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How shining at ICAST can propel brands into the limelight


Today, Garmin Panoptix LiveScope is a product synonymous with live imaging sonar and ubiquitous in the high-profile sport of professional bass fishing.

It’s a product with a laundry list of accolades, credited with winning fishing tournaments on the sport’s brightest stages like the Bassmaster Classic and the Redcrest Championship and changing the way tournaments are approached by tens of thousands of anglers around the world. In 2024, LiveScope is a hot topic in fishing magazines, on fishing podcasts and at fishing docks – but it wasn’t always so.

Before LiveScope etched its legacy alongside the glimmering gold and brass Bassmaster Classic trophy, it notched its very first win at ICAST, riding into the history books atop a clear, acrylic award that can carry as much weight among manufacturers as bass fishing’s grandest prize.

Turn back the clock to 2018 when Garmin won its very first ICAST Best of Show Award – when one of the most talked about marine electronics companies in fishing was still re-establishing itself in the lucrative freshwater market – and the power of ICAST became apparent.

“LiveScope has become a signature product for us,” said Garmin Senior Director of Marine and RV Sales Dave Dunn. “Every angler seems to know what LiveScope is and every serious tournament angler seems to want it on their boat now. But in 2018, we were just starting to catch that wave. That was our very first Best of Show win at ICAST, and it really signaled that LiveScope was going to be a huge disruptor in the world of sportfishing.”

For an international brand like Garmin, the ICAST New Product Showcase Awards helped legitimise a groundbreaking product that spent years under development by a massive team. However, smaller-scale manufacturers just beginning to establish their brands have also benefited from the same kick-start in recent years.

In 2022, first-time ICAST exhibitor PacBak purchased a 10-foot square booth just weeks before the show. Its debut product – a self-contained portable cooler and vacuum sealer – out-dueled more than 900 other entries in the New Product Showcase and claimed the title of Best of Show. At the time, PacBak was still in its start-up phase and very much still an early daydream of Alaskan angler and founder Brian McKinnon.

Two years later, that momentum is still propelling PacBak onto store shelves. “We actually just won Best Camping award at a Nashville show,” said McKinnon. “We were in the prototype phase in 2022. Now, we are selling in places like Scheels and Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. They even had a launch party for us back home in Alaska. We got featured in Alaska Business Magazine and sold over $10,000 in the first day.”

“The New Product Showcase is probably ICAST’s signature event,” said American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Vice President of Trade Show & Membership Blake Swango. “Manufacturers spend years imagining, designing and creating hundreds of new products that make their way into the showcase every year, and you never know who is going to walk out with the win.”

The time to register products in the New Product Showcase is now; and there have never been more categories in which to compete. At ICAST 2024, the New Product Showcase is expanding to include 41 overall categories ranging from marine electronics and watercraft to fishing rods, lures, apparel and terminal tackle in both conventional and fly product spaces.

Voting begins at the ICAST New Product Showcase Preview Reception on Super Tuesday, followed by the Best of Category Awards on Wednesday evening and voting for Overall Best of Show on Thursday.

Registration for the event – scheduled for July 16th to 19th in Orlando, Florida – is now open. And spaces in the 2024 ICAST New Product Showcase are available now via ICASTFishing.org

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