After day one of Know?Show Jan/12 we sat down with show’s GM Perry Pugh and talked about the past present and future.
What is new for this show?
We have a much larger footprint allowing us to open up more common area. The show is up to 100,000 sqft.
We have a music area that is sponsored by Red Bull. We featured the artist Rich Hope at the end of day one.
On top of that, we are seeing new brands coming to the show, distributors picking up new brands, vendors and company heads visiting the show from the US and a general theme a solid growth with the right brands and people in place to make it a success.
How many shows have you done and what hurdles have you dealt with along the way.
This is our seventh year of business and our 13th show. It’s consistently grown every year.
It’s tough for me to point out any major hurdles with the show over the years. It has been more of a long list of growing pains and the little things you have to deal with last minute. Every time it happens we learn and improve.
There is a personal element to your job. Most of these people are friends. How does that effect your job and dealing with growing pains.
Everyone is in this together and we are so lucky that in our market there is such a good pier group. When there is a bump in the road people understand and we work around it.
Do people consider this as a national show?
We like to think so. We’ve got retailers hear from as far as Newfoundland and we have brands from all across North America. Vancouver is a destination city and it has a lot to offer as far as snowboarding, nightlife, events and a huge industry presence. We hope this entices people to come and get some work down but also have some fun.
Is this a working show or a high five show?
I think it’s a bit of both. I had a retailer tell me last year that the show reminded them of high school. Five minutes before the bell, people are milling around the halls, slapping fives, telling jokes but when the clock ticks it’s straight to the booth and get your work done. Every few hours it resets.
Reps are stacking 40 to 60 appoints over a few days and retailers are leaving with boxes of catalogues.
Where do you see the show five years from now?
I think if we can consistently grow the unique brand offering then we’ll in turn grow out retail partners. Hopefully in five years from now the economic state will be stronger. The key to success will be defining what categories we can grow on. We’ll need to maintain a strong mix of reputable brands mixing with the right retailers and rep force.