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ICAST 2017 Lives up to the Hype

Industry News| Views: 776

Orange County Convention Center – From exhibitors to buyers to media, representatives from the domestic and international recreational fishing and boating community converged on the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla., July 11-14, for the 60th International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST. Produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the sportfishing industry’s trade association, ICAST is the ultimate showcase for the latest innovations in gear, accessories and apparel.  

ICAST, along with the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show and the Marine Accessories Pavilion, encompassed a vast section of the West Building. ICAST hosted 582 exhibitors in 1982 booths covering almost 200,000 square feet of the show floor. There were close to 15,000 people registered for the show, including 1,156 people from 73 countries, which translates into a significant opportunity to do business.  

“Business opportunities abound at ICAST,” said Trade Show Director Blake Swango. “By partnering a second year with the National Marine Manufacturers Association on the Marine Accessories Pavilion, we expanded the show’s reach into the boating retail and media audiences. Combined with our ongoing co-location with the fly fishing industry and IFTD, we really do offer everything that enhances the fishing and boating experience, under one roof.”

“Inherently, this show is about showcasing the gear, apparel and accessories that help to make a day on the water both exciting and rewarding. And we’re planning on doing things even bigger and better in 2018 when the show returns to Orlando from July 10-13.”

ICAST 2018 Moves to the North/South Building

For the first time since 2013, ICAST will move from the West Building to a new location in the Orange County Convention Center complex. From July 10 – 13, ICAST 2018 and IFTD will be held in the North/South Building, across the street from the West Building.

The North/South Building is the newer of the OCCC structures. One of the best features about this move is that ICAST On the Water will be located directly outside the North Building which is a great advantage for this growing Tuesday event. 

“ICAST is a great show and 2017 really is bigger and better than ever,” said Kirk Immens, president, Sportco Marketing, Inc., and ASA’s board of directors chairman. “We are really looking forward to the move and bringing the show and On the Water together in one location. Mark your calendars now for the most important and exciting recreational fishing show in the world.”

ICAST Super Tuesday

On the Water product demonstrations, held on the OCCC grounds, sponsored by GoPro and Nissan, was an excellent venue for buyers and media to check out and demo exhibitors’ gear, tackle and accessories and where one lucky buyer won a Karma Hero5 GoPro drone.

The ICAST Cup – Industry Bass Fishing Tournament, sponsored by FLW, paired professional anglers with media representatives and other industry professionals. It was held on Lake Toho, in Kissimmee, Fla. Congratulations to USA Bassin’ Team of Richard Patterson, Dave Smith and Glen Cabezas for winning this year’s event. 

Florida Sportsman’s Bass & Birdies, the fourth, annual golf/fishing tournament, was also held on Tuesday. Congratulations to Max Carter, Erick Thomas and Jimmy Murphy for winning the 2017 Bass & Birdies Classic.

These events gave buyers and media additional opportunities to try out product and network with industry representatives. The proceeds from these events support Keep America Fishing, ASA’s angler advocacy program.

The State of the Industry Breakfast

During this sold-out event, more than 600 industry representatives heard about how the new administration is supporting expanding recreational fishing opportunities in both freshwater and saltwater which is very encouraging to our industry. This comes at a time when the fishing industry, state agencies and other organizations, with the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s leadership, are implementing programs and expanding staff to attract new people into our sport, and keep them in our sport. Industry members can go to for materials and tools.

Breakfast keynote speaker, Jay Baer, president, Convince&Convert, and social media strategist and content marketing expert, talked about how to take good marketing and customer experience and make it great.

ASA Board of Directors Chairman Kirk Immens, president, Sportco Marketing, and ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman both thanked Florida Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Brian Yablonski and Director Nick Wiley and the other commissioners for attending the show and all the support they are providing for our ASA’s efforts to help keep Florida fishing.

State Senate President Joe Negron addressed the breakfast attendees about how important recreational fishing is to Florida. Also attending were Florida State House representatives Mark Miller and Matt Caldwell.

Governor Rick Scott Visits ICAST

For the fourth year, Governor Rick Scott visited ICAST on Thursday afternoon, July 13. According to his staff, this is the only trade show he visits on an annual basis. He enjoys connecting with all our members and checking in with member exhibitors who are based in Florida.

 “There are 100,000 fishing related jobs tied to a $2 billion impact on our state’s economy,” said Governor Scott. “I love going fishing and I’m now getting my grandson involved.”

 On Thursday afternoon, long-time ASA member and exhibitor Bill Shedd, president, AFTCO, presented a check to ASA and several other conservation organizations, to assist ASA in all its efforts to help ensure fishing’s future.ASA Receives a Special Contribution

Shedd said fisheries conservation, particularly marine fisheries, is very important to him and his company and that ICAST presented an opportunity to show that commitment. Each year, more than ten percent of his company’s profits are contributed to conservation. 

2017 ICAST Show Sponsors

ASA would like to thank its generous members who signed on as ICAST sponsors. Our ICAST 2017 sponsors are:

GoldColumbia Sportswear; Crocodile Bay Resort; CostaFishing Tackle Retailer; Florida Sportsmen; FLW, LLC; GoPro; Nissan Commercial Vehicles; Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and Visit Orlando.

SilverBonnier Corporation; Heybo OutdoorsHuk Performance Fishing; Kid Casters; LIVETARGET Lures; Mojo Sportswear Company; Mossy Oak; Outdoor Sportsman Group; Pure Fishing and Sportsman Protein Shake.

Bronze – H2Outdoors Clothing Company; Sunsect; XTRATUF and ZXCHEM/Headstream Tackle.

Best of Show Awards

BOTE’s Rover was voted by buyers and media as the best product in both the Boat Accessories category and the overall “Best of Show.”                      

The ICAST 2017 “Best of Show” awards, sponsored by Costa, were presented on Wednesday, July 12, during the Chairman’s Industry Awards Reception at the Orange County Convention Center.

Joe Sills Hi there, did you know? Each week, we curate a list of the Top 5 stories in fishing and send them right to your inbox. Reading Tackle’s Top 5 is one of the best ways to become or remain an industry expert. -Joe Sills, Digital Editor