A show people would go to…

Don’t know what your post-trade event survey told you, AFFTA, but here’s what Angling Trade readers said about going to a “show” event when we asked: “If there were an all-in-one event where you could get together with friends in fly fishing… test out hundreds of products… engage in important conservation discussions… talk policy… support the institutions that support fly fishing in the first place… interact with consumers as well as other businesses… eat, drink and be merry… get discounts and deals… and tack on some fishing in one of the best fishing locales in the world at a time of year that’s best to be there… Would you go?”
38% said “for sure”
27% said “probably”
25% said they’d “at least think about it”
And only 11% said “probably not” or “definitely not.”
There you go. All you have to do is beef it up, probably work with other organizations, give it a conservation conscience, pump up the legitimate business value, and hold the event in a great place, and people will show up.


  1. As a manufacturer, I would absolutely get behind this concept. Retailers can witness consumer interaction with specific brands firsthand. If I were a retailer and saw a particular product booth with constant, heavy traffic, I would want to make sure I carried that product in my shop.

    At consumer shows, I see so many shops clearing out last years inventory and selling guide trips, but I rarely see them take the opportunity to walk shows seeking out new products when SO MANY manufacturers are everywhere.

    • Hey Phil,
      Great comments about retailers seeing consumers reactions to products displayed by manufacturers, especially for new and/or smaller less known brands. There is no more powerful sales tool than to show demand. When I was a sales rep, I loved when I was showing a new product to an unwilling buyer and in the process a customer walked in and asked to buy the product. When my role with The Fly Fishing Show was growing, I sent an email out over a decade ago to all exhibitors suggesting they did take time to visit the show. By doing so, you can see things you don’t realize are going on, get display ideas, and see what is hot. But if a retailer is so busy they can’t leave a booth, that’s also a good problem to have. You have mentioned that same issue to me. Many still try, but a busy manufacturer may not notice. But many retailers do notice either way. I’ve had some go as far as asking me what is in a certain bag they see lots of folks carrying and even saying they don’t know what’s in it, but it seems to be selling well enough that they want to stock it. I’ve made many introductions through these inquiries. I also make many suggestions to manufacturers to take time as well to stop in to say hi to those retailers and ask them to stop by their booth to chat. If we break all the conversations here down to the basics, it’s all about communication, education and checking out product and having fun doing so. Then we make purchases as a consumer or B2B. Keep up the good work. We will work on these ideas as well.

  2. With all the comments and opinions that Angling Trade has made about AFFTA and the confluence show, I think someone from the staff should run for the AFFTA board. Any member of the fly fishing media can join AFFTA and run for the board.

    While elections are already underway for this year there will be open board seats next year. As a current board member myself I will make sure to nominate someone from Angling Trade next year. I look forward to seeing you put some of your ideas and opinions into action.

    • Angling Trade on


      We would no doubt turn down your nomination. I would venture to say that you might not know this or have forgotten, but it was AFFTA’s urging almost 17 years ago that we start Angling Trade. To be an independent voice, not affiliated with AFFTA or anyone else… Our job as a media entity is to light fires and start conversations, not necessarily solve the problems themselves. That’s AFFTA’s job.

      Unfortunately as the independent trade publication for the industry we could never, nor would we want to sit on the board.

      I would recommend REREADING all of the recommendations and comments that we Angling Trade and your members have made the past few years via our platform though. It might help. AT doesn’t think reshuffling the board will result in any meaningful change. Reshuffling the whole organization might though…

      For the record Angling Trade wants to see AFFTA and the show succeed, but in it’s current state it obviously needs a lot of work.


      Tim Romano | Managing Editor
      Angling Trade Media

  3. Tim – Thanks for your response. I do appreciate and respect the idea of an unbiased and independent press. I think that is an important part of any society or industry. I do read most things that come out from AT and do my best as a volunteer board member, guide, business owner, father of 2 teenage boys, and husband to listen as much as possible and put the industry’s wishes into action the best I can. Could I do better absolutely, I would never tell anyone in any aspect of my life that I could not do better.

    I think where we will disagree is that I have never been one to see a problem and just talk about it. While I am not perfect and I absolutely could do more in many aspects of my life to take action, my comment was based on the idea that if the staff of AT is so obviously passionate about the problems with AFFTA I wanted to share that there is a way to take action and put those passions to work and felicitate concrete change not just light fires and start conversations.

    I understand where you see your role as lighting fires and starting conversations as the impetus of change and I respect your position. I will continue to work hard and represent the people that elected me the best I can. We all have our roles and manifest our desire to make the industry better in a different way. Best to you and have a great day.

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