Location, Location, Location
Money, Money, Money
The announcement by AFFTA of their intent to produce their own trade show was their only choice if they want to raise the most money for themselves. Joining me in Orlando would have provided only a portion of the profits; the most were earmarked for resource conservation. There lies the stark difference between our plans: AFFTA has chosen to return to Denver where show costs for exhibitors are expensive, but provide needed revenue they seek to exist. I outlined my plans for F.I.T.S to be half the cost to exhibitors and attendees because of the perks providing an unbeatable value, but limited profit. You can see the F.I.T.S. plan on our UTAFF website.
After several weeks of discussion and thought, I have decided to postpone the 2010 F.I.T.S. plan for the following reasons:
1. The Industry remains split. I’m only interested in bringing everyone together in one trade show. With so many possibilities and as many uncertainties, most of the fly-fishing industry and community remains confused.
2. Decisions take time. A good show must secure a great location, which requires cash deposits, commitments on dates, and a unified number of confirmed exhibitors on board from the get-go. In my opinion, a small group representing a few dozen manufacturers is not enough to charge full steam ahead.
3. Dealers are nervous about their business. Investing in supporting a trade show, as past shows have shown, hasn’t set the stage for a return to the old days of great trade events. They may want it, but most are waiting to see what happens. That makes a new trade show difficult to open with a big splash and without a huge dealer turnout I wouldn’t be satisfied.
4. On a more personal note, I have seen how direct competition can create financial problems in our present economy. With AFFTA hiring Randi Swisher, a good friend and fishing buddy, I’m not anxious to cause problems for his new job. He deserves to not have me complicating this new direction for him and his wonderful family. I’ve seen enough friends pitted against each other due to past decisions, and I wish the best for Randi. He’ll have a tough enough job without me entering the mix.
I hope I’ve explained myself, but feel free to contact me. Only time will tell if AFFTA made the right decision. One thing I believe is they are changing, and the future is in their hands.
The AFFTA tax returns are public knowledge and can be reviewed at: http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990s/990search/esearch.php Everyone needs to consider how their money is invested in today’s economy and it is important to be educated.
My decision allows me to concentrate on making my Fly Fishing Shows continue to be the best, and not tackle a trade show that requires many difficult hours of work. A few more days to fish is more inviting than “herding cats.”
If the future demands reconsideration, I will do my part. What’s best for our sport has always been my goal. And if some of my ideas are good ones, I certainly welcome Randi and AFFTA to consider them. My offer to produce a trade show in the future is still open.