VapeBash 2 Photos and Quotes

VapeBash 2 in Chicago was by far the biggest Vaping event we've been to yet. There were more than 1600 in attendance with the main ballrooms overflowing into the halls, lobby area and bar. The large ballroom had vendors booth lining all four walls. There was an almost palpable haze from a combination of vaping and smoke machines.

There was no order and the air felt clean, but the hotel apparently changed their stance on vaping half way though and designated some areas to be "vape free."

VAPE News magazine talked to a number of vendors and attendees, here are their quotes and more photos from the event!

"VapeBash, where do I begin? First thing that comes to mind is "EPIC" I mean so many amazing people, tons of vaping gear and E-Liquids, the reviewers we all watch via YouTube, the hosts of our favorite vaping networks, our favorite modders and devices. I mean it's on the verge of vaper overload! All that being said, the best part for me was finally meeting some of the people that I interact with through the web. The only thing I regret is not having enough time to spend with everyone, but hey, there's always next year! Big thanks to Sgt.Taz, DangerGirl, Scott(MrEcig) Weeeeee!, and Ed The Green for all their hard work on putting such an amazing event together!" - Rob Ermolovich

Fluid Flask, a unique, modular cartomizer tank. Prior to VapeBash 2 they were only available in polished aluminum finish, for VapeBash we debuted Gunmetal,Black,Red, and Blue anodized finishes along with the original polished aluminum. Also debuted at VapeBash is the PowerPro, which is a 26650 Provari conversion kit for modders.

Also at VapeBash were two prototypes of the upcoming CyBorg, which is a DNA20 driven Advanced Personal Vaporizer System. Its the first DNA20 device in tube form intended for production. 

The Fluid V.A.V (Vaping Assault Vehicle), a right hand drive Jeep with a 6-inch lift, 35-inch tires wrapped around 20-inch rims, and one hell of a sexy body wrap!

Left to right: Adam (production manager), Toni (owner/partner), Adam Knudsen (me, owner/partner)

"VapeBash was a fantastic success.  As far as I can tell, there were more vapers in attendance than any other large meet.  The list of vendors was impressive and the room accommodated everyone well.  The Windy City Vapers did an amazing job and their dedication shows in the level of organization they bring to these meets- registration table, etc.  Completely outside of their control was the way the hotel changed their stance on vaping midway through the event.  That was disappointing.  Of course, that is nothing to dwell on.  WCV hit a home run!"

" Generally, I am positive about the entire industry's future.  I believe there will be regulation, but it will be somewhat reasonable and malleable.  Vapers need to be vocal and refuse to be classified into an existing bucket- this is new territory and with that comes uncertainty.  But generally, I am quite positive.  On a more micro level, I see a return to more mechanical mods with an emphasis on rebuilding coils- within the community, of course.  E-cigs can be found all over our town now- from the grocery store to the gas station.  Sure, they aren't what I vape but who knows- that will slowly evolve as well." - Adam Knudsen

Keith Mautner talks about his products at VapeBash 2:

"We are the inventors of the infamous Drip Shield. We also came out with the Empire Mod, a telescoping bottom button tube device which made in very limited runs. We have been selling them and they utilize the 901 atomizer standard native connection. We have a premium 901 made for them and comes with them as well which is well known for great flavor and vapor production. The drip shield was made around the 901 atomizer but also will work for 510 and 306 with a 510-510 sealed adapter or raised connection like a eGo battery."

Keith Mautner, owner (left) and EmpireMods employee Dave Borrero (right).

Limited edition "Empire Mods" only available at Vapebash.

LEFT: Joe battista, owner and founder of iVape. iVape had a varity of products on display including the Tesla, Evic, Zmax variable wattage, Tec Mod Mechanicals and very realistic looking E-Cigars.

"Vapebash was a very successful event for us. We were very busy!"

RIGHT: "VapeBash was an amazing experience for the Mister-E-Team.  We all had a wonderful time and meeting all the wonderful vapers at Bash was out of this world.  There were so many people! We released a new juice called Blue Voodoo which became very popular as we sold out, in a matter of hours the first day. Apparently the Vapebash released Blue Voodoo, was so popular that a customer came up to us on day 2 and discretely showed us his 36ml bottle, (which was already half gone) mentioning he was worried about getting jumped if someone saw the bottle of delicious blue juice! " - Dan Lawitzke, Mister-E-Liquid Founder

LEFT: Ty, Katie, Adam & Mike from RoarVapor

RoarVapor specializes in items for the beginner vaper. Quitters is the brick and mortar business of RoarVapor, which specializes in online sales.

RIGHT: Delaware Vapor has been in business since October 2011 and sells liquids and vape accessories, batteries, cartos, clearos, tanks, atties, drip tips, and APVs.

"I thought Vape Bash was an excellent event. Probably the best one I have been to yet. Great turnout of people." - Andrew Wolford

Honest Vapor co-owner, Violet Nole talks about Vapebash and gives us a little background in her company.

"I thought VapeBash was incredible, I did attend last year and this event was definitely 3 times the size! I have 2 partners in Honest Vapor, my boyfriend Luciano Manente ,who is also the sole owner of the largest Vaping social network- VapeTV.com, and his sister, Rosanna Manente. We are an online store and hope to have a brick and mortar store before our 2nd Anniversary of HonestVapor. What separates us from other vendors, aside from the fact that our juice is made in a sterile lab (which is SLOWLY becoming more common) is the fact that our bottling and packaging not only meet but EXCEED the standards of what is expected from an ejuice company. As well as the fact that our liquid is made with much attention to detail and only the top quality ingredients are used to create each and every one of my flavors."

MORE QUOTES

"VapeBash was Amazing! Great People and tons of them Over 1600 in Attendance! I met lots of great friends and met many of our existing customers." - Jason Cornfeld, President of ElectronicStix Corp.

"Vapebash 2 was a great experience for me in general. This was my first actual Vape Meet that I attended. All of the fellow Vapers I meet were very nice and really seemed to be enjoying themselves at the meet. I am a blogger/reviewer of sorts and also host a weekly spot on VapeTv.com (9pm PST Fridays) and I had many people come up and say high and also thank me for my YouTube videos (youtube.com/crashvapes). I got to meet Mike from houseofhybrids.com (Zen) and that made me very happy. I am a hybrid Genesis style vaper and without him we may not be vaping the way we do because he really was one of if not the first guy to make a Genesis style device publicly available." - James “Crash” Vapes

"Vapebash 2013 was truly an event to set the bar for next year! Being in the business for over 4 years this years Vapebash was the biggest. As a business owner and has attended previous vaping events, this hands done was not only the best, but done 100% perfectly. The WCVC crew organized and ran the event without a hitch! The only thing I regret is that we have to wait another year for vapebash 2014! Vapebash and other vaping events help my business by getting us not only to promote in states and locations we may not be known, but to also get to meet our online customers face to face. Which honestly meeting your customers is one of the highlights of this business." - Chris Ray, founder/owner of Cigtechs

"We were blown away from the turn out this year, HUGE jump from the 600 they had last year. Events like Bash allow us to talk to customers who we normally only interact on line with. We like the pre event gatherings because as a vendor its our chance to hang out with everyone and not be behind our table." - NatureVaper

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New Webinar: Timing and Tips for Submitting Premarket Review Applications for Newly Deemed Products

Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 12.50.48 PMThe FDA has released “Timing and Tips – Newly Deemed Tobacco Product Applications,” the latest in its series of webinars to help industry understand a recently finalized rule extending FDA’s authority to all tobacco products.

This new webinar outlines when manufacturers should submit applications for the premarket review of their products and the compliance periods for each premarket pathway. It also provides a list of helpful reminders for submitting product review applications.

The new “deeming” rule extends FDA’s authority to products such as e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco, and pipe tobacco, among others. The compliance webinars are designed to help regulated tobacco retailers, importers, and manufacturers understand the steps they must take to comply with the rule. Check out the full series on the FDA Tobacco Compliance Webinar webpage.

To view the webinar, click here.

San Diego Event Gets It Right

June 25, 2016

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By Norm Bour

The SoCal Vape Convention rolled out their second edition in March, 2016, and proved that it is possible to produce a small show, have it be engaging, and provide value to the attendees.

Led by Local Vape E-Cig Supplies as the organizer, and sponsored by Ruthless and a host of others, the event was held at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center in Mission Valley, just outside San Diego, CA. Though events are usually held at a stand-alone convention center this choice is a good one as the Town & Country offers 32 acres of rooms, convention facilities, and restaurants.

This event, like many, opened on B2B Friday with many vendors slow to arrive and set up. The floor was open until 8:00 p.m., which is later than most, but the timing worked out. The following two days of B2C was notably more crowded, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Chantix side effects started a positive ripple

Laura McCollum has been with Local Vapes since late 2015, and runs their San Diego operations. Prior to joining Local Vapes she worked for Orbit Vape, and as the marketing director kept asking herself: “How can I put Orbit on the map?” She came up with the idea of an event since San Diego had none of their own, yet hundreds of shops and businesses were everywhere. After developing and submitting a solid business plan, management went all in and the first SoCal Vape Convention took place in spring, 2015.

Orbit teamed with “The Switch SD Vape Shop” since The Switch sold mostly authentic hardware and Orbit mainly offered clones.

In year one they had 84 vendors with about 5000 attendees, and proudly donated half the net proceeds to SFATA, the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association.

This year they sold about 110 spots and expected more than 5000 attendees.

McCollum’s entrée into vaping is a significant lesson since she was a smoker for 30 years and was unsuccessful in her efforts to quit. When she realized that Chantix (a prescription medication used to treat nicotine addiction) was “zoning her out” to the point of risking her children’s health, she discovered vaping.

Ironically she was a former nurse. And she also had a small motorcycle track behind her San Diego home. One day McCollum’s mother found her six-year old grandson riding his motorcycle out back without a helmet, and that’s the day that Laura stopped her Chantix dosage.

When asked why they chose Town & Country she replied: “We like this place for two reasons. One is because our larger San Diego Convention Center is not vape-friendly and never showed us much love and the other is because we like the on-site rooms and group packages.”

What it takes to be Different

Exhibitor Wes Brown with VOAK, which stands for “Vape of a Kind,” calls himself “The Visionary” of the company rather than “founder.” His self-proclaimed title may be appropriate since his shop is one of the few combinations of vape and hookah anywhere.

Their San Jose, CA lounge is called “The Abyss” since “you will find yourself in there for a long time,” as Brown told us. Clever and original messaging, for sure.

Hookah Lounges, like many businesses, are changing with the times as this shop uses electric hookah heads which adjust from 3.2 to 6.0 volts and offers a 8 ml tank which can vape any liquid available. It acts similar to a hand held unit but with individual tubes which can accommodate one or several persons.

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The VOAK liquid line comes in three flavors and are named after the birth years of Brown, his mother and his wife. This is all part of their “personal story,” which helps create solid relationships with customers.

They offer some of the classiest packaging I have ever seen and with Brown and his team decked out in suit jackets, they stood apart from the mostly t-shirt clad crowd.

“You don’t need to drive a Bentley to have a classy product,” Brown claims, “and we specifically do not call ourselves ‘premium,’ which is a lightning rod for litigation. We say that we sell ‘the finer things in life.’”

They sell a 50ML bottle, an unusual size, along with a 12ML refilling container for $35.

Fighting Warner Bros Film Studio- and winning!

Beetle Juice Vapors owner and vendor Abdel Aboabdo got a cease and desist from Warner Bros. studio in 2014 and was asked to stop using their trademarked “Beetlejuice” name for his e-liquid product.

The 1988 dark comedy starred Michael Keaton in the title role, along with Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Catherine O’Hara, and Winona Ryder, and was directed by Tim Burton. The movie grossed $73 million and became fodder for a new black and white stripped Halloween costume.

“They had Beetlejuice trademarked for clothing, movies and film, but not for e-liquids,” and that was the argument that won his case he told us.

When asked if he was “scared shitless” by the suit he replied “of course,” but he is not the only person sued for copy write issues in the vape space. Aboabdo consulted friends and attorneys but responded “pro per,” which means he acted on his own without an attorney.

His initial logo design used the distinctive Beetlejuice font, which he was asked to change, and Aboabdo explained that “he cannot create any characters or represent anything related to the movie.” David beats Goliath again.

The San Diego show vendor list included a surprisingly high number of hardware manufacturers and wholesalers, which was a pleasant surprise since most show sponsors are liquid companies.

Let’s hope that year three offers more of the same.

Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors, which offers online educational programs, services & resources for anyone in the vape space, including vape shops, online stores and e-liquid brands. He’s also the host of Vape Radio, the largest vaping radio show in the world with more than 1.2 M downloads. Norm interviews the masters of vape and thought leaders in the vape space. Contact him at norm@VapeMentors.com.

VAPE U III: Vape Shop Master Summit Continues Through Sunday

Vape-Shop-Master-Summit-Logo-FinalFor vape shops concerned about the future of the industry, VapeMentors is offering more than 20 hours of free education to help you thrive and grow.

VAPE U III: Vape Shop Master Summit, started yesterday, June 23, and continues through Sunday, June 26. More than 24 vape space thought leaders are sharing their insights and discussing:

  • marketing and advertising
  • retail sales trends and GETTING more sales
  • financial management
  • customer service and retention
  • e-liquids
  • regulations
  • hiring and firing employees

This program is free until June 28 and available at www.VAPEU.com. You can listen to the six hours of class that were offered Thursday, too!

Norm Bour, a senior writer at VAPE, is recognized as one of the top vape consultants and has worked with more than 40 vape businesses since 2013. He speaks internationally and hosts the top rated VAPE radio as well as authoring Vapreneur.

Here is what one of yesterday’s students shared:

“What a fantastic program you guys have put together! I went ahead and purchased access to the material as each and every one of my employees with greatly benefit by learning the important steps to running a successful business.

My thoughts:

- The No. 1 program you don’t want your competitors seeing!

- If your competitor has it and you don’t, the end is near …

Steve Kane, GM—Vast Vapor

VapeXpo 2016 Heading to Toledo, Ohio

13240526_10154074173281271_2886338660995563857_nVapeXpo 2016 is heading to the SeaGate Convention Center in Toledo, Ohio, Aug. 26 and 27. The entry fee is $1 for sampling.

With the FDA deeming regulations and all the letter writing we are doing now, the question is: Will there still be a vape event? The answer is yes! VapeXpo 2016 is touted to be bigger than last year in Ann Arbor, particularly since the space will be 75,000 square feet of vendors, fun times, vape hosts, and of course, the biggest reason—advocacy.

As with previous VapeXpo’s there will be an advocacy auction. This year’s recipients will be the AVA. There is also a $1 admission fee to cover the cost of sampling. I.D. is required for this 18+ event. Some of the vendors who have already said yes include: Vape Escape, Tarot Labs, BAMF Juice and more.

If you are a vendor who is interested in donating auction items and participating in the event, contact Marcy Coyne and the crew at vapexpo@gmail.com.

The Park Inn near the convention center is offering a room discount with rooms costing only $99 when you mention VapeXpo when you call. Their number is (419) 241-3000.

To keep updated on the event as details come through, please go to the VapeXpo group page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1105245056163658/?active_tab=posts

To get more information on other vendors, rules, etc, please go to http://vapexpo.com/.

Motown Welcomes VPX to the Motor City

June 24, 2016

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By Norm Bour

Detroit during the first week of March would normally not be a “go to” destination in winter, yet the crowds did throng into the Cobo Auditorium in downtown Detroit to attend the first VPX vaping event in that city. Along with this event they hosted the first “ECC Vaping Academy,” educational program, which was sponsored by Electronic Cigarette Convention (ECC) and VPX.

ECC is a giant and leader in the vaping event space and the founders of the still largest vape event, ECC Southern California, which will be held this year in November in Pomona, CA. Founder Steve Mack and his board launched the first ECC in 2013 and it has continued to grow from there and has expanded to other cities.

“We use the ECC brand only in Southern California, but
we have launched a series of events in smaller regions
using the VPX brand. We are officially called ‘VPX,
by ECC,’” Mack shared. VPX was originally a shortened
name for the ‘Vapors Exhibit’, per Mack, with ECC
being the parent company.

In 2014 they held their first event outside California, in Niagara Falls, NY. “Why there?,” I asked and Mack responded, “We have a huge demand from the Canadian vape market so we’re trying to accommodate them and still engage our American crowd.” That was one of the motivators behind this recent Detroit show since Detroit is just one bridge away from Canada and just hours from Toronto.

As the event space evolves we are seeing more regionally focused events. These are designed to bring in vendors and attendees from localized areas within a 500 mile radius. The VPX shows in New Orleans, Las Vegas, and now Detroit, do that. Mack confirmed that VPX is not designed to be a “mega event like ECC in Southern California” but is a smaller version that offers ECC high standards.

Education is Important to the Industry

Like many events today, the promoters attempt to engage the B2B crowd during the first and second days, followed by the consumer crowd. The Detroit show made a serious effort to put “butts in seats” by offering a variety of speakers on a large and well- designed stage.

Mack and his crew are serious about education and on opening day they offered a two-hour educational platform known as ECC Vaping Academy. With eight speakers having just 15 minutes to speak, the quickly moving series offered talks on improving cash flow, protecting yourself through insurance, ways to maximize your mailing list, and the

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2016 Vape Industry Survival Guide, offered by this author. One entire row on the show floor was dominated by one major company and 14 of their offshoot brands.

Independent Vapor Company, from Madison Heights, MI, started in May, 2014 and became an immediate success. They were approached by others to partner up and have now done so with several brands, including their most popular line, Nillionaire, which accounts for up to 30% of their cumulative sales according to Jessica Hill, a mixologist at Independent. All of the flavors were created by co-owners Ryan Wagner and Jerret Kirouac and 11 of the flavors are all made in house.

Independent is a great example of an e-liquid company that has dominated a state and region rather than trying to rule the entire nation.

This show was not the largest or most attended of the many shows I have been to, but the manageable size allowed lots of time for everyone to talk business and to make the weekend effective.

When asked about other markets that VPX is
considering, Mack shared, “We’re looking at the
Virginia market, possibly Richmond. One of the
biggest restrictions is finding a venue that allows
us to vape inside.” The next VPX event will be held in
Las Vegas in May, 2016 and after that the ECC crew will
be taking a break until the biggie in November.

Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors, which offers online educational programs, services & resources for anyone in the vape space, including vape shops, online stores and e-liquid brands. He’s also the host of Vape Radio, the largest vaping radio show in the world with more than 1.2 M downloads. Norm interviews the masters of vape and thought leaders in the vape space. Contact him at norm@VapeMentors.com.

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