Since 1999, Champs Trade Shows has established itself as the premier counterculture b2b wholesale trade expo for the smoke shop industry. Champs has been a global trailblazer as a specialty gift show for contemporary smoking accessories, hand-blown glass, clothing, and everything else for the specialty gift market. Champs has grown into the world’s largest and most popular convention bringing hundreds of exhibitors face-to-face with thousands of retail and wholesale buyers from all over the globe four times a year.
Exhibitors including manufacturers, wholesalers, glass artists, inventors, and many others come together under one roof to view the massive selection of smoking accessories, 420 products, clothing, hand blown glass and more. Champs highlights include the internationally known glassblowing competition known as a Flame-Off, the Champs Glass Game. Featuring the talents of the some of the world’s top glass blowers competing in live events vying to win over $50,000 in cash and prizes.
Always original, always groundbreaking, like no other trade show.
A trade show is an exhibition organized so companies in a specific industry can showcase their wares, network with others in their industry, reasearch the activities of rivals, and learn about new technologies and opportunities realated to their field. Trade shows are fundamentally marketing tools for participating companies and attendees need to have appropriate expectations. Meaning go armed with the knowledge of what you don’t know and want to learn. Pricing? New technology? New clients?
Trade shows are still relevant and effective as long as exhibitors go in with a solid plan and a good sales strategy post show. 75% of trade show leads are not followed up on so just a little discipline post show goes a long way. it all comes down to managing your expenses and getting enough quality leads that you developed some kind of connection with and are able to see long term gains from that trade show.
“The industry is in it’s infant days,” says company president Jeff Hirschfeld, who owns the company along with vice president Peter Jesness. “It’s exploding all over the country and the world, and this is only the beginning.” The upcoming show at the Las Vegas Convention Center on February 3-5 next year, will feature 700 exhibit booths and from 10,000 to 15,000 attendees. The amount of business transacted, according to Hirschfeld, should approach $40 million.
While some trade shows have suffered with decreased attendance due to the growth of the internet, Champs has remained unaffected. “The 420 industry is exploding so fast that after six to nine months things are not hot anymore,” Hirschfeld suggests. “You have to keep up with the hottest stuff.”
Looking out over the next 20 to 25 years, Hirschfeld sees a horizon that is nearly limitless. “We see industry growth of 20% to 25% a year for the next 15 to 20 years due to the expansion of medical marijuana and a very good counterculture industry.”
What lawmakers in Washington, DC, and in state legislatures around the country will or won’t do, he admits, remains unknown. “I haven’t the slightest idea what they are going to do. They set the guidelines and we just play within the rules.”
“Medical marijuana is becoming more and more popular. Some states are actually legalizing marijuana for use, so all those things will only help us. People will always enjoy sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. There is always going to be a counter-culture industry.” Which means there will always be lots of money being made at the Champs Trade Shows.