NMMA realigns focus on fishing shows, closes Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow

The National Marine Manufacturers Association announced it is realigning its focus on its fishing-centric shows and is closing the Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow as it expands the Saltwater Fishing Expo, moving it from the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, N.J., to the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison, N.J.  

The NMMA’s move of the Saltwater Fishing Expo will nearly double its footprint from approximately 68,000 square feet to 135,000 square feet, allowing for more fishing tackle and gear exhibits, seminars and interactive features dedicated to saltwater anglers. As it expands its fishing industry efforts in New Jersey, NMMA is closing the Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow due to a surplus of healthy sport shows in the market.

As part of these efforts, NMMA will maintain a strong focus on its two other fishing-centric shows: the Chicagoland Fishing Travel & Outdoor Expo in Schaumburg, Ill., and the World Fishing & Outdoor Exposition in Suffern, N.Y., in addition to its lineup of 15 boat shows and sport shows around the country.

“Fishing is the number one activity done from a boat and plays a critical role in the larger boating industry ecosystem, making it a continued priority for NMMA,” said Ben Wold, executive vice president of NMMA, who oversees its boat shows and sportshows.

“We’re excited to expand our focus on fishing in New Jersey with the move of the Saltwater Fishing Expo to the larger and more centrally-located New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison as we continue building the Schaumburg, Ill. and Suffern, N.Y. fishing shows. These three events have a significant impact on the fishing, boating, and outdoor industries given their strong foothold in their respective markets.

“Given other sport shows in Philadelphia that are able to carry the market, the fishing and boating industries are best served by NMMA focusing its resources in other key markets,” continued Wold.

Plans being explored for the 2018 Saltwater Fishing Expo, taking place March 16-18 at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, include:

  • More saltwater fishing exhibitors, with expanded sections for in-shore fishing, off-shore fishing and surf casting;
  • A Custom Plug Pavilion, showcasing the region’s leading fishing plugs/lures’ builders;
  • The Saltwater Fishing 101 Station, featuring one-on-one interaction with experts, rigging, knot-tying, molding weights and jigs, reel maintenance, rod repair and more; 
  • A casting pond, featuring demonstrations of new rods and reels, fly fishing seminars and one-on-one fly-casting instruction; and
  • An expanded kayak area with demonstrations and seminars geared to saltwater kayak anglers.

The Saltwater Fishing Expo’s move to the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center also provides 2,000 free onsite parking spots for exhibitors and attendees, plus 3,000 additional parking spots in close proximity. The new location is 13 miles from the show’s previous location, the Garden State Exhibit Center, and can be conveniently accessed from Route 95 (the New Jersey Turnpike).

NMMA acquired a total of four fishing-focused consumer shows from the American Sportfishing Association in 2015 to expand the fishing and tackle offerings across NMMA boat and sport shows and help expand the market for recreational boating and fishing industry manufacturers. These shows included: the Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow, Chicagoloand Fishing Travel & Outdoor Expo, World Fishing & Outdoor Exposition and Saltwater Fishing Expo.

Dates for NMMA’s 2018 Schaumburg, Ill., Suffern, N.Y., and Edison, N.J. shows are:

Visit BoatShows.com for a complete listing of NMMA-produced boat shows and sport shows.

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