EFTTEX 2023 is in the bag

The months leading up to EFTTEX 2023 in Budapest were full of hesitation and uncertainty regarding the added value and usefulness of the trade show that was last held four years ago. But, as TTW’s Guido Knegt reports, it exceeded expectations.

There were undoubted concerns about what ETTEX 2023 may look and feel like, given it had been four long years since it was last staged and, even more so considering it was being organised by a third party from within the trade rather than by EFTTEX’s owners, the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association.

However, in the weeks leading up to the show, the number of exhibitors increased noticeable and, on paper at least, the show began to look like the ‘old one.’

The first day on the floor was a bit like the first day back in school: you’re not sure where to sit and who to talk to. But seeing the number of exhibitors, visitors and professional set up that the organising team from Energofish managed to bring along, made the overall feeling change from hesitant to very positive.

At the end of the first day the floor was buzzing. More than expected visitors, unexpected exhibitors and many deals made, contributed to a massive sigh of relieve and regained trust in the show’s added value.

Istvan Pal and his team could breathe again and must have had bruised backs from all the complimentary backslapping they received at the end of the first day.

The dinner and awards ceremony at the end of the second day were as jolly and important as ever. Contestants were proud of their awards, the national gypsy band lightened the mood and the speeches and the open bar afterwards made everyone start the last day of the show with new connections and great stories to share on their social media accounts.

Meanwhile, EFTTA board member Gerard Bakkenes made a speech underlining the importance of becoming a member of the European trade body, explaining that EFTTA does a lot of good, lobbies for the industry and needs to be supported by the trade players.

This now needs to be better communicated to the industry at large. At the same time, if being part of EFTTA and of the EFTTEX trade show is important as Gerard said, then the big non-attenders at this EFTTEX should practice what they preach and support the show as well by being present.

Distancing yourself from something that is the only major European trade show does it a disservice.

However you approach it – a smaller stand for example – it is important to show unity and interest and make it clear the whole industry is part of this and is willing to share its expertise, vision and mission.