Asses in Seats


There’s an often quoted marketing story about two guys who own a small movie theater – a theater that’s all too frequently empty of paying customers.  How to attract more theater-goers is the question.

“We need leather seats . . . people like to sit on leather,” said the first.

“We need wider seats . . . people like to spread out,” responded the partner.

Back and forth they went with idea after idea involving modifying the seats until one finally blurted, “What we really need are asses in the seats.”

It isn’t much different in the fly-fishing business, whether you’re a manufacturer selling to retailers or a retailer selling to consumers, you need a concentration of people who are receptive to buying what you’re trying to sell.

Shari Levitan, in a 2017 article in Forbes magazine on the subject of buying and selling, wrote, “We invest in fly-fishing trips and Jeeps. We drink unblended Scotch, travel to Tierra del Fuego, dance, ride roller coasters, and jump out of airplanes to fulfill our desire for adventure. Showing that your brand fits with an adventure lifestyle is a good angle.”

So, where do you find those people who invest in fly-fishing trips and Jeeps, drink unblended Scotch and travel to Tierra del Fuego?  In a manner of speaking, where do you find the asses to put into seats?  For openers, how about marketing at an event that is 100% fly fishing?  How about showing product to people who have physically demonstrated enough interest in the sport to drive to the show venue, park, and buy a ticket.  How about networking at the hotel bar with other exhibitors who might be in the market for something you manufacture?

The answer is the annual Fly Fishing Show.  The show attracts tens of thousands of retail customers and almost every other exhibitor is a potential prospect either on the show floor or after hours.

For 2023, the Fly Fishing Show will criss-cross across the country with what P.T. Barnum might have called The Greatest Fly Fishing Show on Earth.  The show has dates at the heart of America’s population centers, east to west, and north to south.  The Fly Fishing Show brings today’s heroes of the game directly to the people.  Where else can the average Joe or Josephine Angler rub shoulders or tip a glass of ale and network with Dan Blanton, Gary Borger, Mack Brown, Jeff Currier, Tim Flagler, George Daniel, Ed Engle, Sheila Hassan, Bob Mallard, Landon Mayer, Brian O’Keefe, Jason Randall, Phil Rowley, plus 50 or 60 more?  Answer:  Nowhere.

Where else can a manufacturer belly up to the biggest fly fishing shops in the country and get a feeling for what people really want?  Answer: Nowhere.

Where else can a lodge or guide service in Alaska or the Amazon find customers anxious and able to book a week’s adventure?  Answer: Nowhere.

The 2023 Fly Fishing Show will be at the following locations:

Marlborough, Mass. – Jan. 20, 21, and 22 at Royal Plaza Trade Center;

Edison, NJ – Jan. 27, 28, and 29 at New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center;

Atlanta, GA – Feb. 3, 4, and 5 at Gas South Convention Center, Duluth;

Denver, Colo. – Feb. 17, 18, and 19 at Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center;

Pleasanton, Calif. – Feb. 24, 25, and 26 at Alameda County Fairgrounds; and

Lancaster, Penn. – March 4 and 5 at Lancaster County Convention Center.

You may choose to exhibit at one or all Fly Fishing Shows.

If you’re looking for asses to fill seats – or customers to buy whatever fly fishing product you’re selling – simply phone (814) 443-3638 or go to and follow the simple directions for either new or returning exhibitors.  Contracts are being accepted now. . . and when it’s show time and the curtain goes up, be sure you have your credit card reader.


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