Vape Expos are Typically B2B
It’s not very common that one might see a Vape Event open to the general public, allowing for just anyone who may be interested in or curious about Vaping to attend. Typically, such events are reserved for those involved in the industry in some way – Vape-related businesses, whether they are eLiquid Manufacturers, Vape shops, Vape-Accessory suppliers, etc. Basically, there are trade shows for the vape industry businesses to showcase their innovative products in which the majority of these events are Business-to-Business Expos – so, there is not usually an open-invitation for just anyone from the general public to attend, understandably so.
However, as most Vapers are well-aware, the industry has spawned a vastly diverse Vape community of very passionate, innovative, like-minded individuals who are in some cases slightly obsessed with the very concept of the act and art of Vaping, while others are not as involved and are most likely not at all interested in seeking out events that include product vendors.
Then again, the Vapers who are easily-stimulated and greatly attracted to the exceptionalism that the industry provides, are indefinitely more likely to seek out events that may showcase or celebrate Vaping in an event-like fashion. So, what should these vapers do?
An Event for All Vapers – no business affiliation needed
What about the ordinary vapers who simply want to learn more about the industry in a social setting? Or, those Vapers who want to meet more like-minded people, perhaps some vapers strongly desire extending their reach in the vaping social circle? Is there somewhere they could go? There has got to be something they could do, right?
Taking this into account, The Vaping Post was fortunate enough to attend one of the only Vape-related events open to the general public in Denver, Colorado – “Vape The Block” carnival-themed social gathering was held at the City Hall Event Center in downtown Denver. We sat down with a gentleman in charge of Media Relations for the Vape shop responsible for organizing this event – this same Vape shop is also one the most well-known and largest of all Vape shops in the entire state, Inno-Vapor Digital is that shop.
Colorado’s Largest Vape Shop
Inno-Vapor Digital has grown to have 9 locations all around the city of Denver as well as the surrounding suburbs and are working on their tenth location as we speak, or more accurately, as we read. The gentleman we spoke with was not only solely in charge of Media Relations only, but he also has a number of other responsibilities and duties he carries out for Inno-Vapor. He is also their Purchasing Manager, GM of their Littleton location as well as being in charge of Corporate Training.
Needless to say, we knew this was the right guy to be speaking with about the event. Therefore, during the “Vape The Block” carnivale event, we sat down with Jeremy Eldridge, in which, along with all of his other positions within the Inno-Vapor brand, his official title is Area Director of Operations.
Interviewing Inno-Vapor Digital
When we asked what motivated the concept of this event, Jeremy Eldridge told us that this was the second annual “Vape The Block” event and it was all about building and preserving a stronger sense of “community.” A term in which many within the Vaping-sphere are undoubtedly familiar with and respect a great deal, due to the fact, that as mentioned previously, Vapers are indeed a part of a community. Therefore, for Inno-Vapor to be motivated by solidifying the future of a community of Vape-enthusiasts is absolutely commendable, to say the least.
Jeremy told us, “in July of 2015, Inno-Vapor hosted the very first Vape The Block event in the back parking lot at our shop location in Englewood.” It was such a great success that nearly 400 people were crowding this not-so-large lot accompanied by what Jeremy told us was “a carnival atmosphere – there were dunk-tanks, go-karts, games, live music. It was a chance to try and bring the community together and it worked.”
“We did the carnival theme again this year to make things fun for everyone.” Vape The Block offered live music once again this year, along with raffles, giveaways, photo booths, a mini-basketball hoop game, a strongman game, a prize wheel, food trucks as well as many more carnival games. Not to mention there were 17 vendors and sponsors from the Vaping industry. The tagline for this event was “No one leaves empty-handed!” This statement was without a doubt, precisely accurate, as many Vapers were nearly juggling all the juice they could carry out the door upon their departure from Vape The Block.
Learning More About Vape The Block
The vendors and sponsors were a collection of pure variety in business, big and small – from Charlie’s Chalkdust, to Marina Vape Company, Traditional Juice, Rogue Gourmet e-liquid, Coastal Clouds, 5280 Vapor, Underdog Distributions, Longhorn Vapor Company, Classified, Oakshire Trading Company, Ben Johnson’s Premium eLiquid, Kraken Abyss Vapor, and of course, Inno-Vapor Digital was also a vendor. This is not a complete list of all vendors, yet it certainly illustrates the concept of how this event absolutely promoted a multi-faceted, diverse assortment of businesses from amongst some of the smaller and larger names in the industry. Not to mention, there were several local vendors listed in there as well, which is once again, a great influence on the Vaping community here in Denver.
For this event, all vendor booths offered to local shops were free. Jeremy said, “being the largest Vape shop with almost ten locations now, it’s only fair to spread the love and maintain our sense of community by accommodating our competitors to try and keep this industry as widespread and diversified as possible.”
Jeremy also said to us, “where we are at this moment, with all of the Vaping regulations, there is no need to make enemies from within our industry, we’re all in this together. So, with offering free booths to local vendors, we’re certainly trying to promote a sense of comradery amongst all the Vape shops in our area.”
Some Local Vendors Chose Not to Participate
However, when many local vendors were invited to participate, several of them declined. So, there was some unfortunate pushback from the local vape community. This is only being pointed-out due to the fact that many local vendors would not participate in the event since they believed what Inno-Vapor was doing could be considered as violating regulations. Jeremy, said, “It’s reassuring on one hand that numerous businesses in the Vaping industry here in Denver are concerned with following through on compliance.”
Jeremy proceeded to explain, “On the other hand, we would not be organizing an event if it was in any way connected to violating regulations. So, it creates mixed feelings, the accusatory replies were unnecessary while simultaneously reassuring. We love to see other businesses in our industry expressing their concerns and stepping it up as leaders, making it a top priority and responsibility to remain compliant with all of the regulatory guidelines.”
Yet, Jeremy spelled it out for us clearly, by stating, “We did our homework. Our legal team did their job by researching the situation exceptionally well. Many local juice-makers said that we shouldn’t be giving out free samples due to the notion that it was now against federal regulations. However, we are not on vape-shop property, this event is considered off-premise, so this is legitimate. Plus, the city of Denver has no ban on vaping, there is no vapor-free ordinance downtown. Not to mention, we are carding everyone at the door, even if we know the person, we still need to see an identification card. We’ve followed all the proper guidelines. I’m happy to say that we’ve had to card over 500 plus attendees today.”
Additionally, it could be speculated that some vendors simply declined to participate since Vape The Block was being organized by the largest Vape-shop in the entire state. Being the biggest and most well-known Vape shop in the great state of Colorado is certainly a privilege while also an unfortunate burden. “We want to welcome the local community, but due to the fact that we are so big, this may have caused others to think that we infringed on their business, but we don’t want to infringe on anyone’s business. We are not the enemy, we don’t want to see anyone lose business or go out of business. That’s not what we’re all about, we’re all about community, plain and simple,” Jeremy clarified.
Learning More Good Things about Inno-Vapor
Inno-vapor is unique in many ways. It is unique in the sense that they are one of the only vape-related businesses with the ability to post billboards around the city. It is unique in the sense that they have been compliant with all safety standards and expected regulatory guidelines for over 3 years, preparing themselves for the inevitable “deeming FDA regulations” by carrying only ISO7 lab certified liquids at their shop locations. Thus, Inno-Vapor is also unique for the reason that they do not carry any locally made eLiquids in their shops.
Jeremy explained, “We don’t carry anything from Colorado in our shops because we’ve always only carried ISO7 lab certified juice. That’s why you’ll see many of Marina Vape Company’s products on our shelves. Until very recently, there were many eLiquid manufacturers in the area who did not meet these requirements. However, since the regulations have arrived, many local guys have transformed their brands into what is the most equivalent form of the industry standard – now we are trying to reach out to these local businesses to see if they’d be interested in getting their product in our shops.”
Jeremy continues on, “Unfortunately, I feel that we are often seen as a threat rather than a community partner primarily due to the fact that we did grow so quickly, so fast and perhaps some local vendors may feel that we have somehow affected their business in a negative way. That’s simply not the case, we are all about community, especially now more than ever and we want everyone to know this. We want to help everyone else stay in business and allow the vaping industry to remain alive and well in Denver. That’s what events like this are all about.”
Was Vape The Block a Successful Event?
All in all, it is safe to say that the vape event held for anyone and everyone to attend, Vape The Block Part Two – 2016, was ultimately successful with 500+ attendees making an appearance. Inno-Vapor may be either loved, hated, or envied by a number of other similar vendors, but they still sure know how to organize a gathering for the vape community and “all you have to do is walk into one of our 9 locations and you can quickly figure out what caliber of a shop we are,” Jeremy says.
Not to mention, offering an opportunity for the general local public to attend as well, is worth highlighting, due to the fact that more than a handful of vendors told stories of walk-in attendees coming-in right off the street simply to learn more about vaping and ultimately left the event with a device and several liquids to help them make the switch from smoking tobacco cigarettes to vaping nicotine.
Why Inno-Vapor is so Significant to Vape Community
Next on the agenda, Inno-Vapor Digital has another big event push they’re trying for. Hoping to partner with some other local businesses in order to bring the highly anticipated documentary film, “A Billion Lives” to the city of Denver. Jeremy said, “We’re really hoping this one works out – it would be an amazing opportunity for all parties involved and again, it would be all about the local Vaping community coming together to achieve something together. We are anticipating a challenge, but that’s what makes it all worth the effort.”
One thing is for certain, Inno-Vapor sets itself apart from the rest and stands among the very best. Their determination is unyielding and their unified community message is contagious.
Conclusion: Vape The Block
Vaping Post was fortunate enough to have the chance to attend Vape The Block, which was obvious that this could carry-on to be somewhat of a tradition that continues to grow each year. Vape The Block was successful the first year and now the second year Inno-Vapor has organized a vaper social mixer that is clearly fun, exciting and unifying for so many Vapers – especially Vapers who may be longing to attend specific Vape Expos, yet just do not have the credentials to do so.
At Vape The Block, the only credentials needed are a photo identification card, no business license number or distributor representation – just you, your ID card, and of course your Vaping device, but if you don’t have a device, you could get one at the event, along with lots of juice because “no one leaves empty-handed!” Look for this to possibly be around again next summer in Denver, CO – one of the best Vape-friendly cities in all of the U.S. – that is surely something the city should be proud of, along with being the defending Super Bowl Champions. Just as Professional Football owns every Sunday during the Autumn and Winter, Vaping will soon own the future, no matter what regulations are imposed.
CEO & Owner: Craig Ganoe
Operations Manager: AJ Cutler
Area Director of Operations: Jeremy Eldridge
Inno-Vapor Digital Commercial: