Daytona Beach, Fla. – Traffic and
decibel levels picked up here at the 24th annual Spring Break Nationals, where
attendance grew to more than 14,000, the number of supplier and retailer booths
grew to 50 from 30, and two world records were broken in an IASCA dBL
Traffic at the consumer/trade event
“is starting to ramp up in a big way,” said Harman Consumer’s Christopher
Dragon, whose JBL brand exhibited at the March 13-14 event at the Ocean Center
convention center. “We saw an increase in consumers looking for ways to make
their cars sound better and not just checking out the cars.
Event producer Paul Papadeas said, “We
had a significant increase in trade exhibitors and regional dealer
participation this year.” These companies “realize the importance of exposing
their brands to stimulated consumers,” he said.
Exhibiting manufacturers new to the
event included AVI Electronics, Rainbow, VMAX, and Addictive Audio. They were
joined by returning exhibitors Sony, JVC, Orion, Polk Audio, Crossfire,
Audiopipe, American Bass and Beyma, who Papadeas said did not participate
during the years in which the Ocean
Center was undergoing
construction and expansion.
The event featured custom show cars
from Florida car audio dealers, including a
dealer from Puerto Rico who shipped two
vehicles through U.S. Customs, and more celebrities.
Celebrities included Funkmaster Flex
and his stage show featuring emcee Ray DeJean and artists Trina, DJ Khaled and
Dorrough performing to the audience. TV’s Will Castro of “Unique Autosports”
showed customized vehicles in the JL Audio Booth and signed autographs.
Other events included bikini contests,
Papa John’s pizza-eating contests, and car audio prize giveaways by Lars of
Mars and DJ Billy E, who spun some of his newly released bass beats.
The IASCA, MECA and dB drag racing
competitions attracted about 400 competitors, with two world records broken in
IASCA’s IdBL competition. One contestant hit 155.5dB in the Stock 1 class, and
another hit 182.4dB in the Ultimate 2 class.
On Saturday night, a block party and
concert were held.
For next year’s silver-anniversary
Spring Break Nationals, Papadeas will expand the event to three days, March
19-21, to accommodate a trade-only day on Monday following two weekend days of
mixed consumer and trade traffic.
Papadeas promised a “well-focused
12-volt trade event, affordable for Eastern region 12-volt dealers” now that
the Ocean Center has been expanded. “This has been a dream of mine for well
over a decade that couldn’t come true until the venue could accommodate it.”
Last year, the Ocean Center
expanded by adding 100,000 square feet of exhibit space and 23 dedicated
breakout rooms to its 60,000-square-foot arena.