Earlier this month, BRA representatives attended the much-anticipated Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida. For three days, we met awesome brands, attended great seminars, and had an amazing time. Here are some of the highlights:
This year, Surf Expo set up “The Neighborhood,” which was a lounge area that combined like-minded brands and amazing handcrafted coffee—a wonderful pairing, especially at such an intense trade show! Located at the heart of the surf section, it was the perfect way to keep energy high and connect with some of our favorite companies while exploring the Expo’s extensive offerings. Two of our favorites were the Wake section, which made a standout appearance this year thanks to incredible displays and top-of-the-line wakeboard boats, and the Freaker brand, which hail from our hometown of Wilmington, NC. They traveled with their band, the Harmonica Lewiniskis, whose tunes wowed the crowd at the end of each day.
As usual, Surf Expo hosted an exceptional series of educational seminars. With three seminars on Thursday and Friday and one on Saturday, attendees had many opportunities to sit in and listen to the speakers. In case you missed it, here were some great takeaways:
- Retail Innovation Panel – Selling an Experience
This great seminar was moderated by Glenn Brumage and included Todd Canipe, George Leichtweis, and Lee Elliot. Together, they discussed the power of “experiential retailing,” or the idea of selling an experience rather than a product. Offering in-store events and VIP parties are a great way to create loyalty and encourage community among your customer base.
- Optimize your Online Presence for the 2015 Digital Landscape
This entertaining and informative presentation by Mike Duncan included some great tips and best practices for SEO and Social Media. Not only did Mike deliver a vast amount of information, he provided numerous free tools and advice so retailers could implement his tactics in their own businesses. He kindly shared his presentation online—you can see the slides here.
- State of Surf
It wouldn’t be Surf Expo without a comprehensive snapshot of the surf market! Rob Campbell provided incredibly rich information about retail trends, consumer behavior, and brand rankings. These stats were extremely useful and will be a great resource for those of us in the surf industry. TransWorld Business has some of the stats available on their website—definitely worth checking out!