Being Social at ICAST

ICAST is just days away and that means an explosion of new equipment into the fishing market. While ICAST is closed to non-industry members, many anglers will be looking for a sneak peek at what is new and will be arriving in your shop before the end of the season. Many anglers will be spending hours online searching for their first look at this new reel, rod, lure or piece of electronics that is being debuted in Las Vegas this year. You could be and should be the one who gives them the sneak peek they have been waiting for.

The way you can give them an insider’s view, and increase your social following is by staying social while at ICAST. Most of you will have a smart phone at your side while at ICAST, why not put it to use and share what you are seeing?

Get Ready Now
If you have a smart phone and are not 100% sure how to use it and the different apps, start asking for help now. Anyone under the age of twenty will be able to show you how to use your phone and make sure you are able to easily post to your various social media outlets.

Get the word out now that you will be attending ICAST and will be offering your followers a sneak peek at all of the new gear being debuted. Share with them the preparations you are making and who you will be meeting with while in Vegas. Get them excited about this – the rest of the industry is already abuzz with what we will see, why not get your customers just as excited? Also let them know that you will be more than happy to meet one-on-one after you return to field any questions they may have and to share your photos and experiences.

On the Floor
As you walk the aisles of ICAST and meet with your various sales and marketing representatives, take photos of the new equipment they are showing you. Find out the exact name of each one and how soon you can expect it in your store. Tweet and post these photos to Facebook and your website. Be sure to tag whomever you can in your photos and to use the proper hash tags to help new followers find you as well.

While attending ICAST have your customers and friends suggest what you should see. If there are two of you going and only one needs to be in a meeting while the other browses the aisles, have that rover find the unique new items that are being debuted. Not everything you see on the floor will fit your store’s merchandising plan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share what you are seeing. If a customer wants to know what the new Revo feels like, and you don’t sell Abu Garcia reels in your store, you can go take a look and compare it to the reel line you sell.

Have Fun
Vegas is all about fun, add ICAST to the mix and it may be the most fun you can have off of the water. For many of you this may be your summer work-cation and a rare chance for you to be away from your store. Enjoy yourself, but remember why you are in Las Vegas. Share photos of you and your team enjoying the sites of the Strip, just remember that your photos will be viewed by all age groups and should remain respectable.

ICAST also means that the various fishing pros will be out en mass supporting their sponsors and interacting with you, the retailer. Take advantage of these chances to interact with the pros. Get a photo with them and ask them questions about how a new lure should be fished or used to its full advantage. Many of these pros had a say in designing some of the new equipment and will be more than happy to share their knowledge with you. After you walk away from their booth share your experience with your followers. Again, make sure you tag them and include the proper hash tags of the manufacturer, the piece of equipment and the pro in your post. This will add to your credibility online and add followers.

Don’t Try to Sell
Being social at ICAST is not a chance for you to sell. Most of the new products you see at ICAST won’t be available for a few months, so there is no chance to sell them now anyway. Being social at ICAST is a great chance for you to add followers now and to let your customers know that you are a great source for new information and the newest products. When these new products come in, recycle your tweets and Facebook posts and photos to let them know that the new equipment is in stock and ready to be sold.

When the time arrives to sell, you will be more than ready and your customers may already be pre-sold on the idea that they need that new rod or reel because of the information you shared with them while you were at ICAST.

But I Can’t Attend ICAST
Don’t worry, not attending ICAST this year won’t mean that your shop is doomed or your social media campaign needs to be shelved until next year’s. Many of you attend smaller regional shows throughout the year to place your orders with your various buying groups. Apply these same principals to the events you do attend. Make your customers realize how big of a deal they are and how important it was for you attend it. The same can be said when a sales representative visits your store. Take photos of the new equipment in your store and let everyone know when it will arrive and be ready for sale. The key is to make every event a big event, and the only one who can do that is you.

Fishing Tackle Retailer Magazine and FishingTackleRetailer.com will be at ICAST and we would love to talk to you and get your feedback on the magazine and the site. Be sure to stop by our booth and say hi. Be sure to follow our Facebook posts and tweets from the show floor to keep up to date with us and join our discussions on LinkedIn. Be safe and we’ll see you in Vegas!