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Life on the vapor trail...

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Life on the vapor trail...

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This year I went to a good number of vape events, and it's really great to see how they have proliferated over the past few years. These events are not only growing in size, there are more and more of them each year. This past year demonstrated that there is room for all of them, but we will eventually hit the point where there are too many, and consolidation will need to happen.

This year I attended VapeFest in NY, VapeBash in Chicago, VapeStock in Florida, VapeCan in Toronto, VapeFest in Las Veagas, VapetoberFest in Long Beach and VaperCon in Richmond. I missed going to ECC in Anaheim, because it was intentionally booked on the same weekend as Vegas, and I support the Event that supports Vapor Research, so Vegas was a must. 

All of the events have completely different "feels" to them. VapeFest focuses HEAVILY on education and quitting smoking. There are classes on industry legal issues, business development, battery safety and coil building at VapeFest and I participate in the rebuildable classes and it's a lot of fun doing these sessions. VapeFest is an event that has paid admission, it exists to raise money for the benefit of vapor related legal and safety issues. Funds raised by VapeFest went to publishing research which has been used in support of vapor safety. There will be future studies funded with the funds that are being raised at the more recent events. NY and Vegas Vapefests were really well attended this year and if one pops up in a city near you, it's a really great cause that you're supporting by attending.

VapeBash in Chicago started out in 2012 as a competing event for VapeFest being held in the same city, on the same weekend. Many great things can come from ill-intentioned divisiveness... the attendees that had no ax to grind soon discovered that instead of one great event, we ended up with two. For 2013 VapeBash turned into an event in its own right. With the possible exception of poor hotel negotiations that left us with limited places in the hotel to actually vape, this was a really nice event this year.

VapeStock is an event like no other... Vapers converged on the little town of Indian Rocks Beach FL with vaping on their mind... the event is more social than commercial. Friday is all about chilling and vaping on the deck and by the pool... Saturday is fighting back the hangover until noon... then the vendors sell for about 4 hours, then the party starts back up. The venue is WAY too small, and it's an absolute blast!

VapeCan 2013 was the first ever, national vaping event.  I was, I believe, The only vendor there from the USA and it was a fantastic time... somewhere further down this blog you'll see what I said about it.

The NEXT stop on the "Vapor Trail" was Vegas VapeFest... And once again an event was booked to compete with it in nearby Anaheim... not to worry... LOTS of folks attended both, once again proving that vapers aren't going to have anything to do with the petty crap that some people feel should be dividing us... ECC was well attended, though not by me... and VapeFest had it's highest attendance ever. And it was a really great time!

And just weeks later there was Long Beach VapeToberfest... Long Beach was a great event... it was the first time they did this, and it was really well organized and very well attended. The most amazing thing about Long Beach California... for FOUR whole days, I didn't see a single person smoking a cigarette... nobody... not even a bum on the street. In Long Beach... people Vape... Not just the event attendees... EVERYBODY... it was REALLY refreshing to see what can happen when smoking becomes considered "tabu" and vaping is considered "HIP"... it was amazing!

And then... POOF... It's time for VaperCon... For me, VaperCon is like a home-coming... it's where I first launched the Zenesis PV, and it's where I usually show what's coming next... and the ZNA gave people a lot to talk about!  It was a blast... long hours of hanging out and meeting people, but really a great time!

And just when I thought I was done traveling for the year i added one last stop on the tour... A relatively small regional vape meet in DesMoines Iowa, which I booked at the last minute and decided to surprise them by attending. We recently started making our products available at Brick and Mortar stores and the first one to add the full product line is Central Iowa Vapers in DesMoines. It turns out that they were having a state-wide vape meet at their store, and I decided to pop in... I brought them their "Authorized Dealer" plaques so they would have them for the event, plus I brought along the "Zenesis Custom Shop" displays... this gives people the ability to hand pick from a variety of REALLY limited edition Z2 parts in custom and one of a kind finishes making it possible to have a truly unique PV that nobody else has. It was an AWESOME time and I'm really glad I decided to go. The staff at Central Iowa eCigs have a great shop, with really great staff on hand, and I was thrilled to be at their meet!

On the return trip home from DesMoines, I had a really fun thing happen... at the security checkpoint when my "custom shop" case was being scanned... the TSA guy looked at them... then up at me and said... "eCig parts?" and I replied... "Man you ARE good"... he smiled and said "Zen, I learned how to make coils by watching your videos... I figured they would be eCig parts when I saw you in line". We have come a LONG WAY since I was detained in Chicago 2 years ago because the TSA guy thought I had bombs in my suitcase... a LONG LONG way!

OK... now lets talk about cool stuff I saw on the vapor trail this year....

Errrrrr.... there wasn't much, actually...

Notable Juices this year were Philosophers Stone by LaVape Shop in Quebec... The Gold Seal Root Beer from New Life eCigs... oh... and Juice Wytch has a new juice called simply "HEX" which is pretty outstanding... it's complex, and worthy of checking out.



Notable "Innovations" were the Stache drip tips mentioned in the VapeCan segment earlier this year and not a whole lot else... Ninja Vapes (The maker of the ODACHI) has a 14500 sized hybrid coming soon that is pretty special. The HAM 26650 Black Anodized MONSTER hybrid started delivering at VaperCon, and it's a really excellent first effort from JailBird Mods, a new start-up company with a lot of talent in their corner.

I think we're going to see some MAJOR innovations in vaping in 2014... only time will tell, but I see some trends building and it should flesh-out to be a promising year. I'll cover what I think is coming before the first of the year!