Would The Trade Show Work Better in May? You tell us…



One of the most interesting things we heard at the recent International Fly Tackle Dealer (and ICAST) trade show was that there are some key players starting to lobby on behalf of moving the show to May in a couple of years. Clearly, for those who are in the prime of their business season in mid July, that might be a better buy xanax in usa option. And Orlando or Vegas in May somehow seem more appealing than they do in July. Then again, May is prime season for many other fly businesses (they’re called “mayflies” for a reason, and that’s prime time for tarpon).

So please—this is important, because the feedback will be heard—take a couple minutes to answer one of the following:

If timing for IFTD/ICAST were shifted to May…

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


  1. I will attend IFTD whenever and wherever it happens to be. That being said, you might see a large drop in attendance, especially from east coast retailers, if the show is moved to May. Spring is our shops busiest season and May is usually booked 5 months in advance solid. There is so much going on, it is all hands on deck that time of year. Speaking with industry reps, the consensus is actually that the slow period occurs in fall after peak traffic drops off and before the holiday season kicks in. The slowest period for most fly shops nationwide would occur October into early November. Not only would we attend IFTD during the fall, but we would also be able to afford to bring a larger chunk of our staff to the show as well.

  2. E) none of the above.

    There is no perfect time, however between April and August few shops will attend. Most cannot afford to send 50%-100% of their staff in the busy months. The show needs to be in Feb or Nov to get the largest turnout. This is an industry of retailers and manuf, but the show is done around the manuf schedule. What benefit is there to them if no one comes. Other industries roll their product out a year in advance, we are 3-6 months. We will not attend the show in May or July. Our reps saw 3-10 dealers at the show, yippee. The manufactures need leed time for production based off pre-season orders. So they forecast from a bunch of shops who I guarantee have less useful info than the manuf does. I could go on and on.

  3. Jon Covich on

    July is a terrible time for this show, and Orlando is a terrible location. Sorry for the harsh commentary, but it is true. I go as a manufacturer’s rep, and would not attend if it was not mandatory. I had 4 dealers attend this year, and about the same last year. It is simply not worth the cost and effort for 4 dealers.

    Why does the choice need to be one of two months when business is so important? How about February? How about March? Vegas is far better than Orlando, but how about something somewhat central like Denver, Austin, or Chicago?

  4. I am a manufacturer and was an exhibitor at the ICAST show this year. I noticed that there were not as many buyers/retailers as I had been told (by various industry members) there would be. I feel this may be attributed to the timing in July (busy season for many shops and guide services) as well as the location in Orlando. I feel the location in Florida alienates a large market west of the Mississippi because of travel time and costs to get there. A more centrally located show in Denver or Salt Lake, for example, may be more practical because of the ability for buyers from all parts of the country to attend. Just our two cents! Thanks for conducting this survey and being supportive of the entire fly fishing industry.

  5. You might think I should have an intelligent opinion to share since I have directed hundreds of shows over three decades. All that proves for sure is I must be old. But to be serious, will it ever happen in the future where one location or one date is best for all. Never! It is tough to please everyone, but I think inquiring for opinions is a step in the right direction. I think it would be interesting to know whether the person sharing their thought was a dealer or manufacturer. My guess is the dates for 50 dealers would be fairly uniform, but the dates that 50 mmanufacturers would like would not even be close to what the dealers would select. And they both need each other to survive in our small industry. Then the question becomes for a show promoter, which group do we listen to. If manufactures don’t purchase booths the show dies on the vine and if dealers don’t attend the manufacturers bail out with little hope of the show sustaining growth. There has to be a date and a location that meets the wishes of both factions to a reasonable percentage of satisfaction. It was that way years ago when the crow was huge, dealers flocked to the show, and manufacturers had orders beyond their expectations. It might never be that way again, but I am seeing more desire to reach those good old days when everyone was just a bunch of happy fly fisherman and not divided. Only the future will tell if we can all come together completely or continue to search for the golden egg. There is always hope or we wouldn’t cast to a rising brown for an hour, change flies a
    dozen times, and only give up because the trout did first. Hang in there everyone.

  6. Eric Heckman on

    Just like last year and the year before, I travelled 2000 miles to attend the show for one day (9am – 5pm). I would stay longer and go multiple days if the show were in a more central location and at a different time. It is an important show but it’s hard to justify more than one day at this time of year and at this location. I noticed several vendors from western states were absent and I think the show is getting stale.

  7. As long as the Show was early in May I would attend, but once you get to the middle of the month, the fishing and Guiding will be in full swing and I will be up to my armpits in business that I desperately need at that time of the year.

  8. David Leinweber on

    The objectives of the IFTD show in the past have been to launch new products, get forecasting orders for manufacturers to place overseas orders, and discuss the past season. These things seem to be something in the past, because most clothing manufacturers are asking for next year orders before July. Hardgoods companies are releasing new product in August, and closing out product in mid-July? And fly shops are focused with the current business at hand.

    I can understand the need to place early orders into overseas factories but the idea of doing major product launches in August totally escapes me. Why do you ask fly shops to stocking up going into the slow season? How do you build product hype when industry product demands is slowing down for the winter?

    Having a show in May to discuss business for a season more than a year away seems kind of premature and a little stupid. Even coming back from this IFTD I have forgotten half the things I looked at because 2015 matters far more that thinking about 2016. My mind is on selling not buying in July and I will need to review almost every item I saw with my rep, because my mind is not ready to process what worked and didn’t work for 2015.

    The ONLY reason for a show in May is to help support companies that depend on overseas factories to supply their products. This isn’t a bad thing, but let’s get on the table the main reason some companies would prefer a May show. ALL AMERICAN MADE COMPANIES would prefer a show in late September or early October. Getting a more complete view of the performance of a season and then planning for Christmas or early season release dates of new products is much easier for a made in the USA company.

    My vote would be for an early October show. Overseas dependent companies can role out the Fall season product line. Retails would have more time to evaluate their past season and can be more focused on the coming season. Smaller USA made manufacturers can be given an advantage of bringing products to market in a short window. And in October we call all be more relaxed and not so worried about who is watching the store.

  9. J.J. Pilgreen on

    Picking a month is good for one, not the other. Totally get it. Alaskan participation is currently non-exisitent, no one can afford to be humping it down to the lower 48 for a show in July as our season is in full swing. 1/2 the specialty retailers are open seasonally, thus even more pressure on the crucial months that they are open. July doesn’t work, if it did we wouldn’t be having this debate. I think that Chuck and Colby made great comments and really without one, we do not have the other. May, would be prime for Alaskans and give our specialty retailers a chance to connect or reconnect personally with the folks they do business with.

  10. May = Mayflies. May is horrible for the Eastern Seaboard, but great for the West in runoff. July is vice-versa. It seems like there will NEVER be a great time for everybody. But Florida? Really? How many people actually go fish while attending the show? That’s an important question. If allot of the retailers value the ability to wrap some fishing into the trip, then it needs to have fishing near by. If it’s mainly business, then Chicago would be the spot, centrally located. If July is the time, then it needs to be in the rockies. That way the very, very large western market doesn’t need to commit much travel time during peak season to be there, while the eastern folk can get some quality fishing options. Show attendance will continue to drop and probably never regain its once great power. Funny that the nobody has drawn the correlation between show attendance and the growth of e-commerce and direct to consumer sales, by now an overwhelmingly large amount for fly fishing dealers. Attendance down, online sales up.

  11. I agree 100% with Colby. May is the absolute busiest month for the east coast shops and is peak season for most Southeast saltwater fisheries from Virginia to south Florida.

    The simple fact is that no one date will work for everyone so we need to pick the date that is best for the majority of the dealers.


Leave A Reply