Our ICAST/IFTD 2018 writeups have ended! WHEW! There's always two sides to show coverage each year.....
First off is the people—it's great seeing familiar faces and making new contacts in the industry. I always think how funny it is that I communicate with some of these company reps all year long, but only see them in person for just a few minutes once a year at the show. It's also good times being able to connect with my Demystifly/TackleTour partners Alex and Dennis for dinner each night. It's one of the few times during the year I eat at restaurants that don't have drive-thru windows!
Another awesome deal is being able to handle products first-hand that haven't yet hit the market. This year I was able to secretly view a couple of prototype products that were kept "behind the curtain" so the speak. Let's just say it was very cool stuff that I think will get some folks really excited. Seeing all these new rods, reels, lines, gear, and gadgets also gives me a great idea of what I want to review throughout the following year. Believe me, I've already started lining stuff up!
About the only negative to the show is the immense work involved.
It may not seem like a huge thing, but it really is pretty exhausting. Walking the show for several hours while carrying camera gear and a shoulder bag full of brochures and notes usually results in a very sore back by lunchtime. Returning to the hotel room in the evening, it's then time to upload and edit pics, gather notes, and get info all organized. Admittedly, I'm overly methodical and kind of slow when it comes to this, but that's only because I want the quality of the coverage to be the best I can muster. In fact, on Wednesday night of the show, I didn't get to sleep until 4:15 in the morning......Zzzzzzz......
Next year the show moves to Denver in October.
I think this is good because Colorado is a mecca for trout anglers and it's closer to a lot of the fly fishing and related companies that are based out west. Attendance seemed down this year both in terms of booths and folks milling around, so I'm thinking some were just holding out for next year which hopefully means a more impressive turnout overall. I've also never been to Denver except for the airport (I didn't even get off the plane), so it'll be nice to actually see some of the city. Stay away, snow!
On the other hand, I really liked having the shows joined together because it made my work way easier. Now, I have to worry about covering two separate shows and getting more time off from my regular job (you thought this was my only job?). Additionally, I also thought it was smart combining the two shows because folks would meander over into the IFTD side from the ICAST side. This was cool for those conventional anglers that were curious about fly fishing and gave them the opportunity to walk over and do some serious investigation. On more than one occasion I saw a group of bass jerseys scoping out the fly gear.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this year's coverage and found it both interesting and useful. We'll see what happens at next year's IFTD, but until then, it's back to our regular schedule!