Just a little over 2 years ago (October 11, 2013) Mooch and Myself hosted VapeMania 13. It was a humble little shindig – 6 vendors, 300 people – and 3 hours of awesome.
It was a small beginning.
We often said at that time that we were not in the convention business – and we weren’t. A 3 hour meet surely does not constitute being in a convention business. What we saw was fantastic though.
The secret to the success – the atmosphere.
The Atmosphere of VapeMania 13 was electric – people who had “online beef” were suddenly sharing space, laughing together, and enjoying the company of fellow vapers – all who were on the same journey together: Quit Smoking.
Most had already accomplished this goal, and defeated that Goliath in their own lives, some hadn’t. A successful “crush out” at our event lended new devices to current smokers, and the over all feeling of VapeMania 13 was of warmth and welcome.
Mooch and I sat at coffee the next day – we already knew a VapeMania 14 would happen – we just didn’t know in what capacity. Could we accomplish something bigger? Could we do a convention? Multi day maybe?
Through a connect I had at the Benton Convention Center – we reached out and began learning about what it would take to do such a daunting thing. We originally were set to book half of the hall – but with such a quick response from vendors we soon decided to expand it to the whole room. 80 vendor spaces for a 2 day convention set for August 29th and 30th, 2014. VapeMania 14 was a success as well, as we learned a lot about our selves as a company, and the vaping industry as a whole.
As we moved into the end of the year we were shocked to find out we had been voted 3rd best convention by readers and viewers of Guide to Vaping. We were humbled – but it also lit a fire in us to do more – be better – be great. 2015 was upon us – and we were going to do something better.
From there – we asked ourselves… could we do a second convention in a half year – instead of the traditional full year? We said yes – and we challenged ourselves to book more vendor spots for the room. 130 spots was the increase – for our first Spring convention – VaperSlam.
We announced VapeMania 15 . We upped the spots just a few more – and focused on new ideas like Workshops and even more emphasis on advocacy. Advocacy is the most important thing in our industry that the fewest people are familiar with – and we are driven to change that in any way that Mooch and Myself can. Again, humbly, the resounding remarks about VapeMania 15 was that it was yet another success – but we had already learned of some obstacles that would change our future. VapeMania 15 was another huge success – people were talking about it – they enjoyed it, and the feeling we had was amazing. Humbling – for lack of better words.
We had already learned that the Benton Convention Center would be going under an 18 month or more construction – and we would need a new venue. Not just that, but we were honestly out growing it as it were – so the move made sense.
So we announced VaperSlam 2 – Charlotte.
We will continue to work on new avenues for entertainment, information, fun, excitement, and most of all , advocacy. We have big plans in the future as well – VaperSlam 2 is just the beginning of what’s to come! With VaperSlam 2 planning and booking well underway – we hope with our hearts that we can bring to you yet another amazing convention. We thank you all for sticking with us – and joining the 1000s who come to our humble little state and partake in the merriment and comradery that we all share for this hobby. We are even more excited for the convention that wont be in North Carolina this year – yeh I said it. There’s a 3rd convention in 2016.
See you in March.
The Freeze is one of the team members behind VaperSlam and VapeMania – his views and opinions are of his own and not shared with the sponsors, vendors, or attendees of the conventions. His opinions are not shared with The Vape Association, LLC or any other entity. Copyright 2015.