The American Fly Fishing Trade Association recently held the inaugural Dealer Summit, an added benefit to AFFTA members to provide valuable business knowledge, marketing tips, networking opportunities and much more. Nearly sixty attendees traveled to Aspen, Colorado October 20-23, 2014 to attend seminars, workshops and networking events all geared to move their businesses and the sport of fly fishing forward. AFFTA will continue to hold the Dealer Summit event series, next year it will again be in Aspen in late October (dates to be soon released).
“I was extremely pleased with the quality of the speakers, the poignancy of the topics, and the vibrant energy each day. The attending retailers were energized about their businesses; I’m excited for even greater attendance next year,” stated AFFTA board chairman and Trout’s Flyfishing President Tucker Ladd. Angler’s Covey owner David Leinweber echoed Ladd’s remarks by saying, “If I had one negative comment, it would be that there was too much good information at this year’s Dealer Summit. I have so many good ideas that I really don’t know what to act on first!”
Seminar speakers included Dan Mann, Erika Napoletano, Joe Whitworth, Art Webb and more speaking on topics ranging from: inventory management, employee retention, marketing strategies, social media, conservation issues and much more. “I definitely drank some of the Kool-Aid,” stated Front Range Angler’s owner Steve McLaughlin, “We will be back next year. Period.”
Steve Schmidt, owner of Western Rivers Flyfisher in Salt Lake City, Utah remarked, “It was an outstanding event, probably one of the best educational programs I’ve ever been to. We’ll be back.” Based off these and many more pieces of positive feedback, AFFTA staff is preparing for a bigger crowd of attendees for 2015. “AFFTA is YOUR industry trade organization, we are here to support and promote your business, and the sport of fly fishing. My goal for next year is for each retailer who attended this year’s event to bring two additional retailers with them. We’ll be ready with even more dynamic speakers, topics, and retailer resources,” exclaimed AFFTA President Ben Bulis.
AFFTA is extremely pleased to have the support of the Dealer Summit sponsors including: Simms Fishing Products, Orvis, Scott Fly Rods, Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, Hatch Outdoors, Oceans Conservancy, Angling Trade and AFFTA’s Fisheries Fund.