Vapouround magazine VAPER-EXPO-SHOWGUIDEOCTOBER - Page 54

VAPER EXPO We go behind the scenes with the Vaper Expo team Managing a three-day extravaganza, meeting the needs of 25,000 plus guests and hitting some already lofty expectations takes a lot of hard work from some very dedicated people. We caught up with a couple of the people working on the show, without whom none of it would be possible. Or as fantastic. The Vaper Expo Shop Team Vaper Expo UK is the ultimate destination for the vaping globetrotter, so at the close of the weekend if you’ve been there and done that, you’d be crazy not to at least buy the t-shirt. Since branching out and establishing itself as a titanic brand in its own right, the Vaper Expo UK has its own shop with original merchandise in Halesowen. Vaper Expo branded t-shirts and snapbacks are in high demand, and the Expo Shop is represented in its own show stand. Karen and Kerry serve thousands of incoming and outgoing vapers, right at the cloud-filled entrance. The stand, right at the end of the red carpet, is prime real estate. It’s hard work, as plenty of people won’t leave the show without a souvenir. May was Karen’s first show and Kerry’s second. Ties of family and friendship brought them to the show, where they have become an integral part. “It’s busy. It can get a little crazy but it’s fun and it’s always worth it,” – Kerry. The Floor Manager Floor Manager Andy has 26 years of experience in show management. He has been part of the team helping make The Vaper Expo UK run since its beginning in 2015, personally overseeing every change it has gone through. “I’ve worked across all sectors in consumer and trade events, I still do. Vape shows, especially the expo, have more of a party atmosphere. It’s no typical B2B event, people are here to do business and have a good time, but there’s also alcohol, there’s loud music and a lot of fog.” 54 | THE VAPER EXPO Even after all his years of service, the rise of vaping provided some amusing experiences and continues to surprise. “Every event at the NEC has its own unique challenges behind the scenes, and you’ll see things in vaping that you won’t see anywhere else. It’s quite a highlight to get a monster truck and giant singing robot into the middle of the hall.” Many of us here at the expo only see the highlights, but none of this is possible without a dedicated, diligent team making it happen. Andy and his colleagues liaise with other NEC staff including catering, security and transport managers. “We come in to start setting up at 6am on Wednesday morning and stay here until the halls close anywhere between 8pm or 10pm. Most of the stands have their own contractor, and some vendors still prefer to build up their own. Health and safety is the first priority for the floor manager – we make sure everyone stays on track and works safely. But fortunately, the expo runs smoother every year despite its growth. Our teams are always in contact with each other so that, to the untrained eye, it’s a smooth, barely noticeable process.”