Sometimes the best way to cover a topic from a completely objective standpoint is to open up a big ass can of worms, and hope that some productive commentary ensues. That being said, in the first installment of this new column from TransWorld Business we’re focusing on the efforts that trade shows are currently making to draw skateboarding brands and shops to their shows by posing the question: What is it, exactly, that the skate industry wants from trade shows?
Over the past several seasons there has been an exodus of skate manufacturers from major, multi-sport trade shows in the U.S. and an upwelling of smaller skate-centric shows like The Moat Show in Tampa, Crossroads in Carlsbad, and now Focus in Philly—not to mention regional rep shows like the one slated for Cherry Hill, New Jersey and the rep shoe show DNA Distribution has set a tentative date to host in Dayton, Ohio on January 21.
As a result, several things have recently transpired. The Board Retailers Association released a petition urging skate manufacturers and retailers to attend Surf Expo. Aside from that, all of the shows have dedicated resources to creating concepts that will draw the skate community back to their respective show floors.
ASR has hosted everything from street contests to mega ramp events, and has now announced that it is partnering with Crossroads at its February show. Surf Expo recently announced Bangers 4 Bucks, which is a new skate contest format that has been well received according to the show’s Marketing Manager Sean O’Brien. Even more recently, Agenda Co-Founder Aaron Levant sent out a release that there will be a new skate-specific section on the show floor sponsored by The Berrics.
The industry’s trade shows are trying to appeal to skate retailers and manufacturers; the question is whether or not it’s working and what it will take for them to return en masse to these major trade events?
Please feel free to contribute your thoughts on the matter in the comment section below. This isn’t meant to become a forum full of negativity, rather a place to host constructive discussion on an important topic facing the action sports industry. Please refrain from slinging mud, take the high road and keep it above the belt. Posting annymously is strongly discouraged, and all comments are subject to deletion based on the comment policy clearly posted at the bottom of this forum.