AFFTA Splits from Nielson, Two Fly Fishing Retailer Shows Possible

Fly fishing retailers and manufacturers have been left in suspense for a couple of months now as rumors of major changes in the annual Fly Fishing Retailer (FFR) show circulated in the news. This morning, both the American Fly Fishing Tackle Association (AFFTA) and Nielson Business Media, to whom AFFTA has been contractually obligated, released press releases saying that the two have parted ways. AFFTA’s board is meeting at this moment to decide what direction to take for next year’s show, and AFFTA president Gary Berlin told us that a board decision may come as early as this afternoon.
One thing is clear: AFFTA will not be combining their show with the Outdoor Industry Federation show in Salt Lake City next year as some had predicted. According to their press release, “when the AFFTA Board received the final floor space proposal from Nielsen, the total space allocated to the fly fishing industry was grossly insufficient; the separate space to create the ‘show within a show’ concept was not offered nor was space allocated for indoor casting ponds. In addition, many AFFTA members stated that the timing of the OR Show was not a good fit for the fly fishing industry.”
For its part, Nielson says it will move ahead with plans to incorporate a fly fishing retailer show at the Salt Lake City OIF event in late July. According to Nielson’s announcement, “research indicates that active participants in specialty outdoor activities, and fly fishing in particular, crossover to several outdoor ‘lifestyle’ experiences. As consumers change how they play in the outdoors, businesses are changing their distribution and inventory strategies to both keep pace and stay ahead of this changing consumer behavior.”
Angling Trade magazine, which does a more thorough job than anyone in tracking manufacturer and retailer issues, notes that “AFFTA could possibly work with Chuck Furimsky, director of the Fly Fishing Show consumer events on a trade show-Furimsky is planning a separate industry trade show for fall 2010 to take place in Florida.”
Read the full AFFTA press release and Nielson announcement in the extended entry.


AFFTA ALLOWED TO PURSUE FLY FISHING INDUSTRY TRADE SHOW OPTIONS
LOUISVILLE, COLORADO. Since April, 2009, AFFTA has been in discussions with Nielsen Business Media, owner of the FlyFishing Retailer Expo (FFR) to determine how to improve upon future FFR shows. Nielsen shared AFFTA’s desire to improve upon the design and production of future FFR shows.
Thinking outside the box, as the owner of the Outdoor Retailer Show (OR), Nielsen offered to create a “show within a show” by combining FFR with the 2010 Summer OR Show in Salt Lake City. David Loechner, Nielsen Sr. V.P., delivered the “show within a show” proposal to the AFFTA Board at their meeting in September.
According to AFFTA Chairman, Alan Gnann, “When the Outdoor Retailer proposal was first brought to the AFFTA Board’s attention, the Board was interested in the opportunities this combination offered. The thought of having our show within a show the size and caliber of OR was initially felt to be a reasonably good fit.”
Unfortunately, when the AFFTA Board received the final floor space proposal from Nielsen, the total space allocated to the fly fishing industry was grossly insufficient; the separate space to create the “show within a show” concept was not offered nor was space allocated for indoor casting ponds. In addition, many AFFTA members stated that the timing of the OR Show was not a good fit for the fly fishing industry. Therefore, citing these deficiencies, the AFFTA Board of Directors rejected Nielsen’s proposal.
Immediately after the AFFTA Board voted to reject Nielsen’s Outdoor Retailer proposal, AFFTA and Nielsen engaged in good-faith negotiations to allow AFFTA the opportunity to acquire the rights and licenses to the FFR show. Unfortunately, these negotiations were unsuccessful and AFFTA asked Nielsen to either produce a 2010 FFR show or terminate the agreement.
According to Gnann, “Nielsen and their predecessors have been great partners and collaborators for many years. Prior to the downturn in the economy, trade shows nationwide were generally profitable and well attended. However, the current economic climate dictates that AFFTA and Nielsen pursue a different business model. Therefore, as of November 30, 2009, Nielsen released AFFTA from its show production contract. It is now time for AFFTA to move on and determine its next course of action.”
“Since April, the Board of Directors has been working diligently with Nielsen to consider a wide range of options and combinations for FFR,” said AFFTA President Gary Berlin. “Because of confidentiality and non-compete provisions in the Nielsen agreement, the AFFTA Board has been unable to notify the industry of the on-going discussions or issue a press release on the status of the show. Now that AFFTA and Nielsen are no longer contractually obligated, the AFFTA Board is considering multiple options for a 2010 fly fishing industry trade show, including hosting a standalone show or combining with an existing show.”
Berlin promises to keep the fly fishing industry up-to-date on AFFTA’s plans for a 2010 fly fishing industry trade show.
For additional information, please contact AFFTA President Gary Berlin at 303 604-6132 or president@affta.com.
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From NIELSON BUSINESS MEDIA
Dear FlyFishing Retailer Industry Professional,
First I want to thank you, the fly fishing industry for your support and participation with the FlyFishing Retailer World Trade Expo. During the past 11 years, this show has attracted almost every major stakeholder in the fly fishing industry from all 50 states and over 50 countries worldwide. Even in this challenging global economy, the positive energy that emanated from the show floor in 2009 is proof that even as the fly fishing business landscape shifts, the brands, shops and advocates of fly fishing see a good future when prosperity returns to the economy and the market.
Marketplace Evolves to include ‘Outdoor Lifestyle’
Research indicates that active participants in specialty outdoor activities, and fly fishing in particular, crossover to several outdoor ‘lifestyle’ experiences. As consumers change how they play in the outdoors, businesses are changing their distribution and inventory strategies to both keep pace and stay ahead of this changing consumer behavior. As a result, FlyFishing Retailer is also changing.
Fly Fishing Industry and Outdoor Retailer to Join Forces in 2010
From our 30 years of experience producing scores of specialty-sports tradeshows including 11 years producing FlyFishing Retailer, it is clear that the fly fishing marketplace will be better served now and in the future by expanding it’s reach to include the overall outdoor specialty marketplace. We are convinced that the best opportunity to grow as a market, and build on the core strength inherent in the Fly Fishing market, is to be connected to a larger collection of relevant businesses at Outdoor Retailer. Therefore, the entire Fly Fishing industry is invited to join Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Tradeshow in 2010 as the Fly-Fishing Retailer Trade Expo will no longer be held in Denver
A Winning Opportunity
Over 25% of FlyFishing Retailer companies already exhibit at Outdoor Retailer, and those that haven’t are now invited to participate in the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 Trade Show. For over 27 years Outdoor Retailer has provided a specialty wholesale watersports culture that thrives on a national and international level. At OR, consistently over 20,000 professional participants advance the sales process not only in their own category but across multiple lifestyle segments within the overall specialty outdoor market. Please visit www.OutdoorRetailer.com now for more information about participating in Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
Product Testing Outdoors at Outdoor Retailer
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market has a thriving and long tradition of providing a watersports focused product demo day in the environment in which the products are used. Over 1200 specialty retailers have consistently attended this demo day each year to test canoes, kayaks, paddles, PFD’s, waders, rods and reels and other specialty equipment and apparel intended for use in the outdoors. We invite the entire fly fishing industry to join this widely popular retail demo day next summer.
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market takes place August 3-6, 2010 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, preceded by our Open Air Demo August 2 at the Jordanelle Reservoir, UT.
If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.
Sincerely,
Kenji Haroutunian
Group Show Director
FlyFishing Retailer/Outdoor Retailer
31910 Del Obispo Ste 200San Juan Capistrano CA 92675

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