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Emerald’s Surf Expo is On Track to Expand by 20 Percent

MADDY RYLEY, ASSOCIATE EDITOR

ORLANDO, Fla. — Surf Expo, the leading watersports and beach lifestyle trade show produced by Emerald, will be held Jan. 4-6, 2023, at the Orange County Convention Center, and the show is forecasted to expand by more than 20% in attendees and exhibitors compared to the prior year.  

“The business of ‘beach’ continues to see growth with many retailers coming off two of their strongest years ever,” Roy Turner, SVP, Show Director at Emerald, said. “Now that supply chains are settling down, retailers are looking to have face-to-face conversations with their premium brands as well as look to diversify their open to buy, protecting themselves from any future supply chain disruptions.” 

Emerald’s Surf Expo in January will reach approximately 190,000 net square feet, compared to the January 2022 show. The January 2023 show already has 800 exhibiting brands signed up, with 100 being new exhibitors, including Apex Skimboards, Birkenstock, MISFIT and Just Black Denim among others. Early indications show that the September 2023 event is tracking along the same lines. 

“The past several show cycles we’ve focused squarely on providing the right mix of products to meet the needs of our retailers across our nine categories,” Turner said. “We focus much effort on understanding what buyers are looking for to ensure the brands on the floor are meeting their needs and vice versa. Our full time Buyer Relations team is dedicated to working directly with buyers, to help keep a pulse on their needs and challenges and help make connections. In addition, we continue to provide more sophisticated ways to connect, with our matchmaking platform for making appointments before and during the show, to providing lead retrieval apps for each exhibitor to build their databases and make post-show follow ups easy.”

Related. Surf Expo Rides a Wave of Show Growth 

“Surf Expo is the largest and longest running watersports and beach/resort lifestyle trade show in the world,” Turner said. “Attendees are able identify new trends, new brands, and meet face to face with manufacturers. Exhibitors are able launch new products, have candid conversations with their customers and reach an audience from all 50 states as well as a strong show from the Caribbean, Central and South America. Our new matchmaking tools allow attendees and exhibitors easier way to connect before during and after the event.” 

Related. Carving a New Niche, A Power Lunch with Roy Turner 

Surf Expo has experienced a strong bounce back from the pandemic, with the September 2022 show having an 18% increase in square footage from the September 2021 show, more than 645 exhibitors and more than 150 new brands. Retailer attendance increased 16% YOY. Some notable new brands to the September 2022 show were Bartolo Beachwear, Carber Skateboards, FoamLife, Salty Home and Trippy Outdoor.  

“While we are always looking to add events that create energy on our floor like live fashion shows, skate ramps, speakers, happy hours, and live music we strive to provide a consistent fashion forward marketplace that buyers and sellers can count on,” Turner said. “Our customer service is priority one and the majority of buyers and sellers know our staff by name. Our team is focused on connecting buyers and sellers before during and after the event.” 

Reach Roy Turner at (404) 510-6849 or Roy.Turner@surfexpo.com 

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