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As trade show season approaches, we continue checking in with the trade shows that service the industry. Today, we hear from Agenda President Aaron Levant. Agenda has moved to Huntington Beach to coincide with the U.S. Open of Surfing next week instead of its usual location in San Diego during ASR.
How is Agenda in Huntington Beach shaping up?
Agenda in Huntington Beach is by far the best show we have ever done. The show sold out early and brands that we had been trying to get in the show for years are all on board now.
Do you expect the show to have as many exhibitors and attendees as your previous September show in San Diego?
Exhibitor numbers will be the same or a little less because more brands are taking large spaces. Square footage will be up.
Buyers/Attendees, we are expecting more, much more. Pre-registration is way up from last year and we don't require pre- registration, so that is a good sign.
Are there any new features being introduced at this show?
Yes, we are introducing a prefabricated booth system for all brands at no extra cost. This will give the show a more uniform look and let the brands focus on product and sales, not building booths.
The other biggest thing we are doing is focusing on the key buyers. We are working closely with the sales managers and reps of the brands in the show to identify the best shops in the country that are thriving and making sure those shops are in attendance at the show.
Did you offer exhibitors any special incentives to come to Agenda?
No we did not. We simply put out a superior product and brands embraced it. Brands love the time, location and the vibe of the show. The buzz around the show was the biggest sales tool we had, everyone is talking about it.
How is Agenda helping cash-strapped retailers get to the show?
One of the main things we are doing for buyers is moving the show to a place that allows them to take day trips to the show. That saves them (having to pay for) hotels, eating out. The show is located directly in the middle of the biggest market in the country if not the world for surf, skate, street and snow shops.
Editor's note: Aaron did not answer a question I sent him that asked if Agenda is working with Hurley and the Nike action sports group on the show.