We're checking in with some trade show operators to catch up on what's new in the ever changing trade show landscape as the season gets underway.
Today we hear from Surf Expo Show Director Roy Turner about Surf Expo’s increase in show exhibitors and show space, the new freedive push, attracting retailers from beyond the coastal strip and much more.
Surf Expo is September 8-10 in Orlando, Florida.
Every show seems to offer its own reason for excitement, but we think the upcoming Surf Expo September show is extraordinary. Surf Expo is the only true boardsports trade show and the most accurate representation of what the surf market is all about. The changes we've seen in the industry over the past few years and the significant void that created led to new buyers, new exhibitors and a new focus on Surf Expo.
We're able to showcase entire markets in a way they ought to be represented, and don't treat any category as only worthy for the “tent out back.” That's exciting not only for us, but for the thousands of buyers who call Surf Expo home, buyers who continually tell us they wouldn't miss a show. Buyers who rely on Surf Expo for their business to succeed. How can such an endorsement be anything other than exciting to hear?
With the addition of our new dive section -- and its emphasis on freediving-- our huge assortment of women's apparel lines, swim lines, and every category of hardgoods under the sun on display, we are offering our retailers new opportunities and new perspectives for their business.
Definitely up! Since the economy swing in 2009 we have seen a 22% aggregate increase in the number of actual exhibitors -- not lines represented, as many smaller shows report -- at our show and an aggregate increase in square feet of 27%.
Please note that our show is approximately 200,000 square feet in size, so a more than 20% growth in square feet often is larger than the total size of some of our smaller competitors. The growth of our September show was recently recognized by Expo Magazine who identified our September show as one of the fastest growing shows in the U.S.
We're excited about a variety of new brands and entire new categories at Surf Expo September. In addition to industry stalwarts like Quiksilver, Billabong, Hurley, O’Neill, Rip Curl and Vans, the September line-up features 107 first-time exhibitors to Surf Expo such as Hippy Tree, Toms, Plan B, Vox, Iron Fist, Switchboard Distribution, Tork Trux, Freewaters, Schtank Skateboards, Star Kites, Seattle Sports, Rum Therapy and RAEN.
All of our categories are doing great and we expect to be sold-out by the end of July, but we're particularly excited by the strength of our stand up paddle section, the wakeboard/wakeskate category, and the introduction of our new dive area, which emphasizes freediving.
See Page 2 for more