LONG BEACH, Calif. — Organizers for the Agenda trade show in Long Beach continue to tweak the event’s format. Parent Reed Exhibitions said the flagship Long Beach business-to-business trade show will be nixed in favor of a consumer festival in June.
The move is not surprising given more recent steps taken by Reed in past seasons of Agenda to keep up with the changing business landscape and respond to the popularity of events melding fashion, food, art and music.
That started with Agenda founder Aaron Levant’s launch of the first Agenda Festival in July 2017. At the time of the festival’s launch, Levant voiced uncertainty about the future of trade shows or what they would look like a few years out, citing the shifting dynamic within the retail, wholesale and brand ecosystem.
“Our decision really came based on the feedback that we received from our brand partners,” said Rob Weinstein, who was tapped earlier this year to be vice president of marketing for ReedPop West. “We only exist to serve them and what we got from them was the need for a consumer-facing event on this type of scale and that is where their interest lies.”
Weinstein oversees the Agenda trade shows in addition to Agenda Festival and ComplexCon.
The June Festival will take cues out of past Agenda Festivals and will likely operate under that name, only the goal, Weinstein said, would be to make it “bigger, better and more exciting.” He added the event would likely span two days instead of one.
Agenda Festival would also bring the potential to further develop new revenue streams, more specifically on the sponsorship side in addition to sales of tickets, merchandise and exhibitor spaces.
The cadence with which the festivals are offered could also increase in the future if there’s demand, according to Weinstein.
“For right now, it’s going to be one time a year, so for 2019 it’s definitely going to be in June only,” he said. “As we progress, we will certainly reevaluate that and in the coming years we would hope to be able to execute it more than once a year, but we also want to grow it very organically.”
Agenda as an event for the trade will continue in Las Vegas, where the next show will be held Feb. 5 to 7. It’s unclear if the absence of a Long Beach show for the trade in January will have any bearing on traffic counts in Las Vegas.
Weinstein said exhibitors that had planned to show in California in January are invited to participate in the Las Vegas event.
“I am excited about the opportunity to spend more time planning for Vegas on both the buyer side and the exhibitor side,” Weinstein said.
The trade show landscape in Vegas is itself shifting with Liberty Fairs and Agenda relocating away from the Sands Expo to downtown Las Vegas in February. As for the future of Agenda Las Vegas, any major changes there are not on the horizon.
“Longer term, we definitely have many brands that are interested in exhibiting in Vegas so we want to be there for them and to support them,” Weinstein said. “So, for the foreseeable future, we’re really focused on our B2B event in Las Vegas and, at this point, there are no plans to do a consumer-facing event in Vegas.”