Surf Expo’s Bluewater category launched last year as an examination of the crossover occurring between fishing brands and the larger market of coastal life. Since then, the show has become a must-attend event for fishing and boating retailers savvy enough to stay ahead of the trends water-loving consumers crave. Surf Expo 2019 in January will be no different.
The world’s largest and longest-running board and watersports show has packed the floor of its Bluewater—offshore, inshore and freshwater fishing—category headed into the Jan. 10-12 show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Popular brands traditionally associated with the waterman and outdoor sporting lifestyle will show off their latest and greatest, giving retailers a hands-on first-look at the products that will drive the industry in 2019.
Included in the Bluewater category are top brands like Bluewater sponsor Hell’s Bay Boatworks, Yeti, Otterbox, Fish Hippie, AFTCO, Guy Harvey, Marsh Wear, 5Fin, Salt Life, Bimini Bay, Hooked Soul, Heybo, XTRATUF, Dry Case, Bluewater Gear, Wave Life, Sunday Afternoons and more. Many of fishing’s big hitters will be there along with a huge contingent of brands that appeal to the on-the-water lifestyle. With the crossover evident in today’s marketplace, retailers and outfitters who target only their small niche are missing out on a powerful revenue source. Why sell to just the hardcore boater and angler when you could be unloading cool merchandise on the angler as well as his entire family?
“The Bluewater section offers the opportunity for buyers to see the latest in trends for fishing and boating apparel and accessories at a time when retailers can leave their store,” said Kenneth Andres, with Surf Expo. “With our confluence from southern California, the Pacific Northwest, the Northeast, the Southeast, the Caribbean, Central and South America, this is a trend-setting show.”
The economy is churning and consumer spending and confidence levels are higher than they have been for almost 20 years. Surf Expo is a timely opportunity for retailers to preview product for what promises to be a very busy spring season for fishing, boating and watersports retailers.
“January is the best time to preview and order new product lines before the season starts,” said Andres. “Retailers can get out of their shops to talk with exhibitors and see and touch the product before they order, plus take advantage of early incentive discounts.”
And for the angling marketplace, where there may be a down season but there is no off-season, Surf Expo 2019 will feature an array of exhibitors offering at-once product to fill the racks. This is an opportunity to stock the hottest new gear before the competition has even seen it.
The show features more than 2,500 booths of apparel and hard goods and a full line-up of special events, including fashion shows, awards ceremonies, education and demos. Average buyer and exhibitor turnout exceeds 28,600 attendees per show.
And it’s a trade-only show, which eliminates the hubbub and massage-chair hawkers of open-to-the-public trade shows. Surf Show is intentionally held during retail down time—the January restocking period for outdoor-sports retailers—so it is a marketplace to get business done in a laid-back atmosphere.
“When people come to the Surf Expo for the first time, they notice the relaxed, cool atmosphere. It’s that lifestyle we all buy into, and there are a lot of beautiful people at a surf show,” said Andres. “It’s just a great place to be if you’re in the watersports industry. If you’ve got a fishing, boating, or watersports shop, come check it out for yourself.”
For more information, on January’s Surf Expo 2019 in Orlando, go to www.surfexpo.com