Today we have an exclusive interview with Matt (M) and Brandon (B) Finney the boys behind The Vape Showcase, we hope you enjoy it!
How are you Matt and Brandon? You guys are really busy these days with Showcase, Lautus ,and Statement, where do you guys see yourself in the future with your projects?
B: Wow, starting out strong with this one lol. Well, with everything I do, I want to make sure it’s the best possible.
With Lautus Creations, Chris and I are constantly developing new ways to make our product better, and really making sure that our customers are listened to.
With The Vape Showcase we want to build a brand that the industry can look at with pride. In the future, I really want to stand out as the next evolution in vape shows.
M: Everything is going really well in my world. Statement is still a new juice company in the market, but it has been received well so far. Super pleased with the growth and direction of my companies. The future of the Showcase is meant to be revolutionary. Hopefully we can bring a positive change with our interpretation of a vape con.
Let’s start from the beginning, can you fill us on how The Vape Showcase started and how you were motivated to do so?
B: Well, my brother and I have been in the promotional world our whole lives. And my brother is currently running a promotional business that promotes over 30 shows a year.
So a couple of years ago, we were working together doing a trade show (before I even knew what vaping was) and he mentioned that he wanted to do a vape show. At the time, I thought he was crazy and immediately dismissed the idea (once again, didn’t know anything about vaping). Fast forward some time and I am quitting my job to go into vaping full time making mods. After going to quite a few shows, and really learning the industry, we re-looked at the idea of doing our own show. We spent months choosing a date, getting a location, and putting a fantastic team together
M: Main motivation for starting the Showcase for me is industry growth. It was an easy decision for me to make, owning a promotions company as my day job and having a new business in vaping. I thought it would only make sense for my next step to be merging the two together, mixing my knowledge [with promotions] with my main passion and hobby would make for something great.
How are preparations for Showcase coming along, we know you guys hosted trade shows before, are there any similarities between those two?
B: Preparations have been going great. We have a beautiful facility at the NRG Center, and we work with some of the best people in advertising. With some of the controversy around [vape] shows, and more popping up everyday, some of the early work has been a battle. But we have been pushing through and have confidence in what we are doing.
M: There will always be similarities between shows, as far as marketing, advertising, and relations go, but at the same time there is still major differences as well. We will be shooting for the Showcase to be ran on a much grander scale, while still being a relaxed and social environment. One thing we will be bringing with us to the table is our vast knowledge of advertising. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the need for social media marketing, but there are many areas to attract new consumers to our industry that are not currently being utilized. We will be hard advertising in 4 major cities around TX (Texas), with complete confidence that we will be able to pull in a broader crowd than most are used too.
Is this a one time thing or can we expect to see Showcase return next year, and if so, will it be in Houston or elsewhere?
B: Our goal right now is to make the Showcase a bi-annual event. Our background is in Texas promotions, so that is where we will stay. Currently we only have plans for Houston, but that can change depending on what the industry and public want.
M: You can most certainly expect to see us host more shows in the future! As far as location goes, we will continue to be a Houston based event. This is our home town, and we are more than confident in our ability to draw a crowd in this city.
What can people expect from The Vape Showcase, what makes it stand out from all the other vape cons and what kind of exclusives can we expect to see?
B: First and foremost you can expect professionalism. Our team has decades of experience dealing with advertising, trade show execution, and making sure that everything runs flawless from beginning to end. On top of that, both Matt and I have businesses in the vape industry. This is our passion. With the media and government looking at our industry so heavily, we all need to step up. We are that next step.
One of the positives about coming a little later to the game is we have gotten to learn what the community does and doesn’t like. We have policies that will not allow any trademark infringement from our vendors, as well as what can be construed as marketing towards children. We want to make sure that our show is media friendly so we also encourage our vendors to behave appropriately as well (no body-painting and such). Bringing this new view will show that vaping can be as professional as any other big industry.
Exclusives will include a dedicated advocacy meeting room. Planned speeches from well respected industry leaders, a dedicated media area for all of our bloggers and podcasters, and many, many, other things. Just make sure to watch our Facebook and website for more updates.
If your collection of mods and e-juice was about to be destroyed, and for whatever reason you can only take one mod and one juice with you, which would they be? (You can’t take the Primoris because it got destroyed by me)
B: Hmmm…I can’t take any of my Primori? Screw that. The Primoris is nigh indestructible and I take all of mine. And I think I could vape Five Pawns Gambit for the rest of my life. I just don’t seem to get tired of it. [That wasn’t a misspelling, we actually had to look it up ourselves…”nigh” it this case means “nearly” or “almost”]
M: If I only got to pick one mod, then I would choose something with a little more meaning. Will give a plug to Cole here, and say the Kudzu mod. The juice is a hard choice, because there are two that I never want to be without. I switch my juice daily, even several times a day, but the main two I always come back to are, Classified Crisp and NLVC $100 apple pie.
Being your first convention, how has the response been since the announcement of Showcase?
B: We have received a lot of great responses since our first announcement. Before we even started, we talked to guys we respect in the industry and made sure we had support. Since then it has been great working with some very well respected people and we can’t wait to show everyone else what we are doing.
M: The response has been great as of late. It may have started a little rocky (which is to be expected with a new company) but I feel like people are starting to understand what our goals are with this show.
Who are some of your biggest supporters involved in The Vape Showcase?
(You don’t need to mention us. 😉 )
B: Soooo many people. But to name a few. Chris Hildreth has been great letting me spend more time on this. William Hildebrand at Coval Vapes has come in early and sponsored our website, on top of introducing us to some amazing people.
Mathew Schmuelian and Preston Kight have also been an awesome help these last few weeks. And our other team members, Mary and Todd Bean and Josh Chambers. Couldn’t do it without those guys.
M: Since I’m not mentioning The Vape Snob here, I will just shoot out a few mentions real quick. Would like to thank Dylan Thompson (Vapor Escence) for being a supporter and motivator since day one, and of course the whole Houston vape scene, who has given us a great amount of ideas and encouragement along the way!
So what does being a Vape Snob mean to you?
B: Just do you.
M: An elevated mindset, and an understanding of how to see through mass hype to find the real worthy vape gear!
Thanks for taking the time and speaking with us on Showcase, do you have any final words or shoutouts?
B: Thanks for having us again. You guys at The Vape Snob have always done an awesome job. And everyone check us out on facebook @ The Vape Showcase and our website www.vapeshowcase.com. Hopefully next time we talk I’ll have some more Primoris information 😀
M: All the BS and fluff aside, this will 100% be a show that you won’t want to miss. We are here to further the growth of this industry and promote advocacy wherever we can. Hope everyone can make it out to the first Vape Showcase! “Be a part of the experience”