Long Beach has the sun, the sand, the Queen Marry, a ton of local flavor and, twice a year, a crowing glory: Agenda trade show. With heightened security this season, in an attempt to keep out the legions of gatecrashers, Aaron Levant continues to grow his show into the hippest show/party on the tradeshow circuit.
It seems no booth is too much, from Vans cooking up fresh waffles for their Waffle Cup skate technology to the Brothers Marshall beach scene complete with real sand, lifeguard shack and umbrellas to Silvercar’s Agenda emblazoned Audi.
The giants were all here from Hurley to Volcom to RVCA to Adidas, all with minions of busy-looking marketing peeps. Flex Fit played out their homage to Dad Hats with their wall of cartoon dad portraits from Barney Rubble to Sylvester the Cat, all of them fathers. Jansport celebrated their 50th anniversary in high style, displaying their worldwide artist collaboration backpacks that will be the envy of every American back-to-schooler.
E-commerce giants Shopify even had a white clad booth beckoning retailers and brands alike with their Shopify Plus service that already backs 275,000 merchants around the globe. Across the way, Aussie giant Dues Ex Machina honored four years in the US with its various cool collections including Barmy Army inspired military jackets, tees, bikes and such made with a bit more quality and esteem for, as their marketing director says, “the boho traveler who has the means to stay out of the hostel.”
But it’s often the smaller guys who steal the show. Take, for example, Long Beach’s own Rastaclat, the bracelet accessories brand that’s now five years old and thriving with braided shoelace bands in every color of the rainbow including sparkling gold. Or, a happy booth by Big Bud with their 70s-inspired clothing patches, badges and bright satin skate jackets. The Stance socks booth gets bigger and bolder each season, this time showcasing their 2 Pac socks front and center.
Inventive brand Olloclip was there with their ingenious camera lenses for iPhones. A local company with over 70 patents, they offer the professional photog ease away from his or her heavy gear bag with four-in-one, fish eye, wide angle and macro lenses that simply slide right over your mobile. Their spokesdog, Rupert, was there, helping create hype.
And, last but not least for this season’s round up is streetwear brand Clsc, whose owner, Josh Vides, a fan of football’s Umbro, walked up to them one day, proposed a collab and, this season, was there, showcasing one, super cool beige suede shoe atop some inviting soccer Astroturf.
Agenda continues its tour de force to Miami next month and Vegas the month after, bringing the jovial melee right along with it.
For more information on trade shows check out DFV Group’s expocheck.com.