Champs Trade Show: The Complete Guide

The smoke shop and counter-culture industry is growing by leaps and bounds every year. However, it is still relatively unrecognized on a global scale. Trade fairs serving this industry are even fewer.

The Champs Trade Show is one of the few trade expos that cater to this innovative industry. It attracts numerous manufacturers, distributors, and buyers from around the world.

It offers a credible platform for members affiliated with the industry to showcase or grow their collections and find what they are looking for.

If you are curious about the Champs Trade Show, we will delve into it, including why exhibitors and visitors should participate and where you can stay while you’re attending it. Let’s get right to it!

What Is the Champs Trade Show?

What Is the Champs Trade Show?

The Champs Trade Show is the premier B2B trade expo for the smoke shop and 420 industries. It covers vapes, CBD, glass, and many other different products.

It is held in many cities across the United States, such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Orlando, Denver, and Chicago.

The trade show has set itself apart as the leading counter-culture trade fair serving the smoke shop industry.

Hundreds of exhibitors from across the United States and the world assemble yearly to connect with thousands of international wholesale and retail store buyers.

Exhibitors include manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, suppliers, glass artists, inventors, and other professionals from the smoke shop industry.

They present a huge selection of smoking accessories, counter-culture products, hand-blown glass, clothing, and other merchandise and specialty gifts.

The best part is that the trade show is free to attend. This helps members of the smoke shop industry grow their business and networks at the show without incurring any registration costs.

The show also regularly hosts the Champs Glass Games, a highly popular glass-blowing competition.

These games feature elite glassblowers who compete against each other in live events to win prizes, cash, and bragging rights. Acclaimed Oregon-based glass artist Matty White inspired the games.

History of Champs

History of Champs

Jeff Hirschfeld and his late partners Peter Gage and Josh Weitz held the first Champs Trade Show in 1999. Together, they spearheaded one of the first shows serving the smoke shop and counter-culture industry.

They started it when a national trade show where they were originally showcasing their company’s products —Gage Water Pipes—banned them, saying they were peddling drug paraphernalia.

The smokeware trade show they launched was initially called Contemporary Tobacco Accessories (CTA).

The organizers held the first CTA show at the Gold Coast Hotel in Las Vegas with only 32 booths. Over the next many years, they successfully held shows twice a year in Vegas.

However, in February 2003, the Bush Administration ran its sweeping nationwide investigation on the paraphernalia industry called Operation Pipe Dreams. The investigation had a deterring effect on the show and the industry, too.

Around 190 of the 260 exhibitors who had registered at the show canceled overnight. It cost the show nearly a quarter-million dollars in booth sales. Hirschfeld took out a second mortgage on his home to keep the trade show afloat.

He and his partners also changed the show’s name to “Contemporary Handcrafted American-Made Products Show”, aka C.H.A.M.P.S. This helped them distance themselves from the scrutiny the CTA was undergoing at the time.

The organizers also refused media coverage of the show to avoid the notice of law enforcement. In the mid-2000s, things started loosening up in certain states. So, the show restricted itself to those progressive states.

In the early 2000s, the Champs Trade Show was mainly a bong show. Over the years, the organizers made great efforts to foster long-lasting business relationships with thousands of exhibitors across different product categories in the counterculture industry.

Since the inaugural show, the Champs Trade Show has grown phenomenally. Today, it is the longest-running and most trusted B2B counter-culture trade fair worldwide, with successful innings of 23 years.

Who Is Champs For?

The Champs Trade Show is a B2B trade event and is not open to the public. So, only verified retail store buyers, sellers, and manufacturers can participate in it.

Why Should I Attend the Champs Trade Show?

Why Should I Attend the Champs Trade Show?

The Champs Trade Show offers retail store buyers an opportunity to attend one of the best smoke shop trade fairs in the country for free.

If you’re still wondering why you must visit this show, here are the top reasons:

A Massive Range of Product Categories

The Champs Trade Show is a one-stop shop for anyone in the smoke shop or head shop game.

Its impressive selection of product categories allows buyers to source all kinds of goods to stock their shelves and expand their business.

Retail buyers from smoke shops, dispensaries, c-stores, and lounges attend it to find everything they need under one roof.

This top smokeware trade event lets you discover what’s hot and new in the business and try the latest and greatest in the smoke shop industry.

Whether you’re looking for exclusive smoking accessories, counter-culture products, clothing, merchandise, hand-blown glass, and other rare specialty gifts, you can find and buy it all here.

This trade show is the absolute authority for all your smoke shop industry needs. So, if you belong to this industry, you must not miss it.

Top-Quality Products

The Champs Trade Show is dedicated to curating the best counter-culture products.

Whether you’re buying for a group or a retail store, you can be sure to find the finest, high-end products, such as American glass, pipes, and a lot more.

You can also get budget-friendly, top-quality products and check out new product offerings from leading manufacturers and distributors.

Attractive Prices

The Champs Trade Show is one of the best wholesale marketplaces for all your smoke shop industry needs.

With so many wholesale suppliers at the show, you can easily get the best and most affordable pricing on products for your retail store.

A Dedicated Glass Section

Looking to source hand-blown glass art and related glass products from the smoke shop industry for your smoke shop? The Champs Trade Show features an All-American Glass Section on its show floor.

You can find unique art pieces—functional and non-functional—from the best glass artists in the industry and showcase them at your store.

Networking Opportunities

Many vendors regularly participate in the Champs Trade Show. A whopping 1,600 exhibitor booths covered 380,000 square feet at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the February 2022 show.

This offers retail buyers an excellent chance to meet exhibitors face-to-face, ask questions, strike profitable deals, and partner with them on the spot.

This wholesale trade expo has expanded significantly owing to the Champs Glass Games, and the establishment of several Champs satellite shows across the country.

This offers retail buyers a fantastic opportunity to interact with exhibitors, get their answers, strike profitable deals, and form partnerships instantly.

The business-friendly environment of the trade event also provides a conducive structure for buyers. They can find the right manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers for all their business needs here.

Seminar Series

Buyers can attend the Champs Trade Show Seminar Series and learn about different topics covering the smoke shop and counter-culture industry.

They can learn about trends and updates in federal law surrounding counter-culture products, the future of the industry, and more.


The Champs Trade Show also offers daily cash giveaways to retail buyers. They only need to register and hang around the shop floor; a few lucky ones get thousands of dollars in cash!

Why Should I Exhibit at the Champs Trade Show?

Why Should I Exhibit at the Champs Trade Show?

The Champs Trade Show is an exceptional podium where exhibitors gather under one roof to promote their business. Here are the top reasons to exhibit at this show:

Product Launches

The Champs Trade Show showcases a wide range of product assortments like smoking accessories, counter-culture products, apparel, specialty gifts, and more.

So, different businesses catering to the smoke shop and counter-culture industry can present their wares at the show. They can highlight their new launches and entice customers with their innovative offerings.

Even niche businesses can present their products and improve their brand visibility. 

Industry Research

Exhibitors can attend the Champs Trade Show and check out products from countless other exhibitors at the show. This allows them to see and understand what resonates with customers and what doesn’t. 

As a result, they can develop superior products with a real chance of succeeding in the market. It also helps them save costs on market research and on developing products that don’t have a chance of success.

Boosting Sales

Counter-culture businesses get a ready market at the Champs Trade Show, as all the attendees are verified, retail store buyers.

So they can quickly sell off their stock and boost their sales and profitability. The show allows them to extend their product reach and strike deals with retail and wholesale buyers from across the globe.

Exhibitors can also improve their sales with effective marketing strategies. They can also consider placing well-designed promotional materials on literature racks at their booths to educate customers about their offerings.

Business Networking

With so many manufacturers and suppliers from the counter-culture industry under one roof, exhibitors can network with their peers and grow their brands.

They can connect with potential business partners who can meet their sourcing needs and help them achieve their business goals.

Educational Seminars

Smoke shops and counter-culture businesses can participate in the seminar series at the show and learn about topics that interest them.

These sessions cover topics including federal law trends and updates, the growth and future of the industry, and so on.

A Special Section for Glass Artists

The Champs Trade Show celebrates glass artists at its American Glass Section. The glass community created this section for its members. 

Small independent glass artists can participate in the show and display their skills and talents.

Elite glass artists can also participate in the Champs Glass Games at the show. They can compete in live glassblowing events for prizes, cash, and titles.

When and Where Is the Champs Trade Show?

The 2022 edition of the Champs Trade Show will run from November 1, 2022, to November 3, 2022. This three-day event will be held at the Ocean Center, 101 North Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida 32118.

Accommodation Guide

Accommodation Guide

The Champs Trade Show has reserved rooms for exhibitors and attendees at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort from October 30, 2022, to November 4, 2022.

The hotel has waived the resort charge and also offers other discounts. This makes it easier for show participants to book their rooms at an affordable price.

If you are looking for other hotels in the area, there are many you can check out. 

Here are the best hotel options you can explore for your stay during the show:

  • Holiday Inn Resort Daytona Beach Oceanfront
  • Holiday Inn & Suites Daytona Beach on the Ocean
  • The Plaza Resort & Spa
  • Daytona Grande – Oceanfront Hotel
  • Comfort Inn & Suites Daytona Beach Oceanfront
  • Comfort Suites Daytona Beach-Speedway
  • Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
  • Streamline Hotel
  • La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Oceanfront Daytona Beach
  • Fountain Beach Resort
  • Best Western Plus Daytona Inn Seabreeze Oceanfront
  • Boardwalk Inn and Suites
  • Quality Inn Daytona Beach Oceanfront Hotel
  • Sea Shells Beach Club
  • Sea Dip Beach Resort and Condominiums


The Champs Trade Show is a fantastic platform for professionals and businesses from the smoke shop and counter-culture industry to connect and grow.

They can buy, sell, network, learn, and compete in glassblowing events. If you’re planning to exhibit at this trade show and need show supplies, we can help.

We at American Image stock an impressive selection of trade show booths, attractive graphics, and supplies for exhibitors. We sell them at affordable prices to suit all kinds of budget needs.

Check out our wide range of products and services on our website. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us to know more about our company and our offerings.