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The recreational fishing industry reconnects at ICAST in July

by American Sportfishing Association 29 Jun 2021 09:56 PDT July 20-23, 2021

With Orlando, Fla. as the backdrop, the 64th International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, will be in-person and onsite this July 20 - 23, in the North Building of the Orange County Convention Center.

ICAST is produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the national non-profit association that represents the business interests of the sportfishing industry and the broader recreational fishing community.

With more than 460 exhibitors, ICAST is the largest global showcase of fishing tackle, apparel and accessories offering a week-long lineup of business and networking events. Once again, the Marine Accessories Pavilion, hosted by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), will be on the ICAST show floor.

"ICAST is the annual gathering point for the entire sportfishing industry," said ASA President Glenn Hughes. "We bring more manufacturers, buyers and media together than any other sportfishing industry event of the year. That means hundreds of new products, dozens of new connections and many new business opportunities for everyone who attends."

This year's presenting sponsor is Take Me Fishing™. ASA and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), which promotes fishing and boating through Take Me Fishing, work together on programs to engage people of all ages in recreational fishing.

"If there was a positive outcome regarding Covid, it's that more Americans went fishing than ever before," said Hughes. "This year's trade show allows us to share our successes, exchange ideas and experiences and provide information on how to retain these new anglers."

According to Trade Show and Membership Vice President Blake Swango, "Since early Spring, our members have told us they want to get back to business, to reconnect and reignite their business relationships. Our industry thrives on face-to-face interaction. It may not exactly be 100% business as usual, but all systems are a go to welcome everyone back to an in-person trade show this July in Orlando, Fla."

It All Starts on Super Tuesday

ICAST launches Tuesday, July 20, with the annual ICAST Cup Bass Fishing Tournament hosted by Major League Fishing to benefit the recreational fishing industry's advocacy program, Keep America Fishing. The weigh-in begins at approximately 9:00 a.m. at Big Toho Marina.

Second on the agenda is the On The Water product demonstration event. Scheduled for 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on five acres of water and open space outside the North Building, On The Water is a chance for buyers and media to have some fun while testing the latest tackle, kayaks and SUPs.

Food stalls will be onsite. A cold beverage and ice cream are complimentary, courtesy of Gill Fishing and Pure Fishing, Inc.

There's Nothing Quite Like the New Product Showcase

One of the most popular ICAST events, the New Product Showcase, sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, is a once-a-year opportunity to see the latest and greatest innovations all in one place. This year, the showcase features more than 675 new products in 30 categories.

Voting opens Tuesday evening from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. during the Preview Reception which will be held on the show floor in the New Product Showcase. At this time, Buyers and Media Editorial badge holders will begin voting for the best new products in 30 categories. Voting ends on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.

The voting concludes with the presentation of the coveted "Best of Show" award at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon in the New Product Showcase on the show floor. This much anticipated event is open to all ICAST attendees.

The New Product Showcase opens at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday to exhibitors and attendees alike and closes at noon on Friday.

New Product Showcase Online Preview

The New Product Showcase entries will be available for viewing on the ICAST app and on starting at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20.

Images, descriptions and video of the tackle, gear, apparel and accessories debuting in 2021 are open for viewing by attendees and the general public.

Chairman's Industry Awards Reception

The "Best of Category" awards will be presented Wednesday evening during the Chairman's Industry Awards Reception, sponsored by St. Croix Rod.

This is one of the most anticipated - and exciting - events at ICAST leading up to the "Best of Show" presentation on Thursday afternoon in the Showcase. All show attendees are invited to attend the reception to enjoy complimentary drinks and food.

Follow ICAST on social media for the winners' announcements in real time. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Lunch & Learn Business Seminars

ICAST emphasizes creating practical business value for retailers, including new ideas for sales, marketing, customer engagement and best business practices.

For 2021, ICAST, supported by Take Me Fishing™, is offering the Lunch & Learn seminar series in a special location on the show floor where attendees can take a mid-day break while gaining insights into improving their business.

The Lunch & Learn seminars are scheduled Wednesday through Friday. A special seminar for manufacturers that covers the federal excise tax on fishing equipment is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. All seminars are complimentary for ICAST attendees.

Wednesday's State of the Industry Breakfast

Jay Baer, top brand guru, Speaker Hall of Fame member and one of our most popular State of the Industry Breakfast keynote speakers, is back this year to provide insight into how our industry can help retain the millions of people who took up fishing in 2020.

Baer will be joined by Hughes; St. Croix Rod Marketing Vice President and ASA board Chair Jesse Simpkins; and RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson who will provide an overview of recreational fishing and the industry post-Covid and what that means for the future.

Baer is also going to take a deeper dive on customer engagement and retention during a special business session on Wednesday from noon - 1:00 p.m. Jay's keynote and the breakfast are supported by Take Me Fishing™.

A New Show Floor Destination

Open during show hours, the Buyers' Lounge (Booth 3011) is a new "don't miss" show floor destination. Sponsored by Guy Harvey, the lounge will feature two happy hours with Guy in attendance, taking photographs and signing autographs. There is a high probability there will be a give-away or two.

Join Guy and enjoy some Pilar Rum and a cold beverage.

Boating Products and Accessories Are Also Featured

The Marine Accessories Pavilion, presented by the NMMA, is open during show hours. Featuring more than 30 companies, the Pavilion features the latest in boating accessories, from electronics to propellers and much more. This is a must-visit for buyers, dealers, retailers and distributors.

Navigate the Show with the ICAST App

The ICAST mobile app has many helpful features for exhibitors and attendees, including maps, event schedules and locations and an exhibitor listing. Whether your device is Apple and Android, just search for ICAST Fishing in your app store.

Keeping Up with ICAST

ICAST can be found on social media at: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. When posting, use hashtags: #ICAST2021 #ICASTshow #ICAST.

All things ICAST can be found at

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