VAPITALY, MAY 2018
Verona is pretty. Thought we’d get out of the way right off the bat. I’ve been to Italy many a time and as for Verona itself, it’s my fourth visit. Each time I return to this place I find myself looking around taking one deep sigh after the other and thinking…..I’m just going to enjoy my day today, how could I not in this sexy little city, and worst comes to worst I’ll get a pizza!
Well, guess what? Didn’t get a pizza! But there was a lot more on offer this weekend as Vapitaly – Verona took place May 19th, 20th, and 21st. Id made my plans to fly out with the Eco-Vape boys Brett and Rob and knew I’d be in for a fun weekend. An early Gatwick flight and parking my car in Nottingham at 3 am Saturday morning left me on the back foot after being up for 27 hours straight by the time I arrived at the show. Although feeling slightly fragile and discombobulated after getting my b2b ticket I put on my game face and the Eco-Vape lads and I set out to enjoy the show!
Although the show wasn’t as big as last year it still had plenty of vibrancy and atmosphere to soak up. There were two halls full to the brim with exhibitors, and a really nice outdoor area boasting, in my opinion, the best selection of food I’ve seen at any tradeshow, accompanied by a casually scattered bar area that was always buzzing.
The attendance the whole weekend was at an optimum level but I never at any point got that trapped feeling in the aisles wondering if I’d ever escape and I think this was down to the fantastic job by the organisers to utilise the space at the show. I’ve known Mose and Roberta for years now and they pride themselves on making the event better every year, which I believe they do!
So, the exhibitors? I’ve always found when I come to Vapitaly that there’s a refreshing bonus, being from the UK, in that it’s not just filled with the usual suspects as we see at the Vaper Expos and Jams at home. The Italian market is a weird one but with that, there is always a good mixture of brands you’ve never heard before sprinkled with one or two of the bigger UK or American companies for balance. At this year’s Vapitaly I was pleased to see there was the same combo on display.
There was obviously a lot of presence at the Puff distro booth as they are one of, if not the biggest in Italy and have a “P-Vaper next to the stage at Vape Jam” kind of feel with a bar at their stand and plenty of hype. Svapo, ADNS, and Vapitalia also had big booths as you’d expect, and anyone looking for mechs or top-notch hardware selection would’ve been blown away at the vast array on offer at Vapitalia. I particularly had my eye on a superb looking squonker from Cluttermods but had already spent my money at the bar! (Lessons learned!)
Other hardware companies (of which there were many) included your Smoks, Rogue’s, VGODs, Vaptios, Suorins, and Wotofo. I ended up walking away with the new SuperBat from Vaptio which I’ve been really impressed with and have been vaping on since, after searching for a new simple but effective box mod, and I’m loving it. Vaptio also has a few other products I’ve been impressed with lately and I think they’ll be on the cutting edge of 2018. Their new frogman coils and tanks aren’t too shabby either and we’ll be reviewing them shortly.
I also had a great time talking to Brian at Wotofo, who is a lovely guy, About their new products and how their image has gone from strength to strength lately – especially with all the hype around the new Recurve RDA designed by Mike Vapes! Make sure you also keep an eye out for the Wotofo Collaboration with Rig Mod and their new (very reasonably priced) FLUX kit.
Other notable products and mentions were the new stuff coming from Suorin, and a company called Laan who have an app to control their mods and can be put in child safety mode and locked from your mobile when you are not using your mod. I think it’s a little too gimmicky for me but it’s still good to see what advancements were capable of in this industry on the technical side of things.
In the juice department, it was fascinating this year to see how the Italian regulations have affected how companies can sell their liquids at this year’s show. I’m still confused about it but unless TPD’d for the Italian market, shortfills we’re not able to be sold to consumers. This left companies like Riot Squad selling 20ml concentrate bottles of their juice range and telling users that they would need to purchase their own VG and mix into a 60ml bottle. Dr Frost took a different route and used their 60ml shortfills bottles with just the 20ml concentrate asking visitors to purchase VG separately to make up their liquids. I hope the Italians are ok with a bit of DIY!
Other noticeable points on Italian tradeshows are that there is always an overwhelming amount of tobacco flavours available. Some of which were a lot stronger than what we’re used to in the UK. Extremely tobacco focused with only slight hints of other flavours, but as a tobacco fan, I was impressed with a few lines from Mala 02 and Black Note. I did also have to make a stop and pick up the new Mr. gelato range which seemed very well rounded with some delightful profiles including their ‘Gelato De Lampone’. I also came home with a bottle of La Villa Boudoir Prosecco flavoured e-liquid from a new French company that I missed at both Lyon’s Vapexpo, and at the Vaper Expo. I’m by no means a prosecco drinker but maybe I can vape it while my girlfriends chucking them back the next time we go out and I’m DD?
There was plenty more on offer at the show in terms of products and great conversations, including the beers with Johnny and Zack from VGOD that seems to be a necessity at every vape event I attend. Alas, you’ll just have to take my word for it that if you’re planning on visiting your first tradeshow abroad you should absolutely consider Vapitaly. If not for the great exhibitors and the atmosphere, maybe for the weather and the food?