A large marketplace for boardsports and beach lifestyle brands, Surf Expo saw more than 8,000 buyers from 50 states and 69 countries converging on the Orange County Convention Center from Sept. 6-8, setting an all-time attendance record for the 37-year-old tradeshow.
“Buyer attendance was up 14 percent compared to last September’s show and even eclipsed our record-breaking January 2013 show by 4 percent,” said Roy Turner, show director, Surf Expo. “More buyers than ever before put their trust in Surf Expo to offer the most diverse array of product categories and brands under one roof.”
The overall attendance of the September 2013 show topped 27,000, an 11-percent increase compared to the September 2013 show. This is noteworthy since the September 2011 and 2012 shows were both named among the “25 Fastest-Growing” tradeshows in the U.S. by Trade Show News Network.
“We’re thrilled by the results of our September show,” added Turner. “We encourage retailers and manufacturers to make plans now to attend Surf Expo January. See you January 9 through 11.”
New brands exhibiting at the show increased by more than 10 percent and overall there were more exhibitors, brands and lines than the previous September show, offering buyers fresh product options.
“This show has been the single best tradeshow we’ve ever had. It was a combination of the quality of the buyers that we saw and the consistency of our booth being busy,” said John Vance, president, Freewaters.
Beyond offering a marketplace where buyers and retailers can meet face to face, Surf Expo offers unique educational opportunities to help buyers and exhibitors stay at the top of their game. The show’s inaugural IR Focus e-commerce seminars were well received, and the show’s assortment of seminars hosted by the Board Retailers Association drew packed audiences.
Surf Expo is produced in January and September and draws buyers from specialty stores across the U.S., the Caribbean, Central and South America and around the world. Surf Expo features approximately 2,000 booths of apparel and hardgoods and a full line-up of special events, including fashion shows, annual awards ceremonies, and demos.
Part of Surf Expo’s appeal comes from its special events. More than 800 retailers were able to try the latest wakeboard and SUP lines during the Surf Expo Board Demo Day, which was presented by Alliance Multimedia and held at the Orlando Watersports Complex. Buyers filled the Peabody Fashion Show, presented by TransWorld Business, to see the latest in swim fashion. More than 3,000 showgoers got to unwind at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon during the Surf Expo Industry Party presented by Sanuk.
New to Surf Expo was the addition of The Boardroom, an open-to-the-public celebration of surfboards and the craftsmen who make them. The event attracted more than 40 master surfboard shapers from up and down the East Coast and nearly 3,000 attendees.
For the Wake and Wind categories of the boardsports market, Surf Expo hosted the 10th Annual TransWorld Wake Awards and the Third Annual AWSI Industry Party and Awards Show. The Alliance Multimedia Wake Lounge drew large crowds daily for fresh video premieres and camaraderie.
Surf Expo is produced in January and September and draws buyers from specialty stores across the U.S., the Caribbean, Central and South America, and more countries.
See related article: “Surf Expo partners with content creator for media lounge experience.”