NEW EFTTA PRESIDENT REPORTS FROM ICAST
Following an invitation from the board of ASA to attend the 50th Anniversary of ICAST, new EFTTA President GREGG HOLLOWAY also joined their breakfast meeting and then a private lunch meeting with the ASA board, JAFTMA, Australian Fishing Tackle Trade Association, and Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association.
He was also able to help Kate Scrafton and Heather Kerr on the EFTTA booth and to talk to current and potential new members - and encourage bookings at EFTTEX 2008 in Rome. Here's Gregg's report on his trip…
Wednesday, July 11th – Industry Breakfast
The breakfast was attended by at least 500 delegates (somewhat more than our breakfast meetings!) and as this year was the 50th Anniversary, the meeting took on a more celebratory tone with recognition going to several companies who had exhibited for all 50 years, past Presidents of the ASA, and individuals who had spent their life in the industry. The ASA also recognised their relationship with other international trade associations, and thanked EFTTA for attending.
Thursday, July 12th – Lunch Meeting
This was a very interesting meeting attended by myself, Tom Brooke, Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association; Bill Classon, Australian Fishing Tackle Association; Tadao Kojima, Toshio Nishioka, Kazuhito Ohmura, and Yozo Shimano, all Japan Fishing Tackle Trade Manufacturers Association; Frank Peterson Jr, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and David Pfeiffer, Mike Nussman, Gordon Robertson, and Maria del Valle, all American Sportfishing Association.
We received a welcome from Mike Nussman and each association gave a brief report on their own shows and issues that were related to their specific market. I was very surprised to learn that we all have so much in common, with problems in fishing, fishing access, legislation etc.
The Japanese delegation reported that their economy is in good shape, with a recovery in corporate performance linked to stable consumer prices - all which are positive indicators. Their show (trade ˝ day, public 2 ˝ days) has shown a healthy increase in attendance from 49,000 visitors in 2006 to 56,000 in 2007. This equated to a 13% increase in male attendance but a 17% increase in female visitors. It was pointed out that they had tried to make the show more family-friendly, with cooking demonstrations and moving to a new location.
JAFTMA has focused on two initiatives - providing the best place to talk with fanatical anglers, by showcasing new products and information from the world of fishing; and providing a place to interface with newcomers, by demonstrating proactive show publicity, web site information, and events for children and the family. JAFTMA's initiatives for the future are to encourage companies to make more environmentally-friendly products - e.g. lead free, the recycling of products and packaging and activities to preserve fishing areas, by cleaning up after fishing events etc.
Finally they also reported that Black Bass has been deemed by Government to be a non-native fish so it must be eradicated. This is having a dire affect on fishing in Japan.
The Australian trade show is in the Gold Coast Area on the 18th-20th of August. It is a trade-only show, showing a 30% increase in stand bookings and 20% up in visitor attendance. Their association is about to appoint a full-time CEO and secretary. Again they reported that fishing access has been a problem, together with the lack of water. They did report major fishing growth through fishing for stocked fish in lakes.
On the European front, I was pleased to report our post Prague show statistics that we had sold more stand space (7,187m2) and attracted the most visitors in over eight years. I was also very pleased to report that bookings for EFTTEX 2008 in Rome were up year on year with 5,200m2 already booked.
I reiterated that ASA members have a reciprocal arrangement with our association and that it also applied to JAFTMA and the Australians. I feel that we should also open this up to the Canadians and we will be writing to them, inviting them to join.
I was questioned about DHP and I said that it was sad that one of our member companies had seen fit to start a rival show to ours. I was pressed if the DHP show TTWF would go ahead. I said that in all probability it would, but I stressed that already we had a far bigger and stronger show with EFTTEX, with a proven 27-year track record.
I also explained our rationale for moving location every year. All associations pledged their support to our show and said that this would be fed down to the membership.
I gave each delegate a hard copy of the latest edition of our digital magazine - EFTTA Trade News. I said that we had over 6000 direct email addresses and would reach over 10,000 by the end of the year. I stated that this publication was open to their own associations and that we would give them space, even their own page - with my ambition that it would be the 'one place to look for tackle information worldwide’. All were very keen and said they would take this back to their membership.
I suggested that in future it would be desirable, if we had an industry standard proposal that any association would like to see set, to run our proposal past all the other associations. If we could then get a collective agreement for a standard, this could be adopted by all associations, and become a world standard. This would be more likely to be adopted by all companies, making compliance easier. It would certainly help companies who operate globally. All present, thought this was a sensible idea.
The Canadian delegation reported that they do not have their own trade show, but rely on ICAST. There is a public show in Toronto that attracts 220,000 people and in the last year there has been a growth of about 5%. Fishing access is a major problem with the government closing land to all (I cannot remember the precise amount but it is in the region of 134m hectares on the east coast and further 94m hectares on the west).
In the USA, the ASA reported that the first day of ICAST had set new records with 6,700 visitors and 420 exhibitors - 3% up on last year. In 2008 the show will be in Las Vegas with it moving to Florida for 2009. Next year they are joining forces with the marine accessory show.
The US government is just about completing a five-year survey into recreational fishing and has indicated a decline in participation from 2001 to 2006 by 12%.
Access to water is another major issue. With the population explosion, land ownership is being split into smaller and smaller lots, which is making access difficult. There is also the perception that closing water is the way to manage fishing stocks.
We all agreed that the mini conference was worth while and that we need to co-operate further, in future.