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Featured Article: Show Coverage

ICAST, the largest fishing trade show in the world comes to Las Vegas (Part 1-Overview)

Date: 7/22/02
Location Las Vegas, NV
Admission Buyers/Press only
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: Las Vegas, July 17th-19, 2002: ICAST returns, and is a annual opportunity for manufacturers to present their latest and greatest new products to the buyers and press. Last year marked the best show in over five years as turnout for the show was outstanding. This year ICAST boasts even greater industry representation, and TackleTour was there to cover the show.

Impressions: This year ICAST was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center which is right off the famous Las Vegas Strip. This huge complex houses all the largest tradeshows in Las Vegas including Comdex. To be able to fill the entire building with different fishing related manufacturers says a lot about the health of the industry.

When we first arrived at the show we were excited to see the entire room filled with buyers and the press as well as every inch of space on the LVCC floor occupied by a manufacturer showcasing their latest offerings. For Buyers ICAST is the show where they can get a glimpse of new products that can help bolster their distribution or retail portfolio. For the Press ICAST is the first opportunity to see the latest products that will hit the market in Q3-4.


ICAST is housed in the famous Las Vegas Convention Center, which is directly connected to the Las Vegas Hilton

Seminars: During show hours when the display floor is buzzing with activity ICAST also hosts free seminars aimed at providing helpful information to buyers. The three highlighted seminars this year were: "Making industry statistics work for you," "Paying the federal excise tax for dummies," hosted by the IRS and "Fighting for your freedom to fish," presented by the ASA.

Welcome to the show

Industry Representation: The industry came out in full force this year as representatives from rod, reel, lure, line, apparel, and watercraft manufacturers all came out to showcase their products. Shimano, Pure Fishing, Rapala, Zebco, Penn, and Shakespeare had the largest presence in terms of display space this year. But this show wasn't just for the industry giants. Many smaller up and coming companies came to the show to exhibit new ideas and test the water for industry response to their products.  

The entire show floor was filled with manufacturers displaying their newest products

Displays: All of the manufacturers displayed their wares in manner in which you could not just look but also touch and test the products. For example, Pure Fishing showcased new reels from their Abu Garcia family and allowed people to time the freespool on their souped up new EON PRO reels. Other lure manufactures put their lures in plexi-glass water tanks to demonstrate exactly what their lures really looked and acted like under more realistic conditions. Unfortunately, many manufactures didn't allow us to take very detailed pictures of many tests and displays as they featured "sensitive" products that would not be available to market for quite some time.

Just when you think you've seen it all...


Taking care of Business: After talking to many industry leaders, 90% of them agreed that this year they had a very successful show. Not only were many manufacturers able to take orders during the show, but others felt validated that the products and direction they were moving in was indeed a good one.

Conclusion: Overall ICAST was a great show in terms of providing an opportunity for industry leading manufacturers to reach out to the Buyers and Press, and not only do business but also collect valuable feedback. Judging from the feedback, attendance at the show, and healthy product offering it looks like the industry is doing fantastic. Now with all that said, we are currently finalizing our picks for the soon to post "ICAST Best of Show" article. In this article we highlight the newest industry leading products that really stood out.

(Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article where we highlight our picks for best of show products!)  










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