Back in 2011, there were about 7 million vapers worldwide, now that number is at a whopping 42 million. Market research group, Euromonitor estimates the number of vapers worldwide will rise to 55 million in the next couple of years, and the market for vaping is predicted to reach a staggering value of $50 billion by the year 2025.
Whatever the figure, one thing is certain . . . this is an exciting time to be in the vaping business and there’s been no better time to make the most of the many vaping exhibitions that are growing rapidly as a result.
Looking to find out more about the best vaping get-togethers on the planet? Let’s look at why the vaping industry has taken the exhibition world by storm and explore some of the biggest and most important vape expos in the world.
Setting the World Alight
Whereas 10 years ago you might have got a waft of cigarette smoke in your face walking down the high-street, these days you are far more likely to get a whiff of a scented aroma from a passer-by’s vaping device. As millions of ex-smokers have already switched to e-cigarettes or vape pens, the sudden and swift success of vaping is easy to grasp.
In the UK there are currently an estimated 7.2 million smokers. As anyone who has ever been a smoker can testify, every smoker is a person who is desperate to quit – and vaping is their solution. According to official government statistics, out of the 2.8 million vapers across the country the majority of them have stopped smoking tobacco products completely and are now regular users of e-cigarettes or vaping devices. The tobacco industry’s loss is clearly the vaping industry’s gain.
As more and more ex-smokers stub out their last fag and turn to e-cigarettes, there is no doubt that the vaping industry is flourishing. But it’s also one that has already encountered many early challenges . . .
In 2014 an EU Directive prohibited e-cigarette companies from advertising through the usual mass media channels such as TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. Even online promotion of these products is restricted as vaping companies are banned from internet display advertising and commercial e-mail campaigns. Promotion of vaping products on social media is also proving a contentious issue. In December 2019, a BBC News story revealed how the Advertising Standards Agency banned Instagram posts promoting e-cigarettes.
This means vaping businesses need to work harder to promote their products. Fortunately for them, this legislation doesn’t apply to exhibitions. Which explains why vape expos are so huge and the events are attracting a growing number of dedicated and enthusiastic vapers every year.
Full Steam Ahead
Being one of the fastest-growing industries in the world with limited publicity opportunities means vaping expos are radically different from other exhibitions. In fact, the prohibition of mass media advertising has meant that vape expos are the one place where vapers can congregate to try out the countless e-liquid flavours on offer and the array of vaping gear on the market.
Vapers certainly aren’t lacking choice when it comes to their e-cigarette or vaping devices. The list of items and equipment being exhibited at these events seems never-ending. Although the main attractions might be the e-liquids and mods, you will also see a range of RDAs, tanks, coils, wire, and even batteries – as well as pretty much any other item connected to vaping you could possibly imagine.
For vaping businesses, exhibitions are the best places to showcase these products and make their brand stand out from the crowd.
But vape expos are also much more than this – a lot more. Over the last couple of years, they have become the one place where die-hard fans of vaping can gather to indulge in an almost fanatical obsession.
Blowing off Steam
This enthusiasm for a piece of plastic full of liquid may seem odd to outsiders, but not when you realise that vaping is more like a hobby to its community. Rather like a gadget show crossed with a wine tasting party, vapers are highly passionate about finding out about the latest vaping equipment on the market and the variety of new e-liquid flavours they can experience.
At some of the larger-scale events, the atmosphere is something approaching a cross between an alternative rock festival and a carnival, as DJs and often outlandish entertainment shows draw in big, excited crowds.
The Biggest Vape Expos in the UK
As the vaping community here in the UK seems to consist of a subculture of aficionados, it’s not surprising to discover the exhibitors at such events take the expo experience to new levels.
Leading exhibition designers, Quadrant2Design, state that “vaping exhibitions push boundaries with highly creative exhibition designs that draw inspiration from tattoo and graffiti artwork”.
These eye-catching displays are often accompanied by loud music, costumes, lights and promo models. Even if you’re not a vaper, attending such an event can still be an amazing visual experience.
The Vaper Expo, NEC Birmingham: Steamrolling to the Top Spot
The biggest vape expo in Britain, and also Europe, is by far The Vaper Expo at the NEC and Olympia London. If you’re a manufacturer, supplier or distributor of vaping products then there is probably no better UK show for your business to exhibit at – this is where anyone who is anyone in vaping needs to be seen. With over 20,000 visitors and 300 exhibitors, if you’re still not convinced by how big a deal the vaping industry is, then go along to one of the shows and see for yourself.
Vape Jam, Excel London: Vape Expo Pioneers
A strong contender for Vaper Expo’s crown is Vape Jam, which takes place at ExCel London. As the UK’s first vaping trade show, starting the ball rolling back in 2014, the event organisers can proudly boast they are pioneers in vaping exhibiting.
To distinguish itself from The Vaper Expo, and other competitors, Vape Jam is introducing more targeted B2B events for their future exhibitions. Their shows will now include seminars and workshops by vaping industry leaders, and feature panel discussions from policymakers, researchers and business owners. If you’re a vaping business this could be an invaluable opportunity to gain insights into the direction of your industry and the issues surrounding it.
If you’re a new vaping company, you could take advantage of Vape Jam’s new special pricing for start-ups looking to enter the market. As the vaping expo with the longest track record, Vape Jam are still leading the way with these incentives for exhibitors – it will be interesting to see if the other vape expos follow suit or choose to go down a different route.
Vape Expos Across the UK: Building up Steam
Across the UK, there are now several other smaller vaping expos or conventions, each one growing significantly in numbers each year. At many of these, you can expect somewhere between 100 – 200 different companies to be exhibiting.
In northern England, the vaping community congregate at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens for Vape-X. This event includes a special “rising star” area to support new-to-market brands that need exposure and are looking for feedback on their products and business strategies.
Moving further north, Scotland will be holding its first-ever vaping exhibition next year as the CBD & Vape Expo comes to the SEC in Glasgow. As a brand new vaping expo, details about the show and the number of exhibitors is still unknown. But as this is Scotland’s largest exhibition centre, you can expect this to become a popular and important fixture on the ever-expanding vaping exhibiting calendar in future years.
The Biggest Vape Expos in the Rest of Europe
Outside the UK, one of the larger vape expos in Europe is Vapor Fair, held in Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany. As more of an industry insider’s event, this is one of the best events for suppliers and manufacturers to introduce and promote their products to financially strong purchasers – making it a highly beneficial vape event for exhibitors.
Moving north in Germany, you can find The Hall of Vape in Hamburg. Focusing solely on e-cigarettes - and claiming to be the biggest e-cigarettes expo in Europe - this show is most famous for its huge testing area. This is where the event’s 23,000 visitors can try out some of the rarest and latest e-cigarettes products.
Vapexpo Paris is certainly another significant vaping event worthy of a mention. For the past five years it has been running vape shows twice a year, so can rightly claim to be a bit of a pioneer on the French vaping exhibition scene.
If you fancy attending an expo with a sunnier climate, the Vape Barcelona Expo is now the largest one in Spain. In a country where there is now a huge demand for premium vaping products, this is an ideal location for businesses, consumers and manufacturers to get together.
Although Europe can boast it has some of the most established vape expos in the world, none of them are yet a match for the biggest vaping exhibition of them all. That honour belongs to China. Shenzhen, China to be precise . . .
IECIE Shenzhen: Visit the Home of Vaping
As Shenzhen is officially the vape manufacturing capital of the world, it is no surprise to learn this vaping Mecca is home to the IECIE E-Cig Expo, where over 400 exhibitors and an incredible 71,000 visitors convene at the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center Hall in April.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that vaping wouldn’t exist were it not for Shenzhen. Which perhaps explains why this particular expo is more product and gadget focused than others. Feeling more like a walk on the deck of the Starship Enterprise than the alternative rock concert vibe of Vape Jam or The Vaper Expo, IECIE is the event for anyone involved or interested in vaping manufacturing. Here you will see the latest cutting edge vaping products from high-end brands like Vaporesso, Ijoy, Aspire, Innokin, Geekvape and Suorin.
Just to give you some scale of the size of IECIE, many of the exhibitions stands here will have more floor space than the vaping shops of your high street. Organisers predict that next year’s IECIE will even be twice as large, which is just mind-blowing considering how large this event already is.
The Vape Showcase, Houston: Where B2B Opportunities Take Off
Famous for being the world capital of space exploration, the city of Houston, Texas, is now the go-to place for vaping businesses looking to make global contact opportunities. The Vape Showcase held at Houston’s NRG Center is, by far, the world’s biggest networking event for vaping businesses. Founded by a team of promotion specialists and business management professionals, the primary focus of this Texan convention is B2B vaping opportunities.
Vapecon, Pretoria: Let off Some Steam
One of the most entertaining and enjoyable Vape expos on the planet has to be Vapecon held at South Africa’s Heartfelt Arena, Pretoria. This event is very much about competitions and prizes, with everything from cloud-blowing contests and juice shootouts. If you’ve only been to B2B exhibitions or the more technical vaping gadget ones, this is a chance to blow off steam, let your hair down and have some serious fun with vaping products.
These are some of the biggest and best vaping expos you can attend. On a planet where the vaping craze is taking off in every corner, you are never too far away from a large vaping event to attend. Whether you want to learn about the latest vaping gadgets, make vital B2B connections, promote your brand to a receptive audience, or just participate in games and have some fun . . . there’s a vaping expo waiting for you.
Article provided by: Quadrant2Design