EVENTS BY PAUL CAPLIN ECC ONTARIO, CALIFORNIA. AUGUST 3-5 Back to where it all began three years ago. In the three-years of Vapouround Magazine, we have attended at least six ECC expos, and the August expo in California is always very important to us as it holds a lot of Vapouround history. It was in fact our very first show that we attended on our birthday three years ago. Vapouround Magazine was launched at Vapefest in Shrewsbury in early August 2015 and then flew straight out to California that same week to experience this phenomenon for the first time. We had no idea what we were about to come across and we were totally unprepared. We had only been to two shows in the UK at that point, the very first Vaper Expo which had 83 stands and Vapefest UK which had 50 vendors at most. So to turn to this massive American show was somewhat of an eye opener for me. Five aircraft hangers full of vendors –there was something like 1,500 vendors at this show. I had never seen anything like it, and the four of us had no chance of getting around to see everyone. We did however make lots of new friends and connections and we were amazed how well received the magazine was, as well as how welcome we were. Fast forward to August 2018 and the ECC is a very different animal compared to what it was. Now it’s a much smaller affair, partly due to the overcrowded expo roster in the US calendar, and partly because 146 | VM19 popular US brands are all trying to conquer different countries and different markets. The show itself has about 150-200 exhibitors nowadays, ranging from some classic big brands to a lot of new kids on the block trying to make a name in the vape scene. As always, the ECC is very well organised, although a little strict on certain things like keeping wristbands on and security is ridiculous. You can’t take a backpack to the show unless you’re an exhibitor. Apart from this, there was a great turnout all three days. The general feeling was that the B2B day was the best day, which is a massively positive for anyone wanting to do great business at the show. My pros were this B2B day, it was so good and well represented. The layout was easy to navigate and everyone seemed to be having a good time. Cons would be the over-the-top security rules plus the stage mic and music were ridiculously loud. The ECC will always remain a very special show to Vapouround and we believe that we owe some of the success that we have had internationally to this prestigious show. We come back year after year and look forward to the next one. Make sure you save their dates. This is one show well worth checking out, plus the weather in Cali is great this time of year too.