ICAST record at­ten­dance

Fig­ures re­leased by the Amer­i­can Sport­fish­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (ASA) has re­vealed that more than 15,000 vis­i­tors – a show record – at­tended ICAST in Or­lando, Florida.

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“This was a fan­tas­tic week for the sport fish­ing in­dus­try,” said Glenn Hughes, Pres­i­dent of the ASA, which owns the event. “More ex­hibitors en­joyed the largest num­ber of at­ten­dees in our trade show’s his­tory. Go­ing hand-in-hand with in­creased par­tic­i­pa­tion was the tremen­dous cov­er­age across all so­cial me­dia chan­nels of the prod­ucts only found at ICAST. This is great ex­po­sure for our ex­hibitors and for an­glers eagerly look­ing for new prod­ucts to en­hance their fish­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Ul­ti­mately, this event is all about show­cas­ing the gear, ap­parel and ac­ces­sories that help to make a day on the wa­ter both ex­cit­ing and re­ward­ing.”

Bill Shedd, Pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Fish­ing Tackle Com­pany (AFTCO), and a long-time mem­ber of the ASA, de­scribed the show as the best ever. “I have been com­ing for 44 years and I can hon­estly say it is the best ever. I saw all the peo­ple I wanted to see and the energy over­all was ex­cel­lent.”

ICAST, along with the In­ter­na­tional Fly Tackle Dealer Show (IFTD) and the Marine Ac­ces­sories Pavil­ion, took up 220,000 net square feet of its new lo­ca­tion in the North/ South Build­ing. It hosted 626 ex­hibitors and, of the more than 15,000 peo­ple reg­is­tered for the show, 1,154 were from 71 coun­tries.

“ICAST is a great show and this was the best one yet,” said Kirk Im­mens, Pres­i­dent of Sportco Mar­ket­ing, Inc., and the ASA’s Board of Di­rec­tors Chair­man. “We had an in­spi­ra­tional and mov­ing kick-off to the show with our State of the In­dus­try Break­fast key­note speaker, Com­man­der Kirk Lipoid. He was the Com­man­der of the USS Cole when it was tar­geted by al Qaeda and lives were lost. His mes­sage about lead­er­ship re­ally res­onated with the more than 600 peo­ple in at­ten­dance.”

Also speak­ing at the In­dus­try Break­fast was Im­mens, Hughes and Recre­ational Boat­ing & Fish­ing Foun­da­tion (RBFF) Pres­i­dent and CEO, Frank Peter­son.

Im­mens con­tin­ued, “For me, one of the high­lights of the week was our Fri­day Angler De­vel­op­ment Day. ASA worked with FLW and B.A.S.S. to in­vite lo­cal high school fish­ing clubs to see the show. These young peo­ple are our fu­ture and it’s im­por­tant for them to see the in­dus­try in ac­tion. I don’t know if it was me or them who was more ex­cited for them to be here.”

ICAST 2019 will be held in the North/South Build­ing at the Or­ange County Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, Or­lando, from July 9 to 12.

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