Are you ready for ICAST 2022?

With ICAST 2022 set to take place next summer in Orlando, Florida, TTW talks to ICAST trade show and membership vice president Blake Swango about plans so far.

TTW: Tell us about the American Sportfishing Association.

Blake Swango: The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is a USA-based non-profit trade organisation made up of more than 800 member companies and organisations who share a stake in recreational fishing’s future. Since 1933, when ASA was formed, we’ve grown from a consortium of tackle manufacturers, to include every sector of the industry – independent dealers and distributers, rep groups, media companies, federal and state agencies and other non-profit organisations. ASA’s primary purpose is to represent the sportfishing industry’s business interests when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself.

ASA’s two premier events are the industry’s trade show – the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) – and the Sportfishing Summit, the association’s annual business meeting and networking event.


TTW: Tell us about Orlando and why it’s the site for ICAST.

Blake: Florida is known as the ‘sportfishing capital of the world. In addition, the southeast region is, by far, the part of the US that supports more recreational fishing than any other. In that regard, Orlando is a natural fit for the largest recreational fishing trade show in the world. So, it’s hard to say if we picked Florida or if Florida picked us.


Since 2014, ICAST has been held at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando. ASA produces ICAST for the benefit of its member companies as well as the international recreational fishing business community.

In 2022, ICAST will be held Tuesday, July 19th through Friday, July 22nd.


TTW: What are some things that make Orlando so appealing for international attendees?

Blake: The Orlando area – and Florida itself – has a lot of appeal for both our domestic and international trade show attendees. Not only is it a natural fit for our industry, but it’s within driving distance for many retail outlet owners in Florida and the Southeast. The Orlando airport is a hub for both domestic and international flights making travel easy. We hope that in 2022 most air travel will be back in full swing.


TTW: How do you define innovation and what are you doing to infuse this into your trade show plans for 2022?

Blake: In 2021, we made the decision to hold our trade show as an onsite, in-person show in Orlando at the OCCC. Our industry thrives on face-to-face business and our community told us they would support the show’s live format.

One of the reasons is that ICAST is all about what products will excite the domestic and international angling community and that means the New Product Showcase. ICAST is the place where our member exhibitors debut their new tackle, gear, apparel and accessories for the entire sportfishing community. Each one of these exhibitors is hoping their product will eventually be chosen as “Best in Show.” We are always looking for ways to up the “excitement factor” for the Showcase and our other events to ensure is a good business investment for everyone.