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Surf Expo Orlando signals new trade show landscape

...Lost booth at Surf Expo © Surf Expo

Industry News 

Surf Expo Takes Over the Action-Sports Arena

Surfersvillage Global Surf News
, 17 January, 2011 : - - Orlando -- Coming off what was reportedly a strong holiday season, attendees and exhibitors arrived at Surf Expo, held Jan. 6–8 at the Orange County Convention Center, to find a new trade show landscape.

With the demise of the Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo, Surf Expo becomes the biggest action-sports trade show in the country. Nipping at its heels, however, is the Agenda trade show, which debuted a larger format with dates directly coinciding with Surf Expo.

Many key brands opted to participate in both shows. A handful, including Hurley, chose to support only the Surf Expo show, while a few, including Volcom, sat out the East Coast show. Despite a soft opening day, show organizers reported a more than 9 percent increase in attendance over the same show last year. Exhibitors said they were pleased with the retailer turnout, especially on the show’s second day.

“With Agenda being held the same days, there was potential for the retailer base to be split,” said Mike Martin, vice president of sales and marketing for Ezekiel. Although the bulk of buyers on the show floor proved to be East Coast and international buyers, some West Coast retailers made the trek east, including Jack’s Surf Shop and Sun Diego.

The show—which attracted biggies such as O’Neill, Quiksilver, Roxy, Rip Curl, Vans, Reef and Billabong—greeted buyers with a segmented apparel offering. The show was too early for some brands to show their Fall 2011 collections, so retailers were met with exhibitors showing Immediate, Summer and Fall apparel.

Nearly all exhibitors showing Fall 2011 lines reported increased prices to reflect the rising costs of Chinese labor and cotton. “It’s a perfect storm right now,” said Ezekiel’s Martin. Some brands noted they were leaning more heavily on synthetic fabrics and cotton blends, but virtually all said that wholesale costs for goods would go up by 10 percent to 20 percent for Fall 2011.

Read the full article at Apparel News

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