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By SHELBY STANGER
Today in our trade show series, we hear from Surf Expo and Agenda what they have planned for their next shows and their assessment of their latest shows.
Based on feedback from buyers and exhibitors, January's Surf Expo show was among our most well received shows ever. Buyer attendance was on par with previous shows and our exhibitor count was up appreciably compared to the year before. More importantly, there was optimism at the show about market conditions going forward.
While 2009 was brutal for many companies and retailers -- and we don't expect things to return to the way they were before the great recession -- there's a distinct feeling that the worst is now behind us.
The optimism at the show was probably due to the improving economy, but I'd like to think our special events helped too. Our Bangers For Bucks skate contest and SUP demo pool both won rave reviews. The BRA/SIMA dinner remains a highlight for many in the industry.
Our industry party fired on all cylinders. We expect most companies will remain cautious when forecasting sales growth. Fortunately, we've nurtured a business-first approach at our show that meshes well with the overall mindset of the industry right now.
September will have a full roster of special events, including the SUP demo tank and new skateboarding lounge and best-trick contest.
Of course, the September Surf Expo show is the number one most important show for the wakeboarding market, and our show will reflect that with a pro wakeboarding demo on the show floor and the return of the Wake Awards -- which is one of the biggest nights for the wakeboarding industry.