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.
“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.