Three times George Cunningham has made the 7,000 kilometre journey from his seaside home on the English Channel to the citrus-lined streets of Orlando, Florida to see the latest in fishing tackle, gear, accessories and apparel.
And three times the Managing Director of TronixFishing – one of the UK’s leading tackle distributors – has flown home with new friends and new connections met on the show floor at ICAST. That’s where the global sportfishing community gathers each year for the largest recreational fishing trade show in the industry. From July 11th to 14th, inside the spacious halls of Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, an arcade of fishing’s leading brands can be found in a miniature city of booths and activities designed specifically with the fishing tackle industry in mind.
“My main goals there are to keep up to date on the global fishing market and see what innovations and products are being produced by the world’s top brands,” said Cunningham (pictured). “Second, ICAST allows me to connect with friends, suppliers and customers in a convenient location, as well as to find new suppliers, brands and products to bring to the UK market.”
Produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), ICAST brings together tackle dealers, distributors, manufacturers and media members to showcase the newest products in fishing – bridging the gap between the design floor and store shelves. Last year, individuals from 73 countries joined a crowd of more than 12,000 industry members on the show floor; and in 2023 ICAST promises to deliver more than ever before.
The renowned New Product Showcase is expanding to incorporate even more tackle and lifestyle products into its ranks. This year the contest will feature six new fly fishing categories alongside two new categories for boating accessories. Outside of the convention hall, attendees will have the opportunity to investigate products at the ICAST On The Water Product Demo Day. There, dealers can explore products with the manufacturers that designed them. And at nearby Lake Toho, buyers and media can enter the ICAST Cup Bass Fishing Tournament produced by Major League Fishing.
Daily Lunch & Learn business improvement seminars are set to return to the show floor with sessions led by industry leaders who are shaping the landscape of fishing today. Meanwhile, the State of the Industry Breakfast keynote speech provides attendees with ideas to help their businesses grow. As always, the stars of the show will be the products. Within months, the thousands of new products on display at ICAST will be making their way from store shelves to anglers everywhere. But to see them first, dealers will want to save a spot in Orlando in July.
• Registration for ICAST 2023 opens during February at ICASTFishing.org. There, tackle dealers can browse through more information about even more events during show week, learn about the New Product Showcase and browse a gallery of videos from 2022. Email here for direct enquiries.
• Are you an international retailers who regularly attends ICAST? The ASA would like to hear from you to learn about your experiences of the show. To share your opinions contact ASA Communications Director Mary Jane Williamson