ASA head talks of ‘rollercoaster’ year as he unveils plans for ICAST Online
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The head of the body that represents the fishing tackle industry in the US has talked of a rollercoaster year for trade.
In a video to promote ICAST 2020 Online, the industry’s virtual trade show, Glenn Hughes, President of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), underlined the organisation’s mission to look after the interests of the recreational fishing industry and the ‘entire’ angling community.
He described how the trade went from record sales in January and February to the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down fishing across the region.
However, as the recovery gets underway, he said that the industry’s biggest problem lies in getting products and distributing them to fulfil the ‘huge demand’ as new and old anglers take to the water, which has resulted in ‘dramatic’ growth in participation numbers and tackle sales in late April, May and June.
Describing ICAST 2020 Online – the alternative to the physical show – as ‘the next best thing to being there’, Hughes said that hundreds of its ASA members would be showing off their new products and engaging with retailers, media and others around the country and world.
He added: “At no other time will we reach more stakeholders than we will this July.”
Alongside the first ever online voting for the New Product Showcase, ICAST 2020 Online will include conservation webinars, business seminars and messages from the administration leadership.
In a rallying call to the industry, he said: “We are not defined by what happens to us, but how we respond to it. Let’s respond with strong leadership and take advantage of what will be remembered as the most important year for the sportfishing industry ever and set the course for a fantastic future for fishing.”
ICAST 2020 Online takes place between July 13th to 17th, the original dates for the show that was set to take place in Orlando, Florida.
The full video can be seen here