Vaping expos have been one of the only ways for vapers to connect with their favourite e-cig manufacturers on a more personal level. Considering that most are based in China, a local vape expo is the perfect chance to take a look at the latest and greatest in the vaping world, and maybe get a few freebies along the way!
While these types of events have become more popular as years have progressed and the vaping industry has mainstreamed, the time has come to ask the question; are the vape expos cool?
Free vape gear - So you have been keeping an eye on your favourite manufacturer and can't wait for their next release. At the latest vape expo you head over to their stand and spot a product you have never seen before, and the best part is you can try it out and may even be given a free sample to take home! The excitement of getting to grips with the latest e-cig and being able to use it before virtually anyone else is definitely one of the things that can make an expo cool, plus who doesn't like free products?
Community - Free e-cigs and e-liquid aside, it’s also a great place to socialise with and encounter vaping friends. Maybe you are part of a vaping group or forum and all of you have arranged to meet up at the latest expo to talk about e-cigs and have a fun day together. The vaping community is vibrant and full of people ready and willing to advocate vaping to whoever will listen, while helping others who might be thinking about getting their first e-cig. It's a wonderful assortment of people who live, breathe and sleep vaping and the industry would not be the same without them.
Prizes & famous faces - Most vape expos hold competitions too, with plenty of chances to win some amazing prizes, and there have even been famous people associated with certain events (Professor Green, we're looking at you!) which helps to elevate vaping expos to another level.
While we can agree that there are certainly some cool things about vape expos, there are absolutely some aspects which can, and have caused them to become ‘uncool’ some examples of which are below.
Too many clouds of vapour – Yes you heard that right. Vape expos attract a lot of people who are all eager to try the latest products, and of course they have their own e-cigs too. When you have 10,000 vapers all walking around a relatively enclosed, sometimes poorly air conditioned area, the amount of vapour produced can literally cloud the venue out! Walking through the vast swathes of people in a constant fog can be off-putting for some, and may even keep some vapers away altogether.
The crowd – Some vape expos pack in as many people as possible, which is all well and good until peak times, where it can be difficult to get to the stands you want, or even when trying to grab some lunch or go to the toilet, the queues can stretch a fairly long way. While a sold out expo is a positive, it can sometimes be a little bit too much, with certain venues being under-equipped to cater for the vast amounts of people coming to visit.
There is also the question regarding vendors, some of whom are guilty of portraying the vaping industry in a less than flattering light. It is quite common to find scantily clad models walking around handing out flyers, or e-liquids being branded to resemble soft drink and ice cream brands, which can appeal to children. This sort of marketing needs to stop so our industry can move forward, and become a true beacon of hope to all those who are looking to quit smoking.
Not for everyday vapers – There is no doubt that vape expos attract large amounts of people from all over the country, however do these events really cater to the average vaper? A majority of those who visit are usually fully entrenched within the world of vaping, indeed seeing it just as much a hobby as they do a way to keep off cigarettes. Whilst this is not a ‘negative’ it could alienate your average vaper who uses an e-cigarette for the sole purpose of quitting smoking, without necessarily wanting to build coils or chuck out huge clouds of vapour.
There is no doubt that vape expos offer people the chance to connect with their favourite e-cig manufacturers, get some free products and meet up with fellow vaping friends, but are they really that cool? If they attracted more everyday vapers and wasn’t all about cloud competitions and soft drink branded e-liquids, then perhaps it would be a place for all kinds of vapers to visit and feel comfortable talking to others about their vaping stories, while portraying the vaping industry in a more positive light.