Atlanta, Ga.-based Surf Expo has added a seasonedsurf industry veteran and substantial marketing firepower to its 2002West and East Coast Back-To-School (BTS) trade show series. Slatedfor March 11-12 at the Anaheim Convention Center (Anaheim, Calif.) andMarch 26-27 at the Ocean City Convention Center (Ocean City, MD), SurfExpo has created three new positions to oversee development of thenation’s first surf/skate/street BTS series.
Beginning later this month, Surf Expo will employ a comprehensivemarketing campaign, implemented by newly appointed MarketingDirector, Daniel Darby. Based in Atlanta, Darby brings more than 15years of advertising, direct marketing, event management and publicrelations experience to the East Coast’s leading producer of tradeshows for the boardsports and watersports.
Spearheading the launch of the inaugural Surf Expo West is KellyMacrides, Field Marketing Manager. Formerly Executive Director of theOrange County, Calif.-based Surf Industry Manufacturers Association(SIMA) for nearly 10 years, Macrides was instrumental in growingmembership from 20 to more than 350 manufacturers. During hertenure, the organization’s annual Waterman’s Ball went from a fledglingfund-raiser to a nationally recognized gala that has donated more than1.5 million dollars to ocean-related environmental causes.
Macrides also presided over the launch of several successful sport andindustry initiatives including the Surf Summit and Surfing America. Shehas extensive specialty retailer experience and will operate out of asatellite office in Dana Point, Calif. Macrides’ counterpart on theopposite coast is Julie Kinser, who will facilitate the integration of SurfExpo East, formerly known as the “B-Rad” show.
Surf Expo announced the West Coast’s first-ever surf/skate/streetback-to-school trade show this past April in response to industrydemand. Quiksilver (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Hurley (Costa Mesa,Calif.) are among the top manufacturers committed to exhibiting. Anumber of Southern California retailers have also expressed support fora back-to-school show including Ron Jon’s (Orange), Jack’s Surfboardsand Huntington Surf & Sport (Huntington Beach), Becker’s (Hermosa)and Sun Diego (San Diego).
Initially slated as a 200 booth “pipe and drape” show, Surf Expo Westhas already expanded to 300 booths. And, according to Macrides,”Due to manufacturer response, hard-walled booths have beenadded.” As a convenience to exhibitors, show management hassecured Friday, March 8 as an early move-in date, eliminating expensive”weekend” set-up costs.
Hiring of these very qualified individuals demonstrates the extent ofSurf Expo’s commitment to growth on the West Coast and theback-to-school series overall,” said Lori Kisner, vice president ofsports/retail for dmg world media, Surf Expo’s parent company. “Dan(Darby) and Julie (Kinser) are valuable additions to the team. Kelly(Macrides) has brought a lot to this industry and understands it. She’srecognized as a leader.”
Surf Expo’s entry into the back-to-school market follows three years ofextensive research that shows nearly 30% of the industry’s total annualsurf shop and specialty store sales are for Fall-related products. “Together the two shows provide surf industry manufacturers with aunique forum timed to meet the growing demands of the back-to-schoolmarket selling season,” said Macrides.