What: Triannual retail show for buyers in the surf, skate, snow, swim, youth and fashion markets.
Where: San Diego Convention Center
Date 2008: Jan. 25–27 (tentative)
Date 2007: Jan. 25–27
Floor space: 130,000 sq. ft.
Floor space last year: 124,000 sq. ft.
No. of attendees: 18,000-plus
No. of attendees last year: 7,000-plus
No. of exhibitors: 325
No. of exhibitors last year: 275
Producer comment: "The attendance was better spread out," said Andy Tompkins, show director, of a schedule that included for the first time two weekdays. "As the market consolidates, buyers are becoming more powerful. You tend to work with a professional buyer who likes a Monday-to-Friday work week."
Exhibitor comment: "We're not only learning the industry, but meeting a lot of players," said Todd Bradley of the newly minted Pohaku Design, a Honolulu-based paddle surfing com-pany. "It validated what we're doing."
Breakdown: Strength in the retail category is reflected in the show's physical size and attendance. VNU reacted to a market consolidation with a change to its model that spread attendance more evenly throughout the show, allowing exhibitors to spend time with both buyers from chain retailers and also independent shops. Category-related features like the Board Builders Pavilion provided added value.