Surf Expo in Orlando, Fla., drew more than 6,000 buyers

The Sept. 6–8 run of Surf Expo in Orlando, Fla., drew more than 6,000 buyers, who turned out to view more than 2,400 lines. By the secon...



The Sept. 6–8 run of Surf Expo in Orlando, Fla., drew more than 6,000 buyers, who turned out to view more than 2,400 lines.

By the second day, attendance was up 16 percent over the previous year, according to organizers, who added several new and returning features to this year’s show at the Orange County Convention Center.

The second day of the show was the busiest, according to Joel Cooper, chief executive officer of Irvine, Calif.–based Lost Enterprises, who added, “For us, as a brand, it was excellent.”

Surf Expo’s August show is typically slower than January’s show, Cooper added. For many exhibitors, the September Surf Expo came at the end of a busy season, which included the Miami SwimShow in Miami and LaunchLA in Los Angeles in July and MAGIC and Project in Las Vegas in August.

“You have to look at each show for its market,” he said. “The bigger retailers you see at every show. One of the things that’s really good about [Surf Expo] is it services the Caribbean [and] the specialty stores and surf shops in the region.”

Many of those buyers don’t shop other trade shows, Cooper said, adding that, overall, buyers were positive and on the hunt for new product at Surf Expo.

Richard Allred, president of Costa Mesa, Calif.–based Toes on the Nose, agreed that the mood at Surf Expo was upbeat.

“People are positive,” he said. “[They] were looking and buying. We picked up some new accounts. People have more confidence. They’re definitely taking more risks.”

The recession eliminated some retailers and suppliers, Allred added, so “when you see a surge, it gets noticed quicker.”

Among the returning features of Surf Expo was the runway show, held at the nearby Peabody Hotel, and a board-demo day at the Orlando Watersports Complex. For the second time, the Association of Wind & Watersports Industries hosted an award party recognizing retail, brand and athlete achievement in stand-up paddle boarding, windsurfing and kiteboarding. There were also daily fashion shows on the trade show floor, sponsored by TransWorld Business.

The show also featured a seminar lineup that included former pro surfers Shaun Tomson and Mark Healey and an exhibition of Letty Nowak’s Faces of Surfing” large-scale paintings. The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association hosted the “Stokes Me Surf Contest,” which featured pro surfers and amateurs competing in the Typhoon Lagoon wave pool in Orlando. The “chlorinated surf contest” kicks off a 30-day fundraising campaign that begins in October. The Stokes Me campaign benefits the SIMA Humanitarian Fund, which has donated more than $1.58 million to surf-related, nonprofit humanitarian organizations since 2004.

Source: Apparelnews

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Garments Trade Shows, Apparel Trade Fairs, Clothing Trade events, garment industry trade exhibition: Surf Expo in Orlando, Fla., drew more than 6,000 buyers
Surf Expo in Orlando, Fla., drew more than 6,000 buyers
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Garments Trade Shows, Apparel Trade Fairs, Clothing Trade events, garment industry trade exhibition
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