Industry News 9/26/2006

Surf Expo Celebrates Successful Launch of LAUNCH

Surf Expo Celebrates Successful Launch of LAUNCH

September 26, 2006- At last week’s record-breaking September ’06 show, Surf Expo introduced Launch, the dedicated section of the hottest and most innovative new products in the market.
The ten winners, selected by a jury of top retailers from the Board Retailers Association, were Ambission,
Atwater, Aquasellas, Boardzup, Fortress Watches, Guru Trampboards, Hula-la, Jeepney, Mechanical Griptape and Steelcore.

Retailers walking the show were eager to shop the new brands. “I think the new Launch concept is awesome,” said Emma White-Pryor, Men's Wear and Footwear Buyer at Ron Jon Surf Shop. “To be able to visit one small area and know that you’re seeing the cream of the crop in new manufacturers is amazing. And it’s a bonus to know that the winners of Launch have already received the stamp of approval from a jury of top retailers. What more confidence do you need to pick up a new line?”

 

The cutting-edge display setup by Insight Exhibits gave these winners their own ready-to-show boutique-style exhibit space and a shared common area, creating a buzz that attracted buyers and exhibitors alike. Dean Bradley, Creative Director for Atwater, was overwhelmed with the ease of setup. “We didn’t even have to ship anything. We brought everything in suitcases on the plane, and it was all set up in twenty minutes, ready to go. That’s a huge savings for a new company.”

 

Launch exhibitors reported tons of traffic and many were grateful for a chance to exhibit that they might not be provided otherwise as a startup. Dustin Odbert, Sales Director for Ambission, said, “We were excited to introduce the line to Surf Expo¹s buyers. There’s a different vibe and type of buyer here than out west, but the response and feedback to our brand has been great. Being a Launch winner has helped establish an east coast presence for Ambission as well as get us a foot in the door with the major east coast buyers.”

 

Amongst the constant traffic and buzz surrounding the Launch area, these new exhibitors did ultimately what they were at Surf Expo to do—write orders. Mike Ferraro was overwhelmed with paper-writing at Guru Trampboards, whose booths at the show were overflowing with prospective buyers. “We signed deals with big snowboard distributors in Europe, Australia, Canada and Scandanavia,” he said. “The show was awesome and we are now faced with a production issue!”


The deadline for January 2007’s Launch is right around the corner! Applicants can get detailed information and should submit their information online at http://surfexpo.com/surf/launch.asp. Once the field is narrowed, applicants will be required to send in physical marketing materials and samples for the next round of judging.