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ASA hails ‘resilience’ of industry following ICAST 2020 Online

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ASA President, Glenn Hughes: “Whether in person or online, ICAST is, and always will be, the cornerstone venue that unites our industry”.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) hailed the resilience of the fishing tackle industry as the first virtual ICAST drew to a close today, revealing that tens of thousands of visitors engaged with the online show.

For the first time ever, angling consumers also had the chance to participate in what remains the world’s biggest tackle trade event.

At short notice, the ASA – the show’s producer – reengineered the huge event from its traditional in-person format into an interactive digital feast of new products, informative trade seminars and live chat.

“Despite having to transition to an online event, tens of thousands of visitors came to ICAST 2020 Online to see the latest and greatest in tackle, gear, accessories, apparel and watercraft,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. 

“Whether in person or online, ICAST is, and always will be, the cornerstone venue that unites our industry. My heartfelt thanks go to all our member exhibitors for their commitment to our association and our industry.”

Chris Megan, ASA Board Chairman and publisher of On The Water, said: “Working against a short time frame and never having done this before, the ASA held ICAST. Although it wasn’t the ICAST we wanted, it was the ICAST we could deliver, and boy, did we ever deliver.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the entire ASA team for the virtual ICAST show it presented this week. With the help of our sponsors and those businesses that stepped up to participate, especially the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) as our 2020 presenting sponsor, we made it happen. My sincere thanks go to each one of you.”

Jesse Simpkins, Marketing Director for rod manufacturer St. Croix and Vice Chairman of the ASA Board, said the five-day event had been a unique experience. “It had its challenges and yet, as we all know, anglers are resilient, tenacious and willing to find a solution. The ASA staff embodied that spirit as it quickly focused on what needed to be done to organise and launch a virtual event.

“From the opening remarks to the broad and varied business and conservation seminars, there was a vast array of ways for industry members, and the entire recreational fishing community, to be engaged. You just had to make yourself available.”

Travis Owens, Vice President of Sport Sales Costa/Native Eyewear, and Trade Show Committee Chairman, added: “I am gratified to see how many of our industry members stepped up to help make this year’s virtual trade show a success.

“From the New Product Showcase to the dozens of live, interactive online events for buyers and media, the incredible amount of creativity and enthusiasm that defines ICAST was, once again, on full display this year.”

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