**The World Largest Sportfishing Trade Show Once Again**
**Lives Up to Its Reputation**
**ICAST 2016** hosted the largest gathering of the domestic and international sportfishing trade
Orange County Convention Center – July 15, 2016 œ ICAST has the reputation for being the world largest sportfishing industry trade show and this year is no exception. In fact, with 15,000 people in attendance, 2016 has proved to be the largest trade show produced by the recreational fishing industry trade association.
From exhibitors to buyers to outdoor media, representatives from the domestic and international sportfishing and boating community converged on the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla., July 12-15, for the 59th International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST. Produced by the [American Sportfishing Association] (ASA), **ICAST** represents the cornerstone of the sportfishing industry, driving sportfishing companies product sales year round and is the ultimate showcase for the latest innovations in gear and accessories.
**ICAST,** along with the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show and the new Marine Accessories Pavilion, encompassed 650,000 gross square feet in the West Building of the OCCC. ICAST hosted 552 exhibitors in 1850 booths with an overall combined exhibitor count of more than 700 exhibitors.
“Although the statistics are impressive, it the business opportunities that those numbers represent that really help tell the story, said Trade Show Director Ken Andres. “By partnering with the National Marine Manufacturers Association on the Marine Accessories Pavilion, we expanded the show 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.
Andres continued, “All of this clearly speaks to the diversity of product that we offer to buyers and media, both domestic and international. However, our expanded buyer and media base has also captured the attention of the broader outdoor industry. Inherently, this show is about the gear, apparel and accessories that help to make a day on the water both exciting and rewarding. And were planning on doing things even bigger and better in 2017 when the show returns to Orlando from July 11-17.
**ICAST Super Tuesday**
The Super Tuesday events œ On the Water product demonstrations, the FLW/ICAST Cup Bass Fishing Tournament, the Florida Sportsman Bass & Birdies golf/fishing event and the Opening Night Kickoff Concert, which, this year, featured Nashville newest star, Cole Swindell œ gives buyers and media additional opportunities to try out product and network with industry representatives. The proceeds from these events support Keep America Fishing ®, ASA angler advocacy program.
**The State of the Industry Breakfast**
During this sold out event, more than 550 industry representatives heard about how important it is to attract new people into our sport, and keep them in our sport. More than 126 million people have tried fishing, but only 46 million are active participants. The Recreational Fishing & Boating Foundation (RBFF) outlined an exciting and ambitious effort called “60 in 60 to engage everyone in the industry to get 60 million anglers actively engaged in the sport in 60 months.
That sentiment was echoed by keynote speaker, Ken Schmidt, former Harley-Davidson executive and lifestyle branding expert, who asked the audience to remember that they arent just selling “gear and ball bearings but selling an entire lifestyle and to remember that as a key element in their marketing and sales.
**State of Florida**
ASA Board of Directors Chairman Dave Bulthuis, Costa vice president of Sales, and ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman both thanked Florida Governor Rick Scott, Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez Cantera and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commissioners for attending the show. Scott visited the show floor on Thursday, July 14, where he presented a proclamation that said July is Keep Florida Fishing month.
“Florida is very important to fishing and boating due to the incredible fresh and saltwater resources and they have committed to strong management of those resources, said Nussman. “Restoring water quality throughout south Florida is a top priority for this association. We emphasized for the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor, as well as the commissioners, how important this is for the fishing and boating industries. Our message to them is fast tracking restoration efforts is vital.
**2016 ICAST Show Sponsors**
ASA would like to thank its generous members who signed on as ICAST sponsors. Our ICAST 2016 sponsors are: Gold – American Heroes Channel; Columbia Sportswear; Costa; Crocodile Bay Resort; Discovery’s Destination America; Experience Kissimmee; Florida Sportsmen; FLW, LLC; FTR Media, LLC; Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and Visit Orlando; Silver œ American Tackle Company; Bonnier Corporation; FishHunter; GoPro; Huk Performance Fishing; Kid Casters; LIVETARGET Lures; Maxima Fishing Line; Outdoor Sportsman Group and Pure Fishing, Inc.; Bronze œ Beyond Coastal; Buck Knives; Chums; Classic Fishing Products, Inc.; FishAngler, LLC; H2Outdoors Clothing Company and Sunsect œ World-Class Insect Repellent + Sunscreen.
**The New Product Showcase “Best of Show Awards**
Making up a special section of ICAST show floor, the New Product Showcase provides unique visibility for the latest innovations in sportfishing gear and accessories. The submitted products compete in the “Best of Show competition where buyers and media members judge each new product.
This year, the Showcase included 24 categories, as well as the overall “Best of Show award.