Industry News 9/30/2008

Surf Expo September Post-Show Recap

Surf Expo September Post-Show Recap
Retail Shop And Booth Counts Up At Surf Expo; Attendance Dips Slightly Due To Weather & Economy

Despite a slowed economy and series of hurricanes which threatened the Southeastern United States, Surf Expo increased both its exhibitor booth count and retail shop attendance over September 2007.

Overall attendance was down 9%. More than half of that can be attributed to retailer canceling because of hurricanes Hanna and Ike. These storms hit a large portion of the Carolina and Gulf coasts, shifting priority from traveling to Florida for a trade show to repairing homes and businesses. In addition, even with the about 900 new shops registered to attend, surveys showed retailers intended to compensate for the weakened economy by bringing one less buyer (3 as opposed to 4, on average) to shop the show.

September 2008 Surf Expo show floor highlights included a several-hundred skateboard art installment presented by Sk8ology, the introduction of the Retail Center which encompassed retail shop vendors & services in a central location, the SIMA Board Builder Pavilion, an on-floor video screening lounge, and more. The 5th Annual WakeAwards, held upstairs after the show on Friday, hosted its largest crowd ever and is set to broadcast on Fuel TV later this fall. Four onsite daily fashion shows were complimented with a high-end show at the Peabody Hotel. Several eco-conscious exhibits and features like Ocean Minded’s Recycle Lounge and BeGreen’s carbon footprint calculation station were a hit with attendees.

Surf Expo January is a 3-day/4-day show. The Boutique, Coastal Home, Resort, Souvenir & Gift and Swim categories will be open January 14-17, with Surf and Skate showing from January 15-17. Go to surfexpo.com for more details.

“I want to emphasize how much we enjoyed Surf Expo and how important it is to our business. These shows are the only time I get to see the lines. ” -- Laura Anne, Adrenaline Inc. Surf and Skate

“I attended your seminar on merchandising and I just wanted to say thanks for all the useful information!  You gave me a lot of great ideas for our stores.” – Heather Pelkey, Aqua East Surf Shop

“Surf Expo is an ideal show for Sandals Resorts!” – Debra Jacobson, Sandals

“Saturday was just jamming and we needed to catch our breath on Sunday. But believe it or not we were busy right until 5pm on the Sunday - unreal!” – Michael Brooke, Concrete Wave

“Best first day ever. We continue to write business with good quality accounts.” – Tom Miller, Ahead

“Wanted to throw out a quick thanks on behalf of our crew. Despite a shaky start, you pulled it together for us and the show went amazing for us!” – Jason Arnold, Allyance