Fishing & Boating News
(Jun. 17, 2004 - LAS VEGAS, NV.) Building on the success of two consecutive sell-out shows, ICAST 2004 is shaping up to be the biggest sportfishing trade event in recent years, with 378 exhibitors filling 1,100 booths to showcase their full product lines and the latest in sportfishing equipment and accessories for industry buyers. Produced by the American Sportfishing Association, the 47th annual International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, or ICAST, takes place July 14-16 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year, the world's largest sportfishing expo features nearly 50 more exhibitors and an additional 140 booths over last year. While the planned 1,010 booths sold out in February, the 250,000-square-foot show floor was reconfigured to accommodate the show's increasing popularity. "We're hearing from many companies that sales are much better this year than last, and we've seen more advanced planning and investment in the show this year," said Mike Nussman, President and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association. "When you put that together with the industry's renewed commitment to make ICAST its signature rallying event, all the stars are aligned to have another great show of unity." ICAST 2004 will especially feature new products, with more than 100 companies entering hundreds of their latest product innovations in ICAST's New Product Showcase, the flagship feature of ICAST. Nearly 150 companies are offering ICAST-only show specials, providing industry buyers the best discounts and a head-start on product orders for the next fishing season. In addition, ASA will hold daily buyer raffles for cash prizes and a grand prize trip to Crocodile Bay Lodge in Costa Rica. Pre-registration for ICAST 2004 also has outpaced previous years, with more than 1,000 buyers, more than 1,000 representatives of exhibiting companies, nearly 500 manufacturers reps, and nearly 200 media representatives currently registered. Pre-registration is open until June 18. The event is expected to ultimately draw 6,000 attendees. [b]Event highlights for this year's show include:[/b] New Product Showcase: Hundreds of new products will make their marketplace debut and compete for Best of Show honors in 11 product categories this year. Industry buyers and media will serve as judges to rate new products on their level of innovation, execution, workmanship, and practicality. New Product Showcase Preview Reception: On July 13, the New Product Showcase Preview Reception, sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, will allow buyers and media a chance to hear directly from manufacturers and product designers about hundreds of entries competing for Best of Show honors. Industry Breakfast: Just before the show floor opens on July 14, ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman will provide the traditional "State of the Industry" message, and internationally acclaimed sales strategist Ray Leone will deliver a keynote address. Tickets can be purchased on ASA's website or at registration. Chairman's Industry Awards Reception: On July 14, the Chairman's Industry Awards Reception will be hosted by ASA Chairman of the Board Jerry Calengor of Normark/Rapala Corporation and sponsored by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. In addition to the New Product Showcase Best of Show Awards, the Water Works Wonders Manufacturer and Retailer of the Year Awards will be announced. Seminars: Salesmaster Ray Leone will lead a seminar for reps and dealers and another especially for exhibitors on expanding sales. Scott Anderson of Gray Technologies will lead a seminar on the effects of upcoming passive radio frequency identification tag requirements. Jack Brown and June Rittscher, specialists from the IRS, will lead a seminar for manufacturers on paying the Wallop-Breaux federal excise tax. Press Conferences: Companies with scheduled press conferences include Albackore Sportfishing Gear, Dysar Products, Lowrance and Eagle Electronics, Ono's Trading Company, and Pure Fishing. Through June 18, all ICAST attendees can pre-register and receive show badges in advance (those registering after June 18 or at the Las Vegas Convention Center can pick up show badges at on-site registration). ICAST is a trade-only event and is not open to the public. The American Sportfishing Association is the sportfishing industry's trade association, uniting more than 600 members of the sportfishing and boating industries with state fish and wildlife agencies, federal land and water management agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups, and outdoor journalists. The American Sportfishing Association safeguards and promotes the enduring social, economic, and conservation values of sportfishing.
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