‘Amazing’ ICAST on a different level says first-time visitor
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‘Wow! Amazing!’ These were the initial reactions of ICAST first-timers Sven Neumann and Dieter Feldmann when they visited the event this year.
The duo from Tackle 24, the German-based supplier of rod components and big game fishing equipment, were blown away by the size and vibrancy of the Orlando showpiece.
Neumann told Angling International: “It’s on a completely different level to anything we have experienced before. We are used to attending trade events in Europe, but ICAST is in a class of its own.” Neumann admits that disillusionment with what is on offer to the trade in Europe persuaded him and his work colleague, Feldmann, to cast their eyes across the Atlantic.
“It is a more expensive option, but one that we feel is really worthwhile. We went out there looking for new business opportunities and ICAST presented them to us in abundance. It was great to meet suppliers face-to-face.”
Neumann added that the welcome they received was second to none. “Everyone was so open and friendly. At trade shows we have attended in the past some of the booths of the bigger companies are closed to all but those who have been invited, while on others you feel intimidated just walking onto them. That’s not the case at ICAST – it is access to all areas.
“Everyone, from the largest companies to the smallest ones, are there to discuss business in an open and friendly way.”
Neumann added that the show is a great combination of business and pleasure. The sound of can tabs popping two hours before the end of each day brings a welcome respite to walking the packed aisles. But even that side of the event has welcome business benefits.
“You meet so many different people from other walks of life in the industry in the booths over a beer. It is an amazing networking opportunity. We met two guys who were in our business – not direct competitors – who we now work with. They just came to say hi, presented us with their business cards and it went from there. That’s the sort of thing that can happen at ICAST.”
The highlight of ICAST is generally accepted to be the mountain of new products introduced in the New Product Showcase.
Neumann admitted that the mouthwatering array was an impressive feature of the show. “It is a great opportunity to handle the new stuff, feel its quality and learn first-hand from the manufacturer what it does and how it will appeal to anglers.”
He added that ICAST is a must for companies like Tackle24 which has become an international internet retailer. He said: “Our business is now 95% digital and 50% of that is outside our country. This is a global world now for companies like us, so keeping up with what is happening out there is very important. ICAST keeps you up-to-date and offers you a wider view. “And registration is free. It doesn’t cost you €100 to do business!
‘Chances are we will be back next year.”