Fly Fishing Suppliers Pleased Despite Drop in FFR Attendance

Yesterday’s press release from the Fly Fishing Retailer show held in Denver, Colorado last week notes that while attendance by fly shops and other retailers was down 23%, many manufacturers enjoyed an upswing in demand for their products.
“Compared to last year, the 2006 show was an overall smaller event. A total of 1,691 exhibitors made the trip to Denver this year, down from a total of 1,882 in 2005. According to preliminary attendance figures for 2006, 958 total buyers from 617 retail stores and shops attended FlyFishing Retailer. In 2005, 1255 buyers from 711 retail stores and shops attended the event. While many cited this year’s shift to earlier show dates as the principal reason for the downswing in attendance, most exhibitors reported a higher level of productivity when compared with last year’s show. ‘It was one of the best shows we’ve ever had. We actually sold out of one of our new for 2007 products before the end of day two,’ said Jim Bartschi, president of Scott Fly Rods.”
Read the extended entry for the full press release.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
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2006 FlyFishing Retailer World Trade Expo
fueled by strong business climate and upbeat attitudes
More than 2,700 industry professionals reap the rewards of eager business environment
at 9th annual gathering of the international fly fishing trade
DENVER, COLO. (August 31, 2006) – Like anglers on opening day of trout season, more than 2,700 of the fly fishing industry’s most motivated and knowledgeable business people converged on Denver for FlyFishing Retailer 2006, creating a business environment brimming with energy and enthusiasm.
Held Aug. 24-26 at the Colorado Convention Center, the most important event on the fly fishing industry calendar rewarded show attendees with three days of meaningful interaction, valuable education, and active business.
“The business climate at FFR 2006 was excellent,” said Peter Devin, FFR show director. “The retailers and manufacturers that invested the time and energy to travel to Denver are sure to reap the rewards in the coming season.”
Compared to last year, the 2006 show was an overall smaller event. A total of 1,691 exhibitors made the trip to Denver this year, down from a total of 1,882 in 2005.
According to preliminary attendance figures for 2006, 958 total buyers from 617 retail stores and shops attended FlyFishing Retailer. In 2005, 1255 buyers from 711 retail stores and shops attended the event.
While many cited this year’s shift to earlier show dates as the principal reason for the downswing in attendance, most exhibitors reported a higher level of productivity when compared with last year’s show.
“It was one of the best shows we’ve ever had. We actually sold out of one of our new for 2007 products before the end of day two,” said Jim Bartschi, president of Scott Fly Rods. “If you missed it this year, make sure to come next year.”
Strong attendance from a working media corps saw a total of 126 credentialed writers, editors and television producers; a 31 percent increase over 2005. An online media presence was noticeable this year, as Internet TV crews, web-based gear reviewers, and numerous bloggers took advantage of the opportunity to interact with the fly fishing community.
Based on industry feedback and recommendations from the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA), FFR organizers continuously evaluate show dates and venues. Dates for FFR 2007 will be formally announced in the next couple weeks.
“Although we had fewer retailers in attendance this year, the quality of business at the show was exceptional. The overall mood of show attendees seemed to reflect a momentum that was younger and more highly energized than in previous years,” said Devin.
Throughout the show floor, the mood of attendees was focused and upbeat, with strong optimism for the coming business season.
“It was a very positive year for us,” said Paul Johnson of Sage. “Overall, attendance seemed down, but the quality of attendees was high. Based on the activity in our booth, it’s obvious that the retailers who made the effort to come to the show are serious about their business.”
Pre-show events at FlyFishing Retailer began on Wednesday, August 23, with the 2nd annual AFFTA “Fly Shop University” — a forum created to help specialty retailers maximize their business’ potential. The show began officially on Thursday, August 24, with a fresh and active first day.
The breadth and depth of FlyFishing Retailer special events were cited by many as a primary benefit of the show, beginning with the inspiring Industry Breakfast keynote speaker Ned Crowley, Director of Plus Four International and continuing to the last day’s crowd of 200-plus at the finals of the Orvis/Saltwater Fly Fishing Magazine Casting Cup competition.
The Drake magazine’s Five Minutes of Fishing film contest was also very well attended and considered by most as a welcome addition to FFR’s roster of events.
“We were encouraged by the buzz this grass-roots film fest created around the show’s younger audience. If we’re going to continue as an industry, we need to grow fly fishing’s appeal with that younger crowd,” said Chris Hanson of Cloudveil, a primary sponsor of the event.
ABOUT FLYFISHING RETAILER
FlyFishing Retailer is the annual gathering of the fly fishing trade, drawing thousands of manufacturers, retailers, media and industry associates to the Colorado Convention Center. This unique three-day event showcases the passion, innovation and community of the sport, and is the only place to see the world’s best-known and best-loved fly fishing brands in a single location.
To learn more about FlyFishing Retailer and the fly fishing industry, please visit flyfishingretailer.com. For media information, please call 802/583-6070, or send an email to flyfishingretailer@madriver.com.
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  • Barry Chook

    Why do all fly shops insist on charging list price for all items. This will have the advantage over the big box by including the small items such as zingers etc. the idea of filling up a fly vest with the minimum, enticing the customer to buy more if not today, then when he returns, also even guiding him to a higher level of vest. Encourage teaching a knot clinic.
    Just a “newbe” trying to get a better deal for my favorite fly shop.
    Barry Chook aka seatiger@bellsouth.net