Vaping Festivals

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Earlier this year, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee sent a correspondent to a National Vape Expo in the U.S.  For those of us with a sense of humour – and with such a new and often ridiculed habit, you should be – it was a pretty amusing takedown of vape culture.  But like any good Daily Show alum, Bee didn’t approach the subject matter just to ridicule vapers.  Instead, the field piece spotlighted how vape culture was under threat from Big Tobacco and the FDA.  Due to new, rigourous drug laws, smaller vape companies were about to be under heavy scrutiny just to operate.  While Big Tobacco (and their inferior products such as IQos) could easily afford to manuever the FDA, the vape industry is still somewhat fledgling, a David to tobacco’s Goliath.  Their lobbies were out to crush Little Vape, so users gathered at the Expo to share their interest and enthusiasm for the new technology.  The piece depicted vapers as refugees in an ongoing battle for lung-control.

But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t fun to be had.  Bros with unweildly beards showed off their cloud chasing abilities.  They found the most ridiculous-looking vapers in 80s sunglasses and heavy piercings, described as not the owners of small businesses, but those that would break into small businesses.  As a comedian, vapers are an easy target.  And we should laugh at ourselves and our counterparts.  While we do, we can do it smugly, knowing we’re not only taking the safer route with smoking, but also the more satisfying, relaxing and socially acceptable.  We should view ourselves as the forceful opposition, the better educated, the stronger, the healthier.  We don’t stand arm in arm with Big Tobacco with their falsehoods and cancer sticks.  In short, we’re better.  There are festivals and expos all over the world where we can gather – mini-comicons for fans of their mods, pens and e-cigarettes.  Here are just some of the more prominent.

The ECC Expo – California

California: if there’s a trend, the state has cornered the market on it before it ever made news down your way.  The ECC was the first, full-size vape convention held in the United States in 2013.  Before the Electronic Cigarette Convention, smaller “vape meets” would be held where small groups of users could gather in person.  Some of these were small, intimate affairs, others would rent out hotel ballrooms where vendors would set up their own tables.  First held in Anahiem, the ECC was founded in hopes that the business would grow beyond its cottage industry roots and continues to grow each year.  The main goal of the ECC is to create a trade show environment.  Visitors can sample and discover new products, businesses can connect to other businesses or just sell to customers directly.  The event lasts three days.

Canada’s Vape Expo – Edmonton, Toronto

Visiting the website, the first thing you see is a countdown clock to the 2019 Expo in Edmonton.  It will occur on April 26 – 28.  Dashvape, Vapemeets, The E-cig Flavorium and River City Vapes sponsor the event, which isn’t dissimilar from California’s.  Exhibitors are set up in the Expo Centre – 50,000 square feet lined with exhibitors, demonstators, prize giveaways and products from all around the world.  This Expo holds a separate Business to business set up on Friday where companies can cross-pollenate in the hopes of further strengthening the industry.  The event will be repeated in Toronto on June 21 – 23, but specific information about it has yet to be releaved.

National Vape Expo – U.S.A.

The National Vape Expo is not all that different from California’s in terms of vendors and sponsors, but it does offer something of particular interest to the nerdier vapers: Advocacy.  On March 16, 2019 in Uncasville, Connecticut, Dr. Michael B. Siegel will speak.  Siegel, a professor of Community Health Sciences, studied at UC Berkley before spending two years working with the CDC.  He takes a primary interest in alcohol and tobacco control and will deliver a lecture on the dangers of the tobacco industry while, one assumes, coming out in support of vaping.  The NVE also will induct their first member of the Vape Hall of Fame.  Surprisingly, it’s not a celebrity but another academic: Julie Woessner, Director of National Policy.  But the NVE isn’t all talk.  It still has the same vendor-customer basis as all the others.  The festival will tour from Connecticut to Alabama, Virginia and finally Denver.

International Vape Expo – Copenhagen, Denmark

Surprisingly, North America was ahead of the curve when it came to vape expos.  The IVE was first held only this year.  Naturally, it looks like it was a blast, with over 100 vendors and a variety of giveaways and cloud-chasing contests.  One would have thought that Denmark, known for its liberal drug policies would have been one of the first places where vapers gathered.  Now that it’s set in place, however, another major festival is to be held in 2019.

There are festivals all over the world, and most of them feature the same rap: vendors, prizes, speakers and a guaranteed jovial spirit.  Check your local listings, find the one closest to you.  We’ve clearly come out of the gate strong, showing no signs of slowing down.  Smoking has, for decades, been a singular activity; something with a stigma attached.  Today, however, vaping has opened up new worlds for the modest vaper to the most effete.

 

Vaperexpo – Birmingham

This award winning expo first came to attention in 2017, snagging the Vapouround Award for Best Trade Show.  Birmingham has always had a reputation for hip, second only to London.  It’s also home to vapelux, among countless other vendors and distributors hailing from all over the UK.  This year, the fest spanned three days in October, featuring Chill Out Areas, Djs, the typical prizes and and giveaways and it plans to return on May 3, 4 and 5 of 2019.  So join us and others at vaperexpo.co.uk for what is without question the biggest, most extensive vape party of the year. 

There are festivals all over the world, and most of them feature the same rap: vendors, prizes, speakers and a guaranteed jovial spirit.  Check your local listings, find the one closest to you.  We’ve clearly come out of the gate strong, showing no signs of slowing down.  Smoking has, for decades, been a singular activity; something with a stigma attached.  Today, however, vaping has opened up new worlds for the modest vaper to the most effete.