Vape Exhibition UK – History of the Vape Expo

In the lead up to this year’s Vape Exhibition UK in May, we’re taking an in-depth look at vape expos with a series of informative articles you can use to get a good feel for these fabulous events.

In this part of the series, we’ll take a look at the short but storied history of vape expos including where they began, how they’ve evolved over the years and what you can expect at the upcoming Vape Exhibition UK this Spring.

vape exhibition uk

Vape Exhibition UK – Where it All Began

Before we see how things started here in the UK, first let’s take a look at the origins of the vape exhibition and see how it all began. 

After hovering around on the periphery of the mainstream for a number of years, vaping got its big break towards the end of the noughties when the popularity of e-cigarettes suddenly exploded in the U.S. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that the very first vape expo took place in the States shortly afterwards. 

Named VapeFest, the event was held in Richmond, Virginia – a fitting choice of location considering the city’s rich history of tobacco production and a signal of intent from the organisers that vaping was here to take over.

The event was a roaring success, and keen to replicate what they’d seen across the pond, British vapers banded together on the popular e-cig forums of the time and eventually set up their very own version of the event, dubbed VapeFest UK. 

Although things started out pretty low-key – around 70 people turned up to the maiden event which was held in the modest setting of the Plough & Harrow pub in Tamworth, just north of Birmingham – things snowballed quickly, and over the next few years vape expos would start to spring up all over the country, each one of them bigger than the last.

By 2015, these vape exhibitions had evolved from a few dozen people meeting in the back of a pub into huge gatherings where like-minded vapers would travel from far and wide to connect over their shared passion of vaping. That year the inaugural Vape Jam was hosted which was not only the first “vape trade show” to take place in the UK, but the biggest vape-related gathering this country had ever seen.

Akin to the large-scale vape expos of today, Vape Jam brought together thousands of people from what was by now a burgeoning community for a massive vape-focused get-together at London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre.

Although there’s been no event held since 2019, these Vape Jam exhibitions played a pivotal role in the evolution and history of vape expos here in the UK, as not only were they a massive success in their own right helping to push the industry forward at a crucial time, but they also paved the way for future events such as the Vape Exhibition UK that’s set to kick off at the end of May. 

what can you expect at the vape exhibition uk

What Can You Expect from the Vape Exhibition UK 2022?

So now we’ve taken a quick look at the history of vape expos in the UK, what can you expect from the Vaper Expo which takes place in Birmingham this May? Well we’ve come a hell of a long way since the early days, that’s for sure!

These days you can expect an action-packed weekend featuring various UK-based and international exhibitors who’ll be showcasing the latest products and innovations from the world of vaping, 

Recognised as the largest of its kind in Europe, long gone are the days when the festivities were over in a matter of hours and this year the expo is set across three days – one is dedicated to B2B while the other two are when consumers are invited to come along and get in on the action.

If you’re involved in the business side of the industry, with key players including wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, packaging and many other industry sectors coming together under one roof, the B2B day provides a great opportunity for businesses to make connections..

Alternatively, if you’re just a hobbyist who’s serious about vaping then you’ll love the other two days as there’s so much going on. As well as entertainment, competitions, giveaways, DJs, live performers and vape tricks, there’ll be thousands of new and innovative products on show to view, try and buy. And with thousands of attendees who are insanely passionate about all things vaping, you’ll meet like-minded people from this massive but surprisingly close-knit community.

fantasi at the vape exhibition uk

Fantasi Will Be There!

The staff here at Vapoholic are regulars at the Vape Exhibition UK, and as always we’ll be there in Birmingham when things get underway. This year we’ll be promoting our Fantasi e liquid brand and we’re looking forward to meeting as many of you as we possibly can!

After COVID scuppered the previous 2 editions, this year marks the expo’s return, so without revealing too much we’ve got some big plans for this year! 

There’ll be loads of fun, interactive things you can get involved in, as well as some product giveaways, comps and some samples to share. So if you’re at the Vape Exhibition UK this year then come and say hello as we’d be delighted to meet you!

The Vape Expo UK runs from 27-29th May so be sure to save the date in your diary! Tickets are priced at £15 and you can pick them up here.