The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls, host of the annual Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo, will be honored with the John Long Sr. Memorial Award for Business of the Year, presented by the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs, on April 18. The annual award is given to the business or businessperson that most notably promotes conservation. The honor is being bestowed on the CCNF for not only hosting the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo for the past two years, but for featuring the NCFCC's shooting trailer and the Niagara River Anglers Association's fishing pond in its efforts to educate future sportsmen and women in hunting and fishing.
"Over the past two years, The Conference & Event Center's Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo has afforded the area fishing community the knowledge they need to spend more time on the water, while allowing them to target a variety of fish species and giving them the tools to be successful," said Bill Hilts Jr., director of outdoor promotions with the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. - an integral member of the expo's programming team. "At the same time, we are attracting new fishermen and women to the sport, as well as educating future generations of anglers."
A unique feature of the expo is the Western New York Fishing Academy, a series of seminars that are free with paid admission. The 2015 event included more than 100 seminars by more than 60 experts in their respective fields. Loftier goals have been set for the 2016 expo, which will be hosted during the weekend of Jan. 22-24.
"The goal of our 2016 expo is to offer more diverse seminars, which include topics for all Western New York waterways, while providing additional family-friendly activities for children throughout the weekend," said Global Spectrum's Melissa Gearhart, director of sales at The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls and chairperson of the expo.
The Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo planners specifically chose to host the annual event in the month of January in order to create an economic impact for the downtown Niagara Falls area during a traditionally slow time of year.
"We are also exposing new people to The Conference & Event Center's state-of-the-art amenities while showcasing the neighboring downtown Niagara Falls attractions many people do not realize are here," Hilts said. "It's a perfect win-win situation for all involved."
Plans are in the works to offer more weekend packages at local hotels so guests and their families may enjoy all three days of the expo and visit surrounding restaurants and attractions.
Other key components of the 2016 Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo featuring the WNY Fishing Academy include:
•Featuring programming on Western New York waterways comprised of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, the Niagara River and other inland bodies of water that offer some of the best and most diversified fishing found anywhere in the country.
•The WNY Fishing Academy offering anglers the opportunity to attend free classes taught by local and regional experts very knowledgeable in fishing the local waterways with more than 100 classes targeted for either novice or experienced anglers guaranteed to improve one's skills. The curriculum includes the following:
Recaps of the 2015 expo are posted on www.NiagaraFishingExpo.com. Bookmark the website for upcoming information on the 2016 expo.