Agenda kicks off the winter trade show season this Thursday with a two-day show in a new venue, the Long Beach Convention Center.
We asked Agenda President Aaron Levant some questions about the new location and what to expect at the show.
The great thing about the Long Beach Convention Center is that we can finally put the whole show on one open floor plan.
In the past, we have had to segment the show into different rooms on different levels and last summer with the tent outside we were really segmented. So this Long Beach venue will be the first time we can really create an easy/open floor plan for buyers to navigate.
Within that open floor plan, we will still have sections and brand groupings: The Berrics Agenda, Primer at Agenda and Agenda Snow. For other non-branded sections on the show floor like Street, Lifestyle and Surf, we don't create separate branding but put like-minded brands near each other and create neighborhoods on the show floor.
I don't have an exact number yet on retailers, but this is sure to be our largest show to date by far. I believe we should exceed any past show records by over 20%.
We do not have too many new features this show. We are trying to deliver a great show and stick to our basic formula that has always worked for us in the past - no gimmicks like skate contests, girls in bikinis and no athlete signings. We are just sticking to the basics of putting great buyers and brands in the room with each other and letting them do their thing in a focused environment.
For the January show, you will see the return of Primer at Agenda, our independent brand section, and you will see Agenda Snow, which only happens during the winter show.
We will also be adding a long board skate section for hard goods and a small addition of Agenda BMX.
We are also partnering with Transworld to put on its Business Awards the first night of the show.
The feature I'm most excited about is the Food Truck court. We will be having some of LA's top food trucks on site vending up some amazing grub like FatBurger and Kogi trucks to name a few.
Parking should be really easy this show. Long Beach is set up to handle events much larger then Agenda. They have 4,000 spaces in the building and thousands more at the surrounding hotels and surface lots so I think parking should be very simple this show.
This season we turned down a record number of brands to get into the show, so there is definitely still a strict jury process to get into Agenda.
At the same time, now that we have so much more space, we also let in a record number of great new brands and allowed some of the brands that have been with us to spread out and take more space.
I truly believe we still have a “curated vibe” but we also expanded our view of what the industry is to get a full range of products and brands that the buyers are looking for and to give some new brands a chance to shine.