ICAST 2016 Hosts Record-breaking Sportfishing Show

July 18, 2016

ICAST, which serves the sportfishing market, drew 15,000 attendees, making it the largest trade show produced by the recreational fishing industry’s trade association.

From exhibitors to buyers to outdoor media, representatives from the domestic and international sportfishing and boating community converged July 12-15 on Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center for the 59th International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST. 

ICAST, along with the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show and the new Marine Accessories Pavilion, encompassed 650,000 gross square feet in the West Building of the OCCC.

ICAST, which is produced by the American Sportfishing Association, hosted 552 exhibitors in 1850 booths, with an overall combined exhibitor count of more than 700 exhibitors.

“Although the statistics are impressive, it’s the business opportunities that those numbers represent that really help tell the story,” said Trade Show Director Ken Andres.

He added, “By partnering with the National Marine Manufacturers Association on the Marine Accessories Pavilion, we expanded the show’s reach into the boating retail and media audiences. Combined with our ongoing co-location with the fly fishing industry and IFTD, we really do offer everything that enhances the fishing and boating experience, under one roof.”

The Super Tuesday events – On the Water product demonstrations, the FLW/ICAST Cup Bass Fishing Tournament, the Florida Sportsman’s Bass & Birdies golf/fishing event and the Opening Night Kickoff Concert, which, this year, featured Nashville’s newest star, Cole Swindell – gives buyers and media additional opportunities to try out product and network with industry representatives.

The proceeds from these events support Keep America Fishing®, ASA’s angler advocacy program.

During the State of the Industry Breakfast, more than 550 industry representatives heard about how important it is to attract new people into our sport, and keep them in our sport.

More than 126 million people have tried fishing, but only 46 million are active participants. The Recreational Fishing & Boating Foundation (RBFF) outlined an effort called “60 in 60” to engage everyone in the industry to get 60 million anglers actively engaged in the sport in 60 months.

That sentiment was echoed by keynote speaker Ken Schmidt, former Harley-Davidson executive and lifestyle branding expert, who asked the audience to remember that they aren’t just selling “gear and ball bearings” but selling an entire lifestyle and to remember that as a key element in their marketing and sales.

Andres said of the show’s success, “All of this clearly speaks to the diversity of product that we offer to buyers and media, both domestic and international. However, our expanded buyer and media base has also captured the attention of the broader outdoor industry.”

He added, “Inherently, this show is about the gear, apparel and accessories that help to make a day on the water both exciting and rewarding. And we’re planning on doing things even bigger and better in 2017 when the show returns to Orlando from July 11-17.”

HERE are highlights for this year’s show from CNTV.

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