More visitors, more optimism, more sales. That was the verdict from exhibitors after the recent Salon de la Pêche en Mer, the annual consumer show held in Nantes, France.
The event is considered one of the most important in the European calendar, but has been the subject of some criticism in recent years. However, organisers reported a 50% increase in attendance this year, to over 12,500, a claim validated by exhibitors spoken to by Angling International.
“This was the best Nantes Show for a long time. There were many businesses and visitors and a good ambience,” said Yannick Cordier, President of Ultimate Fishing.
Thomas Remilly, of Amiaud, echoed those thoughts: “It was very good. We could see the organisers had taken into account the feedback from previous years.”
While Guillaume Fourrier, Marketing Director of Daiwa France, praised the pre-show marketing efforts that resulted in a 20% year-on-year increase in attendance.
“A large among of work went into communication through a media plan covering the website, social media and magazines, so we were looking forward to seeing the impact of this. Finally, the promise was delivered,” he said.
“There were more people and we noted the quality of the audience. We received a lot of interest in medium to high-end equipment, especially reels like the new Certate, the Saltiga and Ryoga, as well as some new rods. Total direct sales from the show were over €200,000.
“While there is scope for even greater progress, Nantes is on the right track.”
Like Clermont Ferrand in February, Nantes – a mainly sea fishing show – is considered a valuable barometer for the new season. Other big brands with booths included Normark, Pescanautic, Fiiish, Sensas, Pure Fishing, Pafex, Lemer Fonderie, Humminbird, Lowrance and Garmin.”
Thomas Remilly described the show as ‘way better’ than previous years. “It was intense for us because we had not expected so many people. Our Seanox brand had a very positive welcome and we are already seeing the results of that in sales.”
“The views of the trade were very positive in general,” added Yannick Cordier. “There were more young visitors, some YouTubers and social fishing networks. It was fresh. Coming before the new season it is c’est bon pour le moral.
“Our stand was continuously busy and conversations with fishermen were of very good quality.”
The big kayak fishing scene in France made Nantes an important show for Hobie Europe, said Sales and Marketing Manager, Gero Priebe. “We have seen the show becoming more important for us in the last few years, so decided to move away from having a dealer there and instead took a Hobie brand booth to work with multiple dealers. It turned out to be a great success for us.
“The space dedicated to kayak fishing in uniquely big for a fishing show in Europe. We will be back next year.”
EFTTA CEO, Jean-Claude Bel, was also in Nantes and was impressed by what he saw. “The atmosphere was better than last year. EFTTA’s victory in getting Brussels to agree to a better deal for bass fishermen played its part. The industry is happy because they lost a lot of sales last year.
“In addition to the bigger companies, the show attracted a lot of smaller rod builders and lesser known brands.”