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Next week, the Skatepark of Tampa launches a new business venture, The Moat Show, a trade show for the skate industry. I asked SPoT General Manager Ryan Clements why the company is getting into the trade show business and some details about the show.
Why is Skatepark of Tampa doing a trade show?
We saw a need for a skateboarding specific trade show on the East Coast. There is definitely a void in the relationships between the retailers and manufacturers, so Skatepark of Tampa/SPoTlight Productions is making an attempt to fill that gap.
What do you hope to accomplish?
The goal is to create a better, more relaxed environment for retailers to spend time with the manufacturers, get to know their reps, and view the product lines. The absence of strict rules and regulations will hopefully trigger stimulating conversation and help cultivate working relationships. That was the most PC answer I've ever given in my life.
Who is the target audience?
Anyone involved in skateboarding, but specifically the retailers and manufacturers.
If it's open to the public, do you think it will be more of a marketing event aimed at consumers?
We viewed the open to the public factor as an additional opportunity for the vendors to connect with the end customer. There have been a few concerns expressed by certain vendors, but we really don't see the 'public' being more than a couple hundred people. Granted, shops will bring their teams, employees, bros, etc., but it's like that at every trade show. Having the buyers there is key though, and getting their attention has been our focus. Finally, some brands are talking to us about planning giveaways and interaction based around 'public' participation.
Are retail buyers attending?
Yes, from what we know and have been told by the reps we're in contact with, appointments are being made and shops/buyers will be attending.
How many brands are attending?
All 42 booths are sold out, which represent approximately 75 brands.
Is this a line of business you plan to expand on?
With all of the talk and anticipation of the first ever Moat Show, it already looks like we should pick some future dates.
Would SPoT ever produce a trade show on the West Coast?
It would seem that ASR, Agenda, and CrossRoads has it covered, but if there was a demand then we would consider it.
Will SPoT be able to make money on the event?
Yes, we'll cover the expenses and will have a little left over, but the overall goal is for the future benefit of everyone involved in skateboarding. Not to go off on some crazy 'for skateboarders, by skateboarders' tangent, but it's about time that we get to do an East Coast trade show exactly how we want to on the property of Skatepark of Tampa.