2016 ticked all the boxes for both the fishing and shooting industries. When we looked at 2017 we felt that if we were not sure of delivering a show that maximised footfall and worked for exhibitors in particular then we would not do it.”

Lack of support for the show will be seen by many manufacturers as a sad reflection of the current state of the industry and a concern for the future.

But Mortimer said that changes in the industry in recent years had to be taken into account. “Some people lose sight of the fact that in the past certain manufacturers could be represented by half a dozen different stands at this kind of show. But some of those have been consolidated into one business that doesn’t require the same amount of space.

“The same is true of retailers. Some have been consolidated into larger buying groups and this reduces the number of buyers that attend shows.”

The Tackle & Guns Show is also likely to have been affected by the fact that some of the industry’s bigger players organise their own trade shows.

Members of the trade have been notified of the cancellation by email and asked for their views on how the show might be made more popular.

The cancellation is the latest in a series of difficulties at the Daventry-based company. Its monthly consumer magazine, Coarse Fishing Answers, was closed down recently, and John Hunter, the long-serving editor of Tackle & Guns magazine, left to set up his own media business. There have also been a number of redundancies over the past year.

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