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March 2024 Welcome: Good things happen at trade shows


Good things happen at trade shows, often when you least expect them to. One of my favourite ever encounters happened as I was walking the aisles between meetings at China Fish.

It was probably my second or third time in Beijing and I had become accustomed to the dizzying mix of small domestic manufacturers, many of them populating quite sparse shell scheme booths. But amongst them, pressed against a far wall if I recall correctly, was a much bigger wide open booth attended by two very obviously non-Asian men in suits.

They were not busy. In fact, no one else was on their booth. I had 15 minutes to kill. So I walked up. Despite the high-end graphics on the walls and installations filling the space, it was not immediately clear what products they were there to promote. There were rod handles and… not much more.

I told them I was intrigued. Their name was not familiar despite it being in English with a distinctively American flair to the logo. They replied it was their first ever tackle trade show. They were indeed from America and their company was entering angling from the golf market. They were at China Fish to find international distributors and rod brands for their non-slip grip covers.

We got on well. So well, in fact, that within a few months of that 15-minute meeting Winn Grips had become a 12-time advertiser in Angling International, staying loyal to the magazine for more than three years.

So, yes, good things happen at trade shows. All you have to do sometimes is stroll up and ask a question or two. Although first you have to put into action step one. You have to show up.

You know where I’m going with this, of course. We are delighted to announce our new trade show for Europe, Angling International LIVE, and we know there is no media company in Europe that can match the B2B promotional power of our platforms. We will bring exhibitors and visitors to the HUNGEXPO in big numbers in September. Some of them, I am sure, will be showing up just like Winn Grips and taking their first steps towards growth in angling.

But trade shows have a life of their own. As one friend in the trade told me this week, to prove my point about Winn Grips, it’s the meetings you never planned that make them special. The aisles are where the magic happens, and we intend to fill them at the HUNGEXPO. That is our overriding mission. We plan to increase visitor numbers. But it has to be with your help.

Yes, we have called it Angling International LIVE. And, yes, the brand has power and the team behind it is well trusted in the trade. But this is a show for the European trade and very much brought into existence by our customers and connections who told us they needed it.

The good news is, if you commit to come as an exhibitor, Angling International will support your attendance like never before. We have the power and the pages to do it, and to prove it, we have started this month.

I am delighted to say that many of those European and global suppliers that asked for a trade show are signed up and ready to exhibit. The launch of Angling International LIVE has gone even better than expected, and you will see just a selection of those early-bird exhibitors featured in this issue.

Each has at least a page dedicated to their support of the show: Sonik Sports, Dinsmores, Dragon Tackle, Madiks and Livingston Lures. And for them, these pages are just the start. Our promise is not only to make a three-day show but to provide promotional services for exhibitors from the moment they sign up.

For these five early birds, six months of possibilities await. And it could be the same for you. Registration for Angling International LIVE is now open. You can book your booth before the end of March and secure a discount. We are ready to promote your products and services in our pages.

Good things happen at trade shows, certainly. But at Angling International LIVE they happen much sooner. Come join us.

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