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Details on Industry Insight.
Surf, skate and beach lifestyle brands note busy days and renewed energy in the market
Orlando, FL (January 17, 2012) – Retailers are returning to business and brands are filling orders following Surf Expo’s largest event since 2005. More than 14,000 retailers, exhibitors and media from around the globe traveled to Orlando, FL for Surf Expo, the global boardsports and beach lifestyle trade show.
The event took place January 12-14 and offered buyers a chance to preview summer and fall 2012 lines and write orders with more than 2,500 brands. All 240,000 square feet of Surf Expo's floor space was accounted for during the sold-out show, as brands continued to search for more room right up to the last minute.
"Our show was bursting at the seams with exhibitors and buyers – all in a positive mood and doing business on the floor,” says Roy Turner, Show Director for Surf Expo.
“From the minute we opened the doors until the show closing, there was an energy that I haven't seen in years. The positive vibe at Surf Expo shows an industry headed in the right direction as it continues to rebound after the recession."
Orlando continues to prove itself convenient to buyers from across the U.S., the Caribbean, Canada, Latin America and Europe. A small sampling of the 7,000 storefronts in attendance includes Amazon.com, Target, Archies (Canada), Red Sail (Caribbean), Moosejaw, Glick’s, Palace Entertainment (water and amusement parks), Bells, Hanger 94, Emerald City, 17th Street, Jack’s and the Frog House.
“Friday’s foot traffic was fantastic! Even more than we expected,” says Jonathan McCabe, Sales Manager for RVCA.
"We saw 100 accounts who sat through a full line showing. The show stayed busy until 6; we were working until the lights went out. Our order file will be half full within the week.”
"This has to be one of the best Surf Expo’s ever for volume, quality of people here and everything involved,” says John Gothard, VP Sales of Sanuk.
“The energy and optimism was great from 9:01 on day 1 through the final day. Usually the last day is the time when you say hi to friends, but today [day 3] the show is still packed. There’s a great attitude and we saw a mixture of current and new dealers."
To give buyers a chance to rest their hands between writing orders, a variety of high-energy events took place around the show and in the evenings. Surf Expo put swim and sportswear fashion trends in motion with runway shows three times a day throughout the event.
Skate competitions kept plenty of action on the street course and quarter pipe, as skaters competed for the $3,333.33 up for grabs on each of the three days of Surf Expo. A standup paddle tank centered on the show floor allowed buyers to test new stand up boards before they bought, while adding energy to the growing SUP section.
Crowds gathered to watch Florida’s most recognized shapers square off in a shaping room in tribute to Greg Noll.
Visitors appreciated the opportunity to mix business and pleasure in Orlando. “This is the first time that I’ve come to the show and stayed all three days. It’s so much fun going to all the events and parties in the evenings and check out events on the show floor,” says Anthony Dunbar, owner of Catch a Wave Surf, Skate and Ski in Coconut Grove, FL.
“I’ve been writing orders from the show for fall and summer, so there’s not all of the homework when I get home.”
On the first evening, Surf Expo welcomed all attendees to the House of Blues for a concert and cocktails. Friday night, the show played host to the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame awards.
With headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, Surf Expo is the largest and longest-running trade show for the board/beach/fashion industry (36 years). Surf Expo is held in January and September in Orlando, Florida, and draws buyers from specialty stores across the U.S., the Caribbean, Central and South America and around the world.
Surf Expo is endorsed by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA); the Board Retailers Association (BRA), the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA) and the Association of Wind Sport Industries (AWSI). For additional information regarding Surf Expo check out SurfExpo.com.