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ASR and Surf Expo Recap

Back from yet another tradeshow season, this month’s shows focusing on the upcoming Fall 2009 season and back to school fashions. Last go around of tradeshows I reported a noticeable decrease in attendance from both brands and retailers, needless to say with our current economic status, turnout was again less than desirable. Booth sizes have been cut back, details have been minimized, and the normal above and beyond attitude reflected in the booth designs alone have been greatly scaled back. I saw a lot more “pipe and drape” style booths this year, reminding me of days back when ASR was just getting going. Gone were the full production showroom style booths giving out free shwag, beer, and holding concerts. This year it was strictly business.

It was estimated that only 1/3 of the regularly attending exhibitors were in attendance this month, at shows on both shows, Surf Expo in Orlando, FL., and ASR in San Diego, CA. Equally so were the lack of retailers in attendance during normal business hours. This year Surf Expo hosted a preview day, one day earlier than the scheduled show dates, to give a sneak peak at the line. This offered major retailers more of a comfortable and quite experience allowing more time and focus to be paid, a nice new advantage for both brand and buyers. At ASR, something else brands opted to do was create separate meeting spaces outside of the tradeshow space, renting meeting rooms in the convention center, but out of the main floor mix. Upstairs brands such as DC, Reef, and Rusty gave accounts more seclusion which may in fact helped as it brought more attention to them outside of the hodge podge of booths. Notably missing were the big time brands of Quiksilver and Hurley, two huge surf empires that left a void on the show floor as they are usually a major part of the essence of the tradeshows.

Though the shows were smaller and much quieter than seasons and years past, there was a positive feel amongst the quietly shuffling crowds. Business as usual for most of the brands, staying the course and knowing that even though times are tough there is work to be done. We will see what the months ahead bring for the action sports community and what the next round of tradeshows in September will hold.

Here are some pictures from ASR:

Camp recession

Volcom’s Vee-Haw

Dropping in on the mega ramp

Ando & Friends

Gren Noll and 5ones Editor, Cameron

Lost Surfboards

Lots of decks

No Fear Girl

Firewire boards

Bob Burnquist doing laps on the mega ramp

Slater’s boards

More decks

Nixon’s new headphones

Sector 9 going big

Free mags for all

Live art

ASR fashion show

Skull Candy DJ

Sad :(

Skate furniture

‘Nuff said

High ollie comp

Vert ramp demo

The joke of ASR

A couple pics from the Agenda Tradeshow. Not quite as big as ASR, but not much smaller either.

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Posted by Megan on Monday, January 26th, 2009 in Industry.


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