The Agenda Trade Show in Long Beach last week has proven itself to be the most successful show yet since the event launched back in 2003, according to the latest report from the show. More than 450 brands were at show, which spanned approximately 250,000 square feet of exhibition space across the Long Beach Convention Center, drawing a record-breaking attendance from retailers, buyers, and industry VIP alike. TransWorld Business had the chance to check in with Agenda President Aaron Levant to get his take on the show during day two:
A recap from the Agenda crew follows. Be sure to click through to page two and beyond in this post to read the official TransWorld Business report and see photos from both days on the tradeshow floor.
"The show was amazing. We had record attendance, all of the exhibitors were ecstatic, so we are really happy," said Aaron Levant, President of Agenda.
The business-oriented show featured the top brands like Volcom, Levi's, Hurley, RVCA, The Hundreds, Supra, Skullcandy and Vans, alongside the industry's up-and-comers in the Primer section of the show which was dedicated to the more than 50 independent brands.
"They did a good job at splitting the sections, which was a good way of making sense of the brands," said Obey Clothing marketing manager Steve Ternosky. "Agenda proves again to be ahead of the curve."
Brands have continued to make Agenda the place to launch lines, including Kelly Slater and Quiksilver's new independent brand, VSTR.
"This is our first Agenda, it's our launch, and we're really excited," said VSTR's John Moore. "We have received an amazing reaction from the industry and I think it is a breath of fresh air. The show is amazing, it is really impressive what the boys [Levant and partner Seth Haber] have done."
Among retailers and buyers, some attendees included Zumiez, Tilly's, PacSun, BC Surf & Sport, Jack's, Sun Diego, Coastal Edge, Karmaloop.com, Zappos.com, Fred Segal, Industrial Ride Shop, BackCountry.com, Journey’s, Gliks, Famous Footwear, Sports Chalet, Active and Val Surf.
"The set up has been really easy to navigate, there is a big brand selection, and it is really great to see all the brands," said senior Pacific Sun buyer Linda Fleming.
Prominent show attendees included Volcom CEO Richard Woolcott, La Jolla Group CEO Toby Bost, Hurley Chairman Bob Hurley, Vans President Kevin Bailey, RVCA President Pat Tenore and Quiksilver EVP Tom Holbrook.
As the show continues to see exponential growth, both in attendance and space, the independently owned Agenda proves again that it has endured the test of time. Agenda has established itself as the trade show to attend, both for retailers and brands. Next on Agenda's horizon is Agenda Tokyo, Japan January 18th and 19th, 2012. Then the show heads for New York on January 23rd and 24th.
The opening round of the first major action sports trade show of 2012, Agenda Long Beach, has officially wrapped up, and the mood was as high inside the convention center as the mercury was outside its walls.
For it's first show of the year, Agenda saw an amazing response as retailers from coast to coast rolled out to Long Beach for a show that many said reminded them of the early days of ASR. The mood at the trade show was high for most as it kicked off what all are hoping will be a turn around year for the industry and economy, and brought together streetwear brands along with a solid mix of skate brands in the Berrics section, BMX brands in their first dedicated section at Agenda, and up and comers for the Primer section. The Long Beach Convention Center's open floor plan made the show easy to navigate and retailers were pleased with the mix of established and emerging brands, not to mention the proximity to tons of restaurants, clubs, and venues that led to many a bleary eye on Friday.
"This is the perfect venue," says Drew Delgado, who handles sales for WeSC. "I've seen a lot of great buyers that I didn't expect to come out. I've never been to an Agenda like it, where so many good retailers and brands have all come together…The weather has been great too—it has people thinking about getting outside and going to the beach."
Sunny, mid-70 degree weather and an incoming swell had many attendees talking surf, and the few brands such as Answer, …Lost, and Rusty that were showing surf hardgoods were packed. However, the summer-like clime led to one major question that has people nervously vibrating across the country—the lack of snow. Salty Peaks owner Dennis Nazari has been selling longboards at his Salt Lake City, Utah shop around three to one to snowboards during a time of year when snowboard gear is usually paying the bills, and we caught up with him at the Sector 9 booth where he had just finished writing up a new order. The good news is product is still moving, the bad is that snow-specific brands are getting nervous, however most shops/brands are taking the view that the snow's got to come soon and low inventory volumes, along with strong early season sales, are also tempering panic. – Mike Lewis
FOLLOW THE JUMP FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THE SHOW’S FIRST DAY OF ACTION
New Years resolutions were in full effect this morning as buyers flooded the halls of the Long Beach Convention Center at The Agenda Tradeshow bright and early to meet with exhibiting brands and see the latest fashions for Fall 2012.
Take a look at some of the highlights from day one and stay tuned for much more trade show coverage to come: