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FL Sportsman Tampa Expo - What Happened?

Old 11-17-2019, 01:43 PM
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Default FL Sportsman Tampa Expo - What Happened?

I went yesterday and what a absolute disappointment. $8 to park and $8 a person for admission to see lots of empty vendor space, cheap Chinese tackle, independent apparel companies and some random roof gutter, artist and beef jerky vendors. Only a few builders (Sheaffer with a bad ass 240, Cape Horn, Panga Marine with some really nice boats and a few others I don’t remember). I was there at 3 pm and the vendor reps easily outnumbered the attendees.

It’s a shame because in prior years there were decent deals on rods, reels, tackle, coolers, etc. I wouldn’t go next year even if it was free unless something changes.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:44 PM
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Seems like all of Florida Sportsman’s prior successes have really dwindled. I dont think I have picked up a magazine in a few years, and I used to love getting it every month. Their forum used to be great, then it was changed and all old posts gone, so people left in droves. I like their Best Boat and Project Dream Boat shows a lot, but if the expos are how you explained, thats a shame too, as they used to be great with lots of vendors and great seminars. Seems like social media has really hit the magazine companies hard, and its trickled down to all of their events. If they only had to advertise their own expo in their own magazine, its easy to promote, but if an advertiser has to spend advertising dollars to promote their own event, then you end up with poor event participation. Hope they can make it long term.
Old 11-18-2019, 09:32 PM
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It really was a disappointment. In that format, it was definitely the last one I am going to.
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Old 11-19-2019, 05:06 AM
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A couple years ago they did it at the st lucie fairgrounds with a kayak fishing tournament in the fairground lakes. It was a big hit with hundreds entering the fishing tournament (40 degrees with 50 mph winds) I was one of them. Big crowds inside but they lacked companies selling.
Old 11-19-2019, 08:38 AM
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I remember the St Lucie show. Two things that stood out in my opinion : the beautiful restored boat on the left on the way in, and the guy who gave a talk in his booth on how
to catch nice fish from land and on docks. Actually had freshly caught live fish there . Impressive talk. I remember him saying "use 4 * hooks, and I caught plenty of fish before fluorocarbon ". Capt. Billy /Right Stuff
Old 11-19-2019, 08:55 AM
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If I recall the demise came when they sold to a corporate entity (I think based out of NY)
They also had I believe 3 forum crashes that lost a shit ton of valuable data and di#%head forum moderators
(The forum was quite something back in the day. Real good people and events and collobrating)

Everything started sliding

The once great shows kept getting worse around 2009/10
The magazine slid
people left the forum

and, well you see what’s happened to the shows.
Old 11-19-2019, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Sailfish_WC View Post
If I recall the demise came when they sold to a corporate entity (I think based out of NY)
They also had I believe 3 forum crashes that lost a shit ton of valuable data and di#%head forum moderators
(The forum was quite something back in the day. Real good people and events and collobrating)

Everything started sliding

The once great shows kept getting worse around 2009/10
The magazine slid
people left the forum

and, well you see what’s happened to the shows.
Yes, they were bought by Outdoor Sportsmans Group which is a massive outdoors media conglomerate. IMO, and experience, they are just big biz now and have lost all concern or care for the grassroots normal fisherman. As you mentioned, nowhere is this more
evident than in the FS dot com forum; but that is only a tiny tiny fraction of their business. I'm sure on some balance sheet somewhere properly running that forum was a loser.
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Old 11-19-2019, 05:14 PM
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I used to love getting the magazine, too. Then one day I realized that my magazine experience had devolved into this...

On the cover... Big fish! New electronics! Gear reviews! The secret to catching more, bigger fish!

Inside... Ads, ads, ads, an article about 3 boats I can never afford, more ads, an article telling me to troll ballyhoo to catch dolphin, ads, ads, fish finders tell you how deep it is! ads, ads, ads, have you heard about fluorocarbon? ads, ads, try a paddletail jig for reds! ads, ads, regional reports (there are snapper in the keys!) ads, ads, the end.

Now it's been years since I've read one.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:18 PM
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