Vape Jam UK 2018 – The First UK Expo of the Year!

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    Vape Jam UK 2018

    Vape Jam UK Vape Exhibition

    Vape Jam UK is a vaping exhibition that’s held annually at the ExCel in London. This year it took place on April 6/7/8th. Once again I made my way there and thought I’d share my thoughts on the show as a whole.

    Every other year I have visited the Vape Jam UK Vape Exhibition as a consumer looking to network with companies and visit the companies that I have reviewed previously! For me it is a great social event that also marks the start of the expo season in the UK. This year was a different experience for me. This year I was working with a company called Vapetasia on their booth.

    Vape Jam UK 2018Getting to the Vape Jam UK Vape Exhibition

    My days started early… Real early! Thanks to the fantastic rail replacement buses that added 2 hours to my journey each morning and evening! I wish I had researched this and stayed the night. Normally I am only an hour away which wouldn’t have been a problem.

    Bleary-eyed I set off each morning at 5.30am! For me, it was a trip to Stratford London station, on to the DLR, a change at Canning Town and finally getting off at Customs House. Customs House is the nearest station to the ExCel and also to the hall that Vape Jam occupies. You can drive in too, parking is in the region of £20 for the day I believe.

    What to Expect from Vape Jam UK Vape Exhibition?

    This year the timings of the Vape Jam UK Vape Exhibition differed slightly from previous years. The Friday historically is business to business day. The Saturday and Sunday become the public days. This year Friday was business to business, Saturday morning until 1 pm was also business to business and then the public entry from 1 pm. Sunday was solely a public event.

    Prebooking your tickets for the event is essential if you want to avoid the long queues for paying on the day. At a few points I went outside and there was a line stretching back towards Customs house station. There are VIP ticket options available too. Which this year gave a goodie bag which included a Mi-Pod mod which I only found out afterwards but would explain the high number of people walking around the show with one!

    Expect to bring cash! Whilst many vendors at the show were able to take cards, equally as many could or would only accept cash. Also be sure to either eat a good breakfast before you arrive or be prepared to pay over the odds for food at the show. Sandwiches for example inside the venue were almost £6… Admittedly they were good, but not £6 good!

    Outside of the hall, that same £6 would get a hot panini and a bottle of water at one of the ExCel stores. Speaking of water, take plenty, that should go without saying. The amount I drank over the weekend was much more than a normal day. I found a Tesco selling cases for £2! 12 bottles for the price of one of the ExCel bottles!!

    Day One at Vape Jam UK Vape Exhibition

    The first day for me was pretty nervewracking, I am never good at meeting new people, but I was made to feel more than welcome by the Vapetasia team! We were also joined by Ice Cream Man Eliquids who were launching two Gelato flavours that weekend.

    The first thing that struck me about the Vape Jam UK Vape Exhibition was the sheer number of liquid companies that attended. Sure, there were hardware companies but not as many that attend the Vaper Expo in Birmingham. So if it’s juice you are after then Vapejam will suit you perfectly.

    This was the first UK expo for Vapetasia and we came prepared with around 12,000 bottles of e-liquid to share with everyone. I don’t think I have ever seen that much juice in my life! The morning was incredibly busy speaking with different businesses that came to the stand and making some good contacts for Vapetasia and even myself as a reviewer. I was surprised at the number of companies that came up that actually knew who I was.

    Vape Jam UK 2018

    Day One Post Lunch

    It is always humbling when people recognise me, remember I had just over 500 subs on my Youtube channel when I lost it all. My Instagram has no pictures of me and rarely do I post pictures of me on Twitter. But it does give me a warm feeling to know that companies out there took the time to come up and see me! Lunchtime came and went pretty fast. I skipped eating until later on as I wanted to take a better walk around the venue and see some of the companies I had worked with since the last show.

    The layout of the show was nice, pretty cosy feeling in what appeared to be a smaller show this year in terms of hall size but walking around the closeness of the stands, in fact, made it feel a little bigger! I am not sure how that works but it did!

    One thing I noticed this year were that there were not many different companies that I had not seen before as well as companies I had expected to be there that had not attended. Hopefully, this is not a sign of things to come. Highlights of today were meeting Professor Green who was there launching his line of liquids. Meeting Grimm Green and cringing at just how nervous I was (grow some balls, Jay)!

    With a 7 pm finish, it was time to go home, straight home, straight to bed! I was shattered but an amazing first day!

    Day 2 at Vape Jam UK Vape Exhibition

    A nice chilled start after an epic journey in, the first few hours was business to business but it was not as busy at this point as the Friday. I took a bag of goodies outside and gave juice to the people waiting to get their tickets. This went down a storm, stand number is given and back at the stand we braced ourselves for the onslaught and boy did it come! In droves, people made their way to the stand. More and more of my followers popped over to say hi again or for the first time. That for me was the highlight of the weekend.

    Vape Jam UK 2018Getting to meet the people that have watched my reviews or read them. It was also great to see some fellow reviewer friends who I will list towards the end. I did not get much chance to see much more of the show today other than from the Vapetasia booth but it was evident a good number of people ventured out to the show as we were constantly busy as were the stands around us… bar one, I will get to that in a bit. 7 pm came again and I rushed out, I needed to get home, this day near on killed me!

    Day 3 at Vape Jam UK Vape Exhibition

    Sadly this was the final day. Historically Sundays are much more chilled out. I used to come on a Saturday and Sunday and used to enjoy getting around on a Sunday. People had much more time to talk and that pretty much was how my day was today.

    I also had more time today to go and try out some new liquids that I had seen. I also talked to a few of the companies in more depth that had come over to see me on previous days. At the stand a few more followers came to say hi and were looked after well just like the previous days.

    Day 3 Giveaways

    Towards the middle of the afternoon, it was giveaway time. A few of the stands around us were doing their giveaways. The lengths people will go to for a 10ml bottle of liquid is still bewildering. The booth behind was launching 10ml bottles out quite hard and I saw people getting hit in the head with these! At some force too!

    Soon it was the turn of our booth to do our giveaways. Fortunately, sense prevailed here. We were not throwing the bottles out and were keeping track of who had already got something and moved them back allowing everyone the chance to get something.

    It was still chaotic, people still tried to snatch from your hand even though they had already got a bottle. Even people that had been well looked after in terms of free liquid from the booth were still trying their best to get more more more! We sold a lot of juice but we gave even more away. That was the plan, get the name out there. Judging by feedback from people it worked!

    Vape Jam UK Vape Exhibition Final Thoughts

    So the show came and went pretty fast. It was quite sad to leave on Sunday, knowing that was it until next year. But if I am asked back next year I will do it at a drop of a hat. Overall I think it was a successful show, everyone I spoke to was in agreement too. Some excellent companies and equally excellent people.

    Vape Jam UK Negatives

    There was one stand that was not as busy and that was the iQoS stand. This is the heat not burn technology. A lot has been said about this recently if you follow things on YouTube. I won’t dredge this up here but felt that it should be mentioned here as these are my overall thoughts on the show. Heat not burn, I accept it is harm reduction but as a Tobacco product, it really has no place at a vape show.

    I see that there is a market for it with people that may struggle to get on with the transition from smoking to vaping. It could be a reasonable midpoint or first step towards transitioning to vaping. I just do not feel that it is the right place to be marketing this type of product. Whilst they were not busy, there were a few people at the stand every time I looked over but perhaps my opinion was shared by the public too.

    Another of my bad points about the show, in fact, shows in general, booth babes or whatever. There is no disputing they draw the customers into the stand. Why not pick some real vapers that support the companies to go and work the stand.

    They know the product and they vape! It never ceases to disappoint me when I visit a stand and get asked to try things and then my questions about the flavours etc go unanswered because they do not know the answer. Don’t really know the flavour profiles and only know how much money they want off you!

    Vapetasia, and I am not biased here in anyway. But it is a fine example. The four of us asked to work the stand all knew the products, knew how good they were, the flavours etc. I am sure that this contributed to a better experience for the customers visiting. We could recommend flavours based on what they normally would like in other brands. Food for thought perhaps!

    Vape Jam UK Positives

    In terms of my favourite things at the show. My favourite stand ( other than Vapetasia ) would have to be the Dr Vapes stand. The welcome that I get when I visit their stands at any show is amazing I have some great liquids to review on my site very soon!

    I was equally impressed with the Momo stand, nice and bright and again a warm welcome from them and very very well looked after as always. This is a company that has been there from the beginning of my reviewing days. I have been reviewing them since they began too. It’s a nice relationship to have with a company.

    Vape Jam UK E-Juices

    Favourite juices I tried at the show. Well, Mr Wicks ( Momo Line ) Rhubarb and Custard have to be my favourite from the whole weekend. A review of this will be up soon on my page. The new Dr Vapes juices were impressive too. I also had a try of some different nicotine salts liquids. I was most impressed with the new salts range from Glas. These were a 35mg nicotine salt juice that is TPD compliant.

    Thanks to a mix of nicotine salts and nicotine acids. Super smooth and much more flavour than I expected. These opened my eyes to salts again after being slightly disappointed with the elements flavours not having as much flavour. The Glas basics juices had much more flavour and I look forward to getting these in to review too.

    I want to also give a mention to a few of the reviewers that took the time to have a chat. It’s always good to catch up with these guys when you speak to them online all year round. So in no particular order check out:

    • The Devil Vaper – Great Vapejam Vlogs on his channel plus plenty of reviews.
    • Empire Vape Co – Chris also has great coverage of Vapejam also plenty of reviews.
    • Little Bro Vapes – Great reviewer that’s just hit 1k subs.
    • SoulOhm Reviews – Did the industry proud standing up for the NNA at the show. Great reviewer too
    • Vaping Pogonophile – Excellent blogger, beard wearing, vape shop owner!

    Jay

    I am Jay (VapingWithJay) and I am a passionate vaper from the UK. Not only an avid vaper but I love nothing more than to share my thoughts on the latest products in the industry and helping others on their vaping journeys. Happy reading and vape on!