ICAST 2020 Online Virtual Trade Show Highlights Sportfishing Industry’s Resiliency

Buyers, media, exhibitors and other representatives from the global sportfishing industry brought ICAST 2020 Online to life July 13-17 during recreational fishing’s first virtual trade show.

ICAST 2020 Online Virtual Trade Show Highlights Sportfishing Industry’s Resiliency

ICAST 2020 Online was necessary due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, but many throughout the industry are hopeful that a year from now the trade shows will be somewhat back to normal with events in exhibition halls and on the water. (Photo: ICAST)

Buyers, media, exhibitors and other representatives from the global sportfishing industry brought ICAST 2020 Online to life July 13-17 during recreational fishing’s first virtual trade show. 

For the first time, with the online venue the angling public also had the opportunity to participate in the trade show.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic ICAST, the world’s largest recreational fishing trade show, transitioned to a virtual event with ICAST 2020 Online. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the show’s producer, committed to delivering attendees and exhibitors alike an engaging, interactive virtual trade show experience, presented by TakeMeFishing.org.

“Despite having to transition to an online event, tens of thousands of visitors came to ICAST 2020 Online to see the latest and greatest in tackle, gear, accessories, apparel and watercraft,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. “Whether in person or online, ICAST is, and always will be, the cornerstone venue that unites our industry. My heartfelt thanks go to all our member exhibitors for their commitment to our association and our industry.”
“Working against a short timeframe and never having done this before, the American Sportfishing Association held ICAST,” said Chris Megan, publisher of On The Water, and ASA’s board chairman. “Although it wasn’t the ICAST we wanted, it was the ICAST we could deliver, and boy, did we ever deliver.”

“I couldn’t be prouder of the entire ASA team for the virtual ICAST Show they presented this week," Megan added. "With the help of our sponsors and those businesses that stepped up to participate, especially RBFF as our 2020 presenting sponsor, we made it happen. My sincere thanks go to each one of you.”
“ICAST Online has been a really unique experience,” said Jesse Simpkins, marketing director for St. Croix of Park Falls and ASA’s board vice chairman. “It had its challenges and yet, as we all know, anglers are resilient, tenacious and willing to find a solution. The ASA staff embodied that sprit as they quickly focused on what needed to be done to organize and launch a virtual event.

“From the opening remarks to the broad and varied business and conservation seminars, there was a vast array of ways for industry members, and the entire recreational fishing community, to be engaged. You just had to make yourself available.”

"Best of ..." Awards

Johnson Outdoors Watercraft and its Old Town Sportsman Autopilot won Best of Show in the ICAST 2020 Online New Product Showcase. The innovative watercraft was selected from the 30 Best of Category winners and also took top honors in the Boats and Watercraft category. 
“We are excited and grateful to the sportfishing community for choosing the Old Town Sportsman Autopilot watercraft as ICAST 2020 Online Best of Show winner, said Sharon Scott, senior director, Brand Management & Product Development of Johnson Outdoors Watercraft. “Johnson Outdoors Watercraft is committed to finding the most innovative ways to help people enjoy fishing and life on the water. It is humbling to see the validation of the great work our people are doing every day. Thank you to everyone who voted.”
Winners were selected by credentialed buyers and media from around the world who vote for the best of the new product entries. For ICAST 2020 Online, ­­­­­­434 new products were entered by more than 180 companies. 

“Our congratulations go to all of this year’s New Product Showcase winners and all the companies that entered products in the showcase,” said Trade Show and Membership Vice President Blake Swango. “Despite the circumstances, they forged ahead, embodying the ingenuity and innovative spirit that exists within our industry.”
The awards’ presentations are available on ICASTfishing.org.

“I’m am gratified to see how many of our industry members stepped up to help make this year’s virtual trade show a success” said Travis Owens, vice president of Sport Sales Costa/Native Eyewear, and Trade Show Committee chairman. “From the New Product Showcase to the dozens of live, interactive online events for buyers and media, the incredible amount of creativity and enthusiasm that defines ICAST was, once again, on full display this year.”

Access to ICAST 2020 Online, along with business and conservation seminars, will remain accessible through the ICAST website until December 2020.


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