Agenda Announces Consumer Day

After 14 years of producing trade-only shows, Agenda will add a consumer day to its July 15 show at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif.

Aaron Levant, founder of Agenda, recently announced the addition of the consumer day. At the event, the trade-show floor of the Long Beach Convention Center will transform itself from a forum of booths to an estimated 500 pop-up shops of prominent and emerging surf, skate and lifestyle brands. Agenda forecasts that 10,000 people will buy tickets to go to the show’s consumer day. They will have the opportunity to purchase upcoming wares from the consumer-day vendors as well as take in meet-and-greets from athletes and designers.

The consumer day also will feature musical performances, art installations, panel discussions and a food section featuring food trucks and appearances by restaurants. “This is an entirely new platform disrupting all conventional trade-event formats,” Levant said. “I believe as an industry we spend too much time talking to ourselves when the line is now blurred between brands, consumers, retailers and media companies. Now is the time to break the established mold of the past. We’re tearing down the walls around the industry and letting the fans come pouring in.”

In the past, consumer days have been an often-discussed option to create an additional revenue stream for trade shows. But few have actually produced a consumer day. In November, Levant experimented mixing a trade show and a comic-convention format with the inaugural ComplexCon, which also took place at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Levant worked with comic-convention producer Reed Pop and media platform Complex to produce the event. Reed Pop’s parent company, Reed Exhibitions, owns Agenda. An estimated 25,000 people purchased $45 ComplexCon tickets to view installations from art star Takashi Murakami, dance at hip-hop shows, and purchase T-shirts, caps and jackets from brands such as Champion Athletics, Surf Is Dead and Alpha Industries. Retailers Pacific Sunwear and Urban Outfitters also produced shops at ComplexCon.

Agenda has been looking to heighten its profile. After its January show, Levant announced that Agenda would develop a marketing division that would produce events and pop-up shops. At the January show, prominent streetwear and action-sports brands Obey, RVCA, Vans and DC Shoes produced booths at the biannual Agenda. Agenda also produces biannual shows in New York and Las Vegas.