We aren’t directly affiliated with AFFTA. Never have been. Those of you who have followed AT over the years know we have chewed on AFFTA when we thought they got something wrong (and we will continue to do so).
But jeez… credit where credit is due. And AFFTA knocked it out of the park with the 2016 version of its International Fly Tackle Dealer Show. Here are five reasons why:
Product Demo Day. What a cool idea. Go to a local golf course, with water, and try fly fishing gear. The new gear. Cut through all the press release bullshit and feel it in your hands. Form your own impressions. On water. It was hot as blazes, but well organized and orchestrated. And every single person we have spoken with, who attended this pre-show event, thought it was worth their time.
New Product Showcase. Kudos to Tackle Trade World (technically a competitor, more like a kindred spirit) for sponsoring this important aspect of the show. And kudos to the AFFTA staff for running it in a fair, even-handed way. There were more voters (more than 250 media and buyers) participating than ever before, and they took their jobs seriously. It was and is a clear telltale of what the hot new products will be, heading into next year.
The show was sold out. More manufacturers and other groups exhibiting than we have seen. Which made it a legit happening. Don’t miss out next year. http://www.affta.org/iftd-show/exhibitor-contracts/
Good crossover with conventional tackle. Say what you want about fly fishing v. gear, but all fishing is ultimately good fishing, and we saw a ton of conventional tackle-minded folks wandering through the aisles on the fly side of things (and vice-versa).
The people. We all fish, we all have our own businesses to run, but this is a great opportunity to connect with friends. We always leave IFTD feeling as if we’d been to a family reunion, and for some reason, we felt that this year more than we ever had.
If you didn’t make it, no problem… AT has you covered, and we’re reporting on the happenings and product, and will continue to do so. But do, please, give IFTD some thought for next year.