When it comes to our industry trade show, ICAST, some dealers feel it’s a necessity and a profit generator while others take a “ho-hum” attitude toward this industry showcase.

As a former fishing tackle retailer, the ICAST show was always a net profit contributor and an invaluable source of communication, education and profit enhancement. The show also refreshed my thinking about better ways to buy, sell, promote and merchandise.

In our current struggle to maintain sales and profits in this historic pandemic, the need to attend ICAST has never been more important. Granted, the show this year is virtual versus physical, but this fact in no way diminishes the show’s upside profit potential.

What ICAST does for any attendee is to expose them to a plethora of new products, approaches and perspectives. The opportunity to evaluate differing products and methods cannot be overstated. 

Each participating dealer must carefully examine all the data and presentations and then draw their own evaluations with respect to profit opportunities. Participating dealers and venders alike should be viewing the show in terms of what am I seeing and hearing that can improve my standing and return on investment.

It is commonly said that you get back what you put into the effort. That’s just a nice way of saying don’t just view ICAST as a form entertainment or information discovery, but rather participate in the virtual show with the thought of “mining” important and profit generating perspectives.

You can maximize the benefits of “attending” the show by having all of your buyers and perhaps other members of your store staff participate in the ICAST presentations. Then meet as a group and collectively discuss what they saw and learned.  Thereafter examine other ancillary ideas which emerged that would potentially augment sales and market position.

Based upon the virtual presentations, create a follow up list of vendors, reps and other retailers to call with questions or conversations about distribution, options, pricing and joint merchandising/promotion. 

During and after the “show,” each participant should be introspecting and asking themselves, based upon what they have seen and heard, where are the informational and profit opportunities. If you are looking for ways to increase exposure and results . . . trust me, you will find them!

With regard to attending ICAST, virtual or otherwise, “there is gold in them there hills,” and they will go to those who reach out, sign on and reflect hard on what they are seeing and hearing. Now go reach for that brass ring!