It’s the simple pleasures that really break up the days. How many of us can recall walking down the isles of a convention hall surrounded by friends and like-minded people from all walks of life? Gathered together oohing and aahing at the newest gadgets and gear, as well as sharing stories with seasoned anglers, vetted guides, and new friends. Unfortunately, as we all know, experiences such as these must be placed on hold due to the current times…or do they?
Our friend John Smigaj didn’t seem to think so, which is why he rallied a team to create the first-ever fully online Fly Fishing Showcase. We had the chance to sit down with John and discuss the behind the scenes of what this online showcase is, how it’s going to work, and how exactly YOU can attend!
Flylords: What is the Fly Fishing Showcase?
John: The Fly Fishing Showcase is a digital expo that you attend online. Attendees visit the showcase by logging into our website and then interact with exhibitors through live video feeds presented by each exhibitor. They can ask questions through a chat window right on the exhibitor’s page. We also have categories for speakers and presentations as well as a film festival.
Flylords: What inspired the Fly Fishing Showcase?
John: A lot of in-person events (not just in fly fishing) were canceled due to the current pandemic response. This has left a huge void where a lot of brands make real connections with the fly fishing community at large. That same community is also without the ability to attend the events they may have been looking forward to all year. By hosting an online event we can help to fill that void and bring people a bit of entertainment during a tough time.
Flylords: How many people were involved in developing the FFSC?
John: Officially we’re a team of two people, but we’ve been getting support from a lot of great people in the fly fishing industry.
Flylords: How many exhibitors do you have in attendance?
John: We’ve got some great brands signed on already and are looking forward to adding even more. O’Pros, Brook Fishing Equipment, Aquaz Waders, Trxstle, True Fly Supply, and Jim Teeny Flies to name a few. We have over 30 exhibitors currently on board and are excited to see many more register as the word starts to get out about the event!
Flylords: This expo is one of the first of its kind, how do you think this will separate the FFSC from any other convention? What opportunities will people have that they wouldn’t at a traditional Fly Fishing convention?
John: There are a few major advantages to the online convention when you compare it to a traditional in-person event. There are no travel costs, for either attendees or exhibitors. The barriers to entry are having a decent internet connection and some free time on June 13th, 2020. Most importantly, since there’s no central location, people from all over the world are able to attend, not just the surrounding areas. The potential is limitless. Guides and give actual tours of their lodges, manufacturers can show off their facilities, and attendees can stay in the comfort of their own homes on a schedule that suits them and their needs.
Flylords: Is it free to everyone? How can people get their tickets?
John: Yes! The showcase is free for all to attend, including exhibitors! There are also fancier booth options and sponsorship opportunities for brands who want to improve their exposure and get more benefits from the show.
Flylords: What’s the goal of the showcase?
John: We want to grow the showcase into an annual event or series that allows brands and manufacturers to connect with consumers and retailers who otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to meet face to face.
Flylords is Proud to be an Official Partner of the Fly Fishing Showcase, and we look forward to seeing you all there on June 13th! Make sure to head over to their website or Instagram for additional information and details as to how to sign up! See you there!