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ICRBE 2020
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Posted by: Don @ American Tackle (12.174.154.---)
Date: February 24, 2020 07:47AM

On behalf of American Tackle I want to thank everyone who came by the booth at ICRBE 2020!!

We enjoyed talking to everyone and hearing the excitement about the new AT products, especially the CCT seats and G2 Carbon Handles.

I also want to give a special thank you to Tom Kirkman for putting on an amazing show! Everyone I spoke with had an amazing time.

If you were not here and are a custom builder you are missing out on not only the biggest but the ONLY show in the world purely dedicated to custom rod building. Start saving up to get here in 2021, you will not be sorry.

See you next February!!!!!

God Bless, Don Morse

800-516-1750 ext. 1207 / don@americantackle.us

Rod Building..... It's What We Do.

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Posted by: Billy Vivona (---.nycmny.fios.verizon.net)
Date: February 24, 2020 08:52PM

Every vendor should be promoting the show throughout the course of the year to keep it going, and growing. Always nice to read a post like this, I'm happy to hear you guys had a great show, bucause I couldn't see anything going on over there even though we were 20 feet away from each other, lol.

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Posted by: Don @ American Tackle (---.biz.spectrum.com)
Date: February 25, 2020 11:05AM

I completely agree Billy..

We also need to get the attendees to bug all of the vendors to get a booth in 2021....

God Bless, Don Morse

800-516-1750 ext. 1207 / don@americantackle.us

Rod Building..... It's What We Do.

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Posted by: Billy Vivona (---.nycmny.fios.verizon.net)
Date: February 25, 2020 11:52AM

I agree. The more support the industry has for the show, the better it will be. Everyone wins. You guys put forth a great deal of effort and time promoting it, and getting people involved in teh Microwave Challenge has resulted in a couple of full rod racks of entries, and some of the most amazing rods ever seen.

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Posted by: Mike Thompson (---)
Date: February 25, 2020 09:27PM

I agree fully Don. If more sponsors and vendors would attend I dont see how it couldn't benefit their business. It would definitely benefit the rod builder. Would love to see the show grow to what it once was.

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Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 25, 2020 11:15PM


What it once was? The event is larger now than it ever has been. We've never taken a step backwards.

It's funny - I've heard people say that the event gets smaller each year. Well figure this out - in 2004 we had 11 or 12 vendors. If we were losing even one vendor per year, after 17 years we'd be at a negative 5 or 6 exhibitor count.

We had a record attendance this year.


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Posted by: Billy Vivona (---.nycmny.fios.verizon.net)
Date: February 26, 2020 12:41AM

The line to get into teh show Saturday morning stretched back 300 feet. I had a toast planned for 8:30 with all my guys at the booth, and I was irritated they were all late. I walked to teh door to see if any of them were on line and couldn't elieve how far ack teh line stretched. I called Lance over to check it out - we both said we'd never seen the line that long to get in before.
The reception SAturday night was filled - every seat was taken, peopel standing up along the walls. I'd have to assume that there was teh smae number of tables and chairs as year's past, although in a new room it seemed like there were just as many people as there always has been at teh receptions.

MY point in requesting everyone to promote the show - to continue to have more builders, to have more vendors, to keep it going and growing. IF we all pitch in we all benefit. IF everyone complains teh show was small and teh show was no good - well we have nobody to blame except ourselves if that happens.

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Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 26, 2020 07:32AM

That's true - the line at the door stretched back to the second set of escalators and stayed that way for nearly 45 minutes while tickets were being sold as fast as we could go.

We had good events in High Point, in an exceptional facility, but the truth is, that exhibition hall was only about half as large as what we have now in Winston-Salem. In High Point, only one or two exhibitors had more than one booth. Now, in Winston-Salem at the Benton, half of the exhibitors buy multiple booths. Some had 3, 4 and even 8 booths this year. At least half bought 2.

The Magazine Reception, which was never intended to be a "sit-down" affair, was set with about 20% more tables and chairs than any previous year and there were still people standing (as intended).

Of course, the idea that the event can keep growing by leaps and bounds isn't practical. The days of double digit percent growth are long over. And there are only so many companies and builders that make up this craft. The event is already far and away the largest of its kind for custom rod builders in the world. Nothing else has even come within 10% of it. But if you want it to get yet larger each year, the craft itself will have to grow. And this is an issue not only with custom rod building but with the larger fishing community as well. Growth in the sport of fishing has been stagnant, even on a slight downturn for many years. It has recently seen an uptick, but we are faced with the fact that fishing is no longer something that nearly as many younger people are involved with. This is the real issue facing custom rod building in general - it's forever tied to the sport of fishing. Where fishing goes, rod building goes.


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Posted by: Michael Ward (---.sip.int.bellsouth.net)
Date: February 26, 2020 03:13PM

Observations of a newbie & 1st time attendee..... I figured I was getting there early on Sat AM when I walked into the convention center and then found a 30 min+ or so line to get in the door.... I thought this thing is a bigger deal than I expected :)

I found the show very valuable for a new comer to the craft - both in terms of being able to put hands on specific parts and compare / learn the differences, but also to get some good to great deals. The whole rod building thing is a bit intimidating coming into it in terms of trying to sort out what blank you want, then what grips, reel seats, etc etc - and this is not only a place to get to see and touch parts - but thanks to the rod competitions and thanks to the NERBs display, and displays at a few vendors like Batson, get to see various options assembled together. It also was effective in not only parting me from a meaningful amount of $$ at the show, but then placing a very sizable order with one of the show vendors, for parts from another show vendor on Monday when I returned home.

The seminars were useful to a newbie for sure.... I think having the general show seminars and also what was going on in the NERBs booth were both very valuable and I credit all the presenters for giving of their time to do so - and appreciate them being focused on the techniques, vs. pushing a specific product. I hope/trust that the topics get shuffled across years so that there is always something new to hear & learn - of at least that different presenters cover topics to get their different perspectives. I think it would be a good idea if Mudhole or someone who does beginner intro rod building courses were to run a (paid) course in parallel - perhaps 1/2 day each day or something - to still give attendees the time to benefit from the show floor.. but this might get more "new" folks there.

As to the impressions of "what it once was" - well being my 1st one I cannot directly speak to that - but from past experience at other events, I think when you attend an event year after year, the "newness" wears off - and if it is the same core vendors, same typical presentations and such, then it can lead to this perspective - even it things are growing around it. The challenge is always to keep it new & interesting for the new folks, but also the long timers - always something to learn.

The competitions are a great idea to drive involvement - perhaps consider some additional competitions - youth category (if there wasn't one), or "newbie" categories, etc - I can see where some just starting out would not want to enter when they feel they are up against the old-hand talents that were cranking out some incredible pieces.... just all in the spirit of getting more interaction & involvement. Also, think about how to get more youth engaged - you are spot on that this craft is directly linked to the sport of fishing - and the future of both are depending on the next generation - it was nice to see several of the younger generation around the show, actively participating in the sessions, etc. Would be awesome to see one of these youth presenting a session next year.....

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Posted by: Michael Ward (---.sip.int.bellsouth.net)
Date: February 26, 2020 03:13PM

<removing double post>

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2020 03:19PM by Michael Ward.

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