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EFTTA announces ‘big changes’ to revitalise EFTTEX


Big changes are in store for EFTTEX in 2022. Organising body EFTTA has shown that it is not afraid to take radical steps to revitalise Europe’s biggest trade show by moving the venue, the timing and the days of the week when it takes place.

It also plans to combine the show with an Angling Summit, making EFTTEX the ‘fishing event of the year’.

As revealed by Angling International, the show – originally destined for Prague in 2020 and 2021 before both were cancelled – will now take place in Budapest, Hungary.

EFTTEX has been restored to a three-day format after the plan to reduce it to two days last year. And in another bold move, the usual final day of Saturday has been axed in favour of a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday schedule.

EFTTA CEO Olivier Portrat has plans to integrate social media into the event so that it goes beyond the industry and “reaches millions of consumers worldwide.” And a street fishing competition will take place as an added attraction. But perhaps the biggest change is in the show’s timing, with the traditional June date being moved back to September 14th to 16th.

“It is always easy not to do something, but we decided to take action and these are big changes,” said Portrat. “A lot of the bigger players have told us that June was too early and we have listened to them. Also, because of the unpredictability of the Coronavirus pandemic, we felt that the second half of the year was the safer option.

“Excluding Saturday was an obvious move for me. Last year I called all our members. I spoke to two-thirds of them and again we have listened to what they said. Saturday is the best day of the week for retailers and June is one of their busiest months, so many have been reluctant to come to the show.”

“HungExpo in Budapest is a very convenient and modern location. I believe the shows we have held there previously have been successful. We have the option of 8,000 square metres so there is plenty of space. The venue has invested a lot of money in recent years and is one of the most modern exhibition centres in Europe. We have negotiated a good price that we can work with.

“We are preparing a genuine Angling Summit in parallel with EFTTEX and as part of that we will stage a street fishing competition along the Danube that will provide the show with another dimension.”

While the new plan addresses a number of key issues previously raised by EFTTA members, and is likely to find favour with the majority, it stops short of including the consumer day that some exhibitors have been calling for. However, the idea of integrating social media will vastly extend its reach.

“Social media is very active in recreational fishing and we hope to get 70% to 80% of the key influencers and bloggers at the show, making it more attractive to exhibitors,” explained Portrat. “EFTTEX remains a trade show, but manufacturers’ products will be exposed to millions of consumer followers.

“There is a tremendous synergy between products and social media that has not been exploited before. With this new marketing element and the other changes we are introducing, EFTTEX and the Angling Summit will be the place to be.”

Portrat told Angling International last month that he and the Board knew they needed to relaunch the show completely with some fresh ideas, but that it was impossible to announce details until the new association (AISBL) had been registered in Brussels, where it is now located. The registration was completed on Monday and Portrat, aware that companies are in the process of budgeting, wasted no time in announcing plans for the 2022 show the next day.

“We know we cannot please all of the people, but we have tried to make improvements in line with the wishes of the majority. It is an opportunity to start something new and exciting.”

Despite the huge financial blow resulting from the cancellation of the last two EFTTEX shows, EFTTA has helped fund this year’s event by shutting down its London operation and working with a smaller team in Brussels. Membership fees proportionate to company size have also helped sustain the association during a difficult time.

“Now we are looking forward to a great future for recreational fishing and the industry. I am feeling really positive about how things are progressing,” added Portrat.

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