In what felt almost like a throwback to MAATS, boating equipment manufacturers exhibiting at the world's largest fishing tackle trade show have voiced universal support for NMMA's all-new Marine Accessories Pavilion (MAP).
The collaboration between NMMA and the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) to create a marine equipment pavilion at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) show was enthusiastically received by he nearly 40 manufacturers who chose to exhibit within it. "The Marine Accessories Pavilion provides manufacturers with an opportunity to directly connect with buyers when they are making their buying decisions for the upcoming year,' said NMMA president, Thom Dammrich. "With NMMA's vast experience producing marine trade and consumer shows and ASA's guidance and support, the Marine Accessories Pavilion brings an exciting new element to ICAST, giving attendees access to the latest boating products and exhibitors a unique sales platform.'
NMMA made its presence at the show well know with a heavily promoted Anchors & Ales networking event, held on the Thursday afternoon from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm. A number of show visitors stopped by to sample craft beers from Orlando Brewing Co. while meeting the exhibitors and learning about their products.
The addition of the NMMA pavilion has helped make the 59th annual ICAST – held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from July 12 to 15 – the largest event in the show's history, with nearly 600 exhibitors filling the 650,000 square-foot show floor and attracting an estimated 13,000 visitors from around the world. Apart from the trade show, ICAST includes a full schedule of business development seminars covering business improvement, retail data, trends in outdoor recreation and marketing.
"This show represents the best opportunity for us to talk to customers that we wont see at any other trade event through the year,' said Kit Rehm, US sales rep with Scarborough, Ontario-based fuel tank and fittings manufacturer Scepter Canada. "We never see the sporting goods or outdoor retailers at any of the marine trade events, but we see them here all day long, and for three straight days. This show gives a July trade environment which we desperately need in the accessory and aftermarket side of the business, it's almost a replacement for the old MAATS. And, it provides an opportunity to cross-market to other customers who just don't traffic well very often. It's the perfect place to be, and the perfect time of year to be here.'
The 60th annual ICAST runs at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from July 11 to 14.