By TIFFANY MONTGOMERY
We continue checking in with trade shows today as trade show season approaches. Today, we hear from Roy Turner of Surf Expo.
One new Surf Expo feature Roy discusses is a Retail Survivor Series hosted by the Board Retailers Association on Aug. 19, the day before Surf Expo starts.
How is Surf Expo August shaping up?
Overall, good. Despite our economy, beach traffic has been steady this summer, and our retailers are saying that sales are beating their projections.
Do you expect the show to have as many exhibitors and attendees as last summer show?
With the exception of the windsurf manufacturers, we’ll have nearly the same number of exhibitors but not as many booths.
The attendee story is looking good. Our retailer pre-registration numbers are actually on par with numbers last year.
Are there any new features being introduced at this show?
We are excited to have our wakeboard pool actually on the show floor this year. Earlier this spring we offered a special free day of exhibitor training in California and Florida. At the show we’re continuing that theme with a daylong Retailer Survival Series by the Board Retailers Association on August 19 and a live, interactive painting demo for surfboard shapers from artist Drew Brophy. The 2009 Wake Awards are going to be great. Of course, we’ll also have our skate park and the fashion shows.
Are you seeing exhibitors opt for more cost-effective booth options?
Definitely. Many exhibitors are deciding this is not the show to bring in their custom booth and are focusing instead on how to present their new lines in a simple, cost-effective manner.
Several of our exhibitors are taking advantage of a turnkey booth package that we developed. Other exhibitors are planning trips to the local Home Depot, Ikea and the like for some on-site, low-cost booth designs that will still fit in with their brand image.
How is Surf Expo helping cash-strapped retailers get to the show?
The most obvious way is by negotiating hotel rates to the lowest in five years – starting at $55 per night. But our Buyer Relations team is constantly on the phone with retailers, helping them plan their shows now so they can get in and out of Orlando in the most time-effective manner with as little time spent out of the store as possible.