Another ICAST is winding down and I feel like I've seen maybe 1 percent of the stuff here. That's not an exaggeration, either. There's lots to see and relatively little time to do it. Between chasing down products, writing photo gallery cutlines and doing some BASScams, there's absolutely no time to just walk the floor and get a feel for what's here. That's frustrating. Wish that were different, but I don't see it changing anytime soon.
Apart from the sheer volume of stuff here, what's remarkable is the vastly different marketing styles and skills. At some booths you see fancy displays and video screens. Others have no frills at all. Some booths feature "booth bunnies" — attractive young ladies in tight and pretty skimpy clothing — some have craggy old men in baseball caps and jeans. Some exhibitors are aggressive and try to draw people in to talk. Most are laid back and wait for folks to come to them. I suppose there are times when all of it works.
ICAST is supposed to be a trade show — just exhibitors, media and buyers making business and editorial decisions about new fishing products — but there are plenty of other folks here, too. They range from fans to job seekers to the merely curious who somehow scored a badge (credential) to get in. When you see kids and autograph seekers walking the aisles here, you know the security is less than stellar. On Thursday, we had to wait to shoot our BASScam videos while KVD signed some autographs and had his photo taken with several fans.
I'm a fan, too, but this really isn't the time or place for that. Some days, ICAST looks too much like a consumer show.