International Fly Tackle Dealer Show Success

As AFFTA's first venture in producing its own industry trade show, they were very pleased with the results of the 2010 International Fly Tackle Dealer show. With only months to plan and organize the 2010 show, the AFFTA had to face challenges from the start. The main focus of the IFTD from the beginning was to design a show that met the needs and interests of the entire fly fishing industry. The AFFTA introduced some new and exciting features this year as well as retained the popular show features from the past. There seemed to be a buzz and energy amongst those in attendance at this year's show, reflecting the optimistic outlook and hopes for an improved economy in the coming year.

Though the weak economy is certainly playing a role in our industry as it has with all others, the show was well attended and supported by key manufacturers, retailers, media, guides and lodges and fly fishing businesses throughout the world. There was great industry participation and positive feedback from those in attendance. Special thanks to all who participated in the 2010 show - without your loyalty and commitment, the AFFTA would not be able to look ahead to the 2011 IFTD Show.

As the AFFTA evaluated the strengths of the 2010 show, they have been examining the areas in which they hope to improve on for next year. Some of the best new features at the 2010 show which will be carried over to the 2011 show include the Small Business Area, Guide Lounge, Social Media Lounge, and Retailer's Business Village.

The new Small Business Area was a huge success in giving these smaller businesses the opportunity to exhibit at the show, which had been cost prohibitive in the past. Retailers had the opportunity to see unique products/services that they typically would not see at the show. The AFFTA sold out on the planned space for these small businesses at this year's show and are planning to allocate more space in 2011. The Guide and Social Media Lounges seemed to be consistently busy, with people perusing the pro forms available in the lounge, using the computers and getting tutorials on how social networking tools can be used to increase business and communication. The Retailer's Business Village offered some great services and the AFFTA plan to line up even more services for next year.

Some of the successful fun additions were the Iron Fly Competition, which drew nice crowds for both the qualifying and final rounds, and great turnouts at the AFFTA Pre-video Awards Party, The Drake Magazine Fly Fishing Awards Party and AFFTA's Party at the Pond. As always, one of the best things about this small and tight industry is reconnecting with friends from all over the country and world. This year, attendees were able to get great AFFTA rates at the Hyatt Regency located directly across the street from the Denver Convention Center, and the social time continued into the wee hours at the hotel bar each night!

There has been great positive feedback from the dealers who arrived a day early and benefited from the Profitability Boot Camp Seminar conducted by Robbie Brown. Many of those in attendance felt that the information he shared was enlightening and pertinent and dealers left with some great ideas and tools that they can implement in the coming business year.

AFFTA membership is way up and the AFFTA  take this as a strong sign of support of their goals and plans. The AFFTA are responding to the needs of the industry by introducing a big location change for 2011. At the IFTD Show in Denver, they announced that the 2011 show would be moving to a new and different location, New Orleans! The organizers are already moving forward with big plans and new ideas and are thrilled to have sold over 60 booths and have received verbal commitments from many who did not make it to the 2010 show, but are planning to exhibit at the 2011 IFTD Show. Stay tuned for more information and developments ahead!

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