AFFTA Confluence is focal point for international fly fishing trade

The fly tackle industry deserves – and demands – a flagship event to network and do business and that is exactly what The AFFTA Confluence will deliver this September… not just in the USA for the global trade.

Over the last few months, momentum has been gathering at the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) as it puts together a major international industry event, given the name Confluence.

It’s a bold move but it has the backing of companies, large and small, across the sector and will deliver a host of innovative ideas to connect the trade in new ways.

Crucially, it will also welcome business, brands and individuals who have traditionally been on the edge of the industry – more apparel names, experts in conservation and sustainability and those who support and drive all that takes place on the water.

After all, without those fish-filled waters, there is no fly tackle industry.

Which is why the AFFTA board and industry leaders voted overwhelmingly to stage The AFFTA Confluence in Salt Lake City, from Tuesday to Thursday, September 26th to 28th.

Lucas Bissett

AFFTA executive director Lucas Bissett explained: “We have the sole flagship trade event but we have listened to the industry to create something much stronger.

“As we move forward, we will be leading the way, not just for the trade but in conservation efforts too, thanks to our sister organisation AFFTA Fisheries Fund. Confluence will bring together everything to do with water – it is a gathering of those within the industry and those close to it. That means secondary industries and outdoor sectors, conservation groups and those championing sustainability.”


Indoors and out

The event will feature industry speakers, seminars, industry roundtables, new product awards, music, parties and dedicated dealer/manufacturer meetings to make the most of each attendee’s investment

The first two days will be indoors with business done at the Salt Palace convention centre while nearby Pioneer Park will be the venue for Thursday’s outdoor gathering.

Event director Kenneth Andres said: “We haven’t just changed the name; we have changed the whole show concept. For a start, it’s now a Tuesday through Thursday show, with two days indoors and one delivering an outdoor event. Fly fishing is an outdoor sport so it made sense to incorporate an outdoor experience as part of our offering.

“Attendees can look forward to product displays, music, food and drink and much more – it will be a meeting place where people can celebrate our sport. And it’s all part of the package for exhibitors.”

One show for all

Indeed, the concept of everything in one place and a focal point for all is crucial to the success of Confluence.

Lucas added: “We have listened carefully to our members and we care about what they need from a show. We will try to be as flexible about space as possible and help them in how they want to interact with buyers and the industry at large.

“Knowing that new blood brings innovation and healthy competition, everyone will be on a level playing field and all will be given the same opportunities. That is important for many companies, especially the newer and smaller ones keen to compete. We are doing this in a way no one else has done it.”

At the same time, a greater emphasis will also be placed on encouraging attendance from those outside the USA.

Kenneth said: “Fly fishing is a global sport and there are many businesses around the world keen to connect with the US market. We want to make it as easy as possible for them too – we are all part of the same industry so let’s embrace that.”

With early bird discounts and strong media support, Confluence is already filling up and Kenneth advises getting in touch as soon as possible to discuss the options available to ensure companies and brands get the most from the show.

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