Alexandria, Virginia - For the first time in more than 10 years, the world's largest sportfishing trade show will head to Orlando, Florida, located in the heart of the powerful Southeastern sportfishing market. From July 15-17, the global sportfishing industry will converge on the Orange County Convention Center for the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST. Produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the sportfishing industry's trade association, ICAST represents the cornerstone of the sportfishing industry, helping to drive sportfishing companies' product sales year round.
"Where sportfishing means business" isn't just the theme for ICAST 2009. It's also the overarching mantra of recreational fishing east of the Mississippi River and along the Gulf of Mexico. One in every 10 dollars spent in the United States on fishing is spent in Florida. Even more impressive is the fact that 43 percent of anglers in the United States call the Southeastern region home. Overall, nearly $20 billion in fishing retail sales are realized annually in the Southeastern market. In fact, more than half of the United States sportfishing dollars are spent east of the Mississippi River.
Despite the sluggish economy and cut backs in consumer spending, a sold-out show floor and strong attendee registration indicates that sportfishing remains one of the most solid industries in the United States. "Given the current business climate, people have to be smart about where and how they do business; and our exhibitors and attendees are telling us that ICAST is the right place to be," said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. "Orlando is a terrific location for the industry's trade show. ICAST is the only place in the world that offers attendees and exhibitors alike the opportunity to conduct business and network with industry leaders." Nussman further said, "In fact, our pre-registration numbers are looking good with the number of pre-registered buyers and credentialed media up over 2008."
The ICAST show floor is sold out for the eighth consecutive year with close to 400 exhibitors occupying 400,000 square feet of the Orange County Convention Center. From buyers to media to exhibitors, ICAST annually attracts approximately 7,000 representatives from the global sportfishing community. The Orlando location will introduce many new buyers and outdoor media representatives to ICAST and to the latest innovations in gear and accessories. "Of our exhibiting companies, 80 are from Florida, a nearly 70 percent increase compared to 2008," said ICAST Director Maria del Valle. "In addition, 35 percent of all registered buyers are from Florida. International attendance at ICAST has also more than doubled since 2001 with more than 800 attendees from 55 countries attending ICAST 2008."
ICAST is the only place where buyers and media can see sportfishing manufacturers' entire product lines; save money and time by taking advantage of ICAST-only product specials offered by over 100 exhibitors; attend business-related seminars; network with a veritable "who's who" in the sportfishing industry; and help shape the 2010 consumer market by voting for the "Best of Show" awards in 17 product categories, as well as the coveted overall "Best of Show" award in the New Product Showcase.
There is no doubt that the single most important feature for exhibitors and attendees is the New Product Showcase, ICAST's flagship feature. The Showcase offers exhibitors, buyers and media representatives a special opportunity to debut and preview hundreds of the next season's innovations in fishing gear and accessories. Buyers and credentialed media will evaluate each new product and vote for them based on their innovation, execution, workmanship and practicality. The New Product Showcase winners will be announced during the Chairman's Industry Awards Reception the evening of Wednesday, July 15.
During the annual Industry Breakfast, which kicks off the show's opening on Wednesday morning, July 15, Nussman, Jeff Pontius, president, ZEBCO Brands and ASA's Board of Directors chairman, and Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation President and CEO Frank Peterson will outline the state of the industry. This year's keynote speaker is John Engler, former three-term Governor of Michigan, and president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
A new show feature this year is a casting pond where attendees can see casting demonstrations, check out the latest in gear and test exhibitors' products in a realistic situation.
ASA thanks the following companies for their generous support of ICAST 2009: Gold Level - Crocodile Bay Resort, ESPN Outdoor/BASS, VERSUS and ZEBCO Brands;Silver Level - Fetha Styx, Gemini Sport Marketing, In-Fisherman magazine, Northwest Sportsman magazine and Outdoor Identities; and Bronze Level - Classic Fishing Products, Inc., FishGillz, Gill North America, Glowspek Industries, Inc. and Tuscaroran Pro-Lures.
ICAST will once again co-locate with the Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show (MAATS), produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). In 2008, ICAST and MAATS combined attracted nearly 10,000 attendees.
ICAST 2009 Show Hours
Wednesday, July 15 Thursday, July 16 Friday, July 17
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
For complete ICAST information, visit www.ICASTfishing.org. ICAST is a trade-only event and is not open to the public.
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry's trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice speaking out when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. We invest in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also represents the interests of America's 60 million anglers who generate over $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation's economy creating employment for over one million people.
Mary Jane Williamson (703) 519-9691 x227 or firstname.lastname@example.org