World’s biggest tackle show back in town!
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Something big is going down in Orlando. Hotels are booked to capacity, nearby Lake Toho is a hive of activity and groups gather in bars and restaurants to talk about rod tapers, retrieve ratios, poppers and echo sounders.
ICAST – the world’s biggest fishing trade show – is back in town!
More than 600 exhibiting companies, some 13,000 visitors and the world’s sportfishing media have descended on The City Beautiful for a week when fishing means business.
A week when owners of mom and pop stores get to talk fishing with CEOs of billion-dollar corporations; and when visitors not only have first sight of the very latest tackle, but also get the chance to try it out on the water.
It’s the show’s 59th year and the word on International Drive is that this will be the daddy of them all. It’s the fourth consecutive year it has gravitated to Florida, the number one fishing state in the US and often referred to as the fishing capital of the world.
And it doesn’t take a genius to understand why the American Sportfishing Association – the event’s organisers – keep coming back to the Orange County Convention Center. The show is on a roll.
Attendance records continue to tumble annually and Show Director Ken Andres is confident they will reach new highs in 2016. “This is going to be another great year,” he told Angling International. “The show floor was sold out early and visitor registration has maintained an increase over last year’s record numbers. We have a very exciting week ahead.”
ICAST’s growth curve is no accident. By entering into astute collaborations to give visitors more bang for their buck, the ASA has developed what was once a conventional three-day exhibition into a week-long business and networking experience for the industry.
It began with a collaboration with fly fishing’s IFTD show four years ago and momentum continued with Super Tuesday, a new addition to the schedule last year featuring more than 50 exhibitors, on-the-water demos, the ICAST Cup bass tournament and the Bass and Birdies golf classic.
The opening night country music festival is being repeated, while new to the show this year is the Marine Accessories Pavilion hosted by the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
By bringing ICAST to the east coast from its previous home in Las Vegas, the organisers have also made it more accessible to European businesses and visitors.
And, showing commitment to its exhibitors, the ASA has doubled its marketing and outreach efforts to entice independent retailers to Orlando for this amazing week.
The ASA has recognised that fishing is part of the entertainment business. No one does it better.
Angling International staff will be out in force at ICAST to bring you daily coverage of the show in our online ICAST Communiqué News. Editorial Director Rob Carter, US Marketing Director Stuart Pavlik, Editor Anthony Hawkswell and Consultant Editor Mel Bagnall will be on hand to explain how Angling International can help your business.