ECC 2015 RecapAugust 16, 2015
I swung by ECC in Pamona on a B2B day. It's amazing how far the industry has progressed in a short time, which is also evident by how this convention has matured. It has grown to the point where it's impossible for me to visit every vendor. That kinda sucks because I don't want to miss any hidden gems.
I go there looking mostly for new juice lines, and there's no shortage of those. I tasted over 200 different e-liquid flavors in one afternoon. By 6 pm, my head was spinning from the nic high and my tongue was coated with a VG PG film. Whereas the e-liquids have also matured, there remains the typical bell curve of quality—a few excellent ones, a few horrible ones, and lots of mediocre ones. Also, the packaging is very important in such a competitive industry. I found, as in previous years, that exceptional packaging does not imply exceptional juice.
My top impressions:
- It’s HUGE! Next year I’ll need to bite the bullet and spend an entire weekend there.
- Friendly people. Even competitors in this space aren’t afraid to share thoughts and, heck, even a beer with others.
- Booth babes. All right, I’m a man, so no major complaints there, but it just seems overdone. It would be nice if the babes actually knew something about the product they’re pimping.
- The Glas Tent – This was the most impressive booth I’ve ever seen at a convention. It was a black tent Taj Mahal. These guys take packaging and sales support to a new level.
- $13 for a beer is greedy and obnoxious.
Here are the e-juice gems I found and will be adding to the MaxVaping arsenal:
- Scoops Premium e-Liquid – Four delicious flavors, which all struck me as high-quality and delicious. The flavors are dense, and I especially loved the Strawberry Crunch.
- Frisco – These guys have 8 flavors, and I was impressed with all of them. Their tobaccos have unique flavors, and their Marina captures the melon candy flavor perfectly. Huge cloud producers too.
- Motley Brew – These guys had a huge presence there. I met a founder (mohawk with the whites of his eyes tattooed blue ... wow). He was friendly, knowledgeable, and generous. The entire line has first-rate packaging and flavor. You can taste the quality of their top-rate production. Their Old Fashioned R&R blew me away as they nailed the mixed drink dead on.
- Propaganda – Another vendor with a huge presence, including a two-level booth. I’m always leery that setups like this hide inferior product. Not with these guys. They have excellent e-liquid. Every flavor I tried was exceptionally good—so good that I ordered it on the spot. Their Illuminati is the best-seller, and I can see why as it was the perfect fruit combination of orange, pineapple, and strawberry.
- ROYbot – This is one of four related lines (Buckshot, Time Bomb, Clutch). You really can’t go wrong with any of them. The ROYbot sauce really impressed me with dense beverage flavors, including Backspin (blueberry lemonade). Each one could easily become an all day vape, as they are refreshing and delicious.
- Little Head Vapor – This was one of the hidden gems I was looking for. The owner had just finished setting up his tiny booth and confessed he pulled an all-nighter filling samples. I expected very little and was absolutely blown away. He got it all right. The packaging is cool as anything I’ve seen—similar to the glass vodka skull (Crystal Head) you’ve seen in bars, but it’s a joker's face. There were only three flavors, but I loved them all. I especially enjoy the Crazy Cookie with its toffee, vanilla, caramel combination. YUM!
Stay tuned for these new lines as they should be showing up on our shelves in the next week or two.
Vape on, my sisters and brothers!