The last day of The Big Gear Show was more sparsely populated than the previous two days, but plenty of attendees still turned out for one more day of handshakes (and/or fist bumps) and shop talk before everyone packed up their wares to head home. It was hot today—the hottest day of the show—and for many, the paddlesports demo area was the place to be.
In total, 138 companies brought 206 individual brands to the show, with 421 retailers (individuals, not shops) and 71 media rounding out the experience.
“These numbers represent the people that made The Big Gear Show a reality,” wrote Matthew Pacocha, senior account manager at Verde Brand Communications (which represented the show), after the event ended. “[Show organizers] are proud to have pulled this thing off, and they’re already looking for ways to make it better. They’ll be on the same search for ideas, back pats, constructive criticism, and feedback from both exhibitors and retailers—starting right now.”
As we made our rounds on this last day, there were definitely two schools of thought we encountered about how the whole thing came off. On one hand, we heard from brands disappointed with the lack of retailer participation and attendance. Next year, these folks said, they hope to see more shops represented from day one. On the other hand, some vendors loved how the show turned out, finding incredible value in the small format and demo-centered experience. As you can see in our exhibitor and retailer hot takes below, opinions were all over the map.
That said, the big question on everyone’s mind, as the show wound down, was whether or not it will happen again next year. On that point, Pacocha was clear.
“Tomorrow, [show organizers] start planning for 2022,” he wrote.
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