Alexandria, VA – Celebrating its 65th year the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades – better known as ICAST – heads to Orlando, Fla., and the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) from July 19-22 for the planet’s largest sportfishing trade show.
The annual trade show, produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the national non-profit association that represents the business interests of the sportfishing industry, offers an astounding array of tackle, gear, apparel and accessories. From electronics to kayaks, rods, reels, lures and clothing, thousands of industry representatives flock to ICAST to get a first look at the products that will define recreational fishing’s future. From the superstars of sportfishing to the people behind-the-scenes of lure design and electronic engineering, the eyes of an entire industry will be focused on events taking place in Orlando.
“ICAST is the annual gathering point for the entire sportfishing industry – an industry that has a significant impact on this nation’s economy,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. “We bring more manufacturers, buyers and media together than any other sportfishing industry event. That means new products, new connections and new business possibilities for everyone who attends.”
“Because ICAST brings so many buyers and media to a single location, manufacturers exhibit their entire product lines,” said Blake Swango, ASA’s vice president for Trade Show and Membership. “Companies also tailor product launch schedules especially for ICAST’s New Product Showcase. It all adds up to great opportunities if you’re a buyer or a media member looking for new products and new stories.”
It All Starts on Super Tuesday
ICAST swings into full gear on Tuesday, July 19 with the ICAST Cup Bass Fishing Tournament, sponsored by Major League Fishing. On Kissimmee’s Lake Toho, attendees will partner with professional bass anglers from Major League Fishing for the morning’s bass fishing tournament. The tournament pairs some of the most well-known professional bass anglers with tackle dealers, media members and manufacturers with the proceeds benefiting Keep America Fishing. Takeoff starts at 5:30 a.m. with weigh-in following at 9:00 a.m.
From 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. attendees get a first-hand look at new products in the field at the show’s On The Water Demo Day, sponsored by Take Me Fishing™. There, they can test new lures, try their hand at the latest SUPs and kayaks and preview groundbreaking marine electronics on the large, cattail-lined ponds outside the OCCC’s North Building.
Food stalls will be onsite. Cold beer is complimentary in the MAGMA tent.
All Eyes on the New Product Showcase
Buyers and media are invited to the opening of the prestigious New Product Showcase Preview Reception, sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, on Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m. The dedicated display area on the show floor hosts the best of the best in new fishing product innovations: all competing against each other for Best of Category and the overall Best of Show awards.
On Tuesday evening, buyers and media will begin voting on 30 categories ranging from saltwater tackle to outerwear and accessories, as well as rods and reels. Complimentary beverages and snacks are provided. Voting continues until 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
The New Product Showcase entries will be available for viewing on the ICAST app and on the ICAST website starting at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19.
Best of ICAST Awards Presentations
On Wednesday evening, the Chairman’s Industry Awards Reception, sponsored by St. Croix Rod, takes center stage amidst hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and camaraderie. In an evening brimming with anticipation over hardware worthy of Hollywood, the coveted ICAST Best of Category awards are presented amidst a crowd of industry peers. With industry media gathered around, the festivities are photographed and celebrated by teams that work year-round to claim their place in ICAST’s record books.
Best of Category winners move on to a special voting round all vying for the overall Best of Show Award, announced at 2:00 p.m. Thursday in the New Product Showcase.
State of the Industry Breakfast
The stars return Wednesday when Shark Week host Paul de Gelder keynotes the State of the Industry Breakfast, sponsored by Take Me Fishing™. While attendees gear up for a productive day of meetings and seminars, the former Australian Navy diver and shark attack victim is set to tell a powerful tale of how his life has been intimately defined by the creatures beneath the waves.
De Gelder will be joined by American Sportfishing Association President Glenn Hughes and Board of Directors Chairman Jesse Simpkins, VP of Marketing for St. Croix Rod during the breakfast, where the latest trends and events impacting recreational fishing will be presented in what has become one of the most important gatherings of industry professionals throughout the year.
Lunch & Learn Lasts All Week
Each day, attendees are invited to attend one of the Lunch & Learn business seminars. There, practical business strategies for retailers are blended with new ideas for sales, marketing and customer engagement to help retailers identify opportunities to help grow their business.
Breakout speakers include experts in retail, industry trends, marketing and social media.
Entertainment Abounds at ICAST Show Floor Destinations
Throughout the show, attendees are invited to stroll through a myriad of entertainment spaces designed with fishing experts in mind.
Biologist, marine conservationist and fishing artwork icon Dr. Guy Harvey will host two happy hours in the Buyer’s Lounge, where credentialed buyers can relax and unwind between meetings. The lounge, sponsored by Guy Harvey, features cold beverages and comfortable seating.
The Marine Accessories Pavilion is presented by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). The pavilion features dozens of companies bringing the latest in boating accessories, from electronics to propellers and much more to ICAST—a bonus for buyers, dealers, retailers and distributors in the fishing world.
Elsewhere, the ICASTing Pond invites attendees to test the latest rods, reels and fishing lines in the air-conditioned comfort of the convention center. Meanwhile, the show’s Lure Tank, sponsored by Lunkerville, illustrates how lures perform on top of and under the water and features an underwater camera to display up-close views of the bait’s action.
A new show floor destination this year is the Dunk Tank which is open for action during the Wednesday and Thursday afternoon exhibitor happy hours. Round up your friends and colleagues for some friendly competition to support Keep America Fishing, the industry’s grassroots advocacy program. ASA’s President Glenn Hughes was the first to sign up for the cause along with other industry notables.
Navigate the Show with the ICAST App
Loaded with helpful features, the ICAST mobile app, sponsored by ANYTHINGPossible, is a one-stop shop for maps, event schedules, booth locations and exhibitor listings. The ICAST 2022 version will be available soon on both Android and Apple devices. The app is a convenient digital companion to keep a busy week organized.
Pre-Registration Deadline is June 17
All members of the sportfishing industry are invited to attend the ICAST Show. Online registration is easy to navigate. Registration for qualified buyers is complimentary. The deadline for pre-registration is June 17. Registration fees increase to onsite pricing after that date. Registrations is sponsored by Wired2Fish.
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 55 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate more than $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for 825,000 people.