Daily on the Show Floor at The Stage

Surf Expo is teaming up with leading retail design and merchandising magazine, design:retail, and Board Retailers Association, the non-profit association representing independent action sports retailers, to bring you a full line up of seminars to give you tips and tools for your retail business. Seminars are open to all Surf Expo attendees as well as exhibitors at no cost and held on the show floor on The Stage.


Thursday, January 8


9:30 am

Buyer 101
Speaker: Steven "Fish" Fisher, Surf Expo Sr. Buyer Relations Manager


Surf Expo is a big show and can be a little intimidating, especially to a First Time Buyer! At over 250,000 square feet and multiple categories you likely have questions. Whether this is your first show, or if you just need a few pointers on handling your time and schedule, please join Surf Expo’s Fish for a quick briefing on the ins and outs of the shows. This How-To is a must and will teach you the lingo of the show, best practices on getting the brands you want to carry and marketing yourself for success. 

Steven “Fish” Fisher is the Sr. Buyer Relations Manager at Surf Expo. A former buyer, designer and Exhibitor gives Fish a well-rounded view of the show with decades of experience. The Buyer Relations team at Surf Expo is here to help. Lean on them for guidance to have the most successful show! 

11:30 am

Experience Retail: Designing Impactful Physical Stores in a Digital World
Speaker: Alison Medina, Executive Editor of design:retail


Today's customer is a total diva. She knows what she wants, how much it costs and will purchase from your competitor on her smartphone right in the middle of your store—because she can. How do we design a physical bricks-and-mortar store that will catch her attention? Join Alison Embrey Medina, Executive Editor of design:retail magazine and international speaker on all things retail, as she defends the validity of the physical store in a digital world, and examines current consumer, branding and design trends shaping the future of retail.

2:30 pm

What the Heck is Going On?! Thoughts on the Retail Environment
Speaker: Jeff Harbaugh, Industry Consultant, Analyst and Market Watch Columnist


Okay, so we know the country is over retailed. The so-called economic recovery isn’t that great- especially for our younger customers. The internet and consumer attitudes are changing everything- fast, but in ways we can’t predict. That’s an opportunity as well as a problem. With a bit of an attitude, a sense of humor and a willingness to say things people aren’t always anxious to hear (with the goal of getting you to consider possibilities), industry consultant, analyst and Market Watch columnist Jeff Harbaugh is going to tell you some things about the economy you won’t learn from the mainstream media. He wants to talk about inventory management and how you must use your systems for way more than accounting. He has some ideas about risks in specialty retail and which one to take and not take.

Friday, January 9


9:30 am

Presented by BRA: Hiring, Training and Motivating Employees
Speaker: George Leichtweis of Modern Skate & Surf


Your employees are the most critical part of your business. Their passion, product knowledge, dedication and commitment are key to providing the best quality customer service. Learn how to hire and nurture great employees who will help your business prosper.

11:30 am

Presented by BRA: The Changing Retail Landscape: Day to Day Issues Facing Today’s Business Owners
Panelists: Todd Canipe of Vertical Urge, Bruce Cromartie of BC Surf & Sport, and Todd Roberts of ZJ Boarding House


Board Retailers Association brings together influencers from the board sports industry to discuss pressing issues affecting today’s action sports marketplace.

2:30 pm

Make It Easy: 15+ Tips to Improve Sales on your Ecommerce Site
Speaker: Josh Levine, CXO and co-founder of Alexander Interactive


Whether you’re an ecommerce newbie or been in the game for years, your site must evolve in order to meet customers’ rising demands. Josh Levine, ecommerce design expert and frequent speaker throughout the retail industry, will pull from his 15 years in the trenches with brands like Saks Fifth Avenue, Lowes, and Schwinn, to show you how your site can rise above the competition and convert browsers into buyers. 

He’ll share tactics to improve sales, focusing on high impact areas of your site– navigation, homepage, product page, cart, and checkout. Learn how to make it easy for customers to discover, research and ultimately buy the products they need. You’ll also learn techniques to strike a balance between lifestyle content and commerce in order to maximize engagement and inspire customers to act. So bring the notepad to this one and be prepared to walk away with actionable tips to boost that bottom line.

Saturday, January 10


9:30 am

Facebook Marketing Tactics for 2015
Speaker: Sean Roylance, President of Rain Retail


The evolution of Facebook’s news feed is changing the way we reach our customers. We’ll examine organic posts vs paid ads and discuss how Facebook fits in to your internet marketing mix. Come learn the latest tactics to effectively market on Facebook and increase sales.

11:30 am

Search Engine Marketing Tactics for Surf Shops
Speaker: Sean Roylance, President of Rain Retail


90% of your target market uses search engines to find local gear and services. Discover whether you should hire an outside firm for your SEO or if you should do it in-house. Learn simple and effective techniques you can employ in 15 min/day to attract new customers through google.