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Surf Expo was booming on Friday, with crowded aisles and busy booths.
Several brand executives I spoke with said they were very happy with the number and quality of retailers that attended.
Hurley's Mark Simpson and Evan Slater.
“From a business standpoint, it’s been extremely consistent,” said Mark Simpson, Vice President of National Sales Specialty for Hurley. “We’ve been busy non-stop. It’s been great.”
Some said they were happy that although Agenda was happening at the same time in Anaheim, it didn’t appear to hurt business in Orlando.
“With two competing trade shows at the same time, there was a chance that Surf Expo would not be as busy,” said John Sherwood Vice President of Sales at Dwindle Distribution. “I’m very happy with the turnout.
John Sherwood at the busy Dwindle booth
“As you can tell,” he said, gesturing to his booth, “we’re busy. And I saw a lot of West Coast retailers here, too.”
Like many companies, Dwindle also had a presence at Agenda, and divided up its team to handle both shows. John said his team at that show had told him Agenda was “really busy” too.
Snowy Lonsway, National Sales Manager at O’Neill Clothing, said while Thursday at Surf Expo was a bit slow, day two had been a nice surprise.
“It’s been a busy show,” he said. “We will support Surf Expo in the future. It’s definitely worth it.”
The only downside was having the show in the first week of January, he said.
Snowy Lonsway of O'Neill Clothing
Surf Expo Show Director Roy Turner said the trade show calendar this year in January was challenging, and Surf Expo had to live with those days because large shows from other industries are also using the convention center in January.
However, next year the January show will be in the second week of the month.
Roy said buyer attendance rose 9.2% vs. the previous January show. Buyers came from many states, including a nice contingent from the Mid-Atlantic north – New York, New Jersey, Maryland. And of course, the Carolinas and Florida, and other states, he said.
“We also picked up some international business that may have previously gone to competitors,” Roy said.
See Page 2 for more about Surf Expo