(March 4, 2015 – New York, NY)
The Original LGBT Expo (http://thelgbtexpo.com
) held its 22nd anniversary show last weekend at New York’s Jacob Javits Center and although the weather did not always cooperate, response from the thousands of exhibitors, sponsors and attendees proved to be overwhelmingly positive.
Even though it is the longest-running LGBT convention in the world, this expo marked the first under new event producers Life Out Loud Events.
“Our main goal from the beginning was to maintain the integrity of the 22-year-old event while enhancing and expanding the attendee experience and I think that’s exactly what we did,” said Jay Handy, Director of Life Out Loud Events.
The much-anticipated event kicked off Saturday, February 28 and closed Sunday, March 1, and those who made their way to New York’s West Side enjoyed over 100,000 square feet of exhibits from over 300 participating companies, over 40 musical and dance acts on the entertainment stage, 10 hours of engaging seminars and a full schedule of screenings, performances and Q&A sessions in the show’s always-popular Video Lounge.
Attendees also came out in force to enjoy the many Official LGBT Expo After Parties that took place all weekend long at hotspots like the Sky Room, XL Nightclub and the Phoenix Bar. These parties were free for those who took advantage of one of the show’s new wrinkles, the VIP ticket option. VIP ticket holders also received an LGBT Expo T-shirt, shoulder bag, various free and discount products and services from the event’s exhibitors and sponsors, and everyone got to enjoy the mobile scavenger hunt, powered by Scavify, which paid out a $500 dollar cash prize.
The Expo’s Entertainment Stage, produced by Kurfew, and the newly introduced seminar series were both big hits. The expanded schedule and size of the entertainment stage gave two days of nonstop acts that was as diverse as it was a party. The stage featured the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to writer Michael Musto, and special appearances from MTV’s Real World cast, Briah, Bruno & Nicole Zanatta. Also, for the first time, the Original LGBT Expo featured a weekend filled with seminars with speakers that included the FDNY’s first transgender firefighter, Brooke Guinan, as well Sue Wicks from the WNBA’s New York Liberty. An always-popular mainstay at the expo is its Video Lounge that saw Broadway performances, as well as Oscar-nominated movie screenings like Tom in America and filmmaker Q&A sessions with Pierre Stefanos.
The Engayged Wedding Expo, sponsored by Engayged Wedding (http://engaygedweddings.com
), not only showcased products and services catering to the LGBT wedding industry, but also hosted the EngaygedWeddings.com $30,000 contest winners Val and Chelsea who tied the knot at the expo.
The Passport Magazine Travel Expo, sponsored by Passport Magazine (http://passportmagazine.com
), portion of the show was always busy as the dozens of featured travel vendors and representatives showcasing the best destinations around the world collected information and gave away prizes.
One of the things that Life Out Loud Events was most honored to do was continue the tradition of giving back to the LGBT Community. Over $100,000 worth of complimentary tickets and Non-Profit Pavilion exhibit space were donated.
“Now that we’ve got one show under our belt, we’re already looking forward to next year,” added Handy. “People haven’t seen anything yet.”
Dates for the 2016 LGBT Expo are March 12-13 so calendars should be marked. Those interested in attending next year’s event can stay informed via the expo’s official website, http://thelgbtexpo.com
and on social media @theLGBTexpo.com (Twitter and Instagram), and http://facebook.com/thelgbtexpo
For information on exhibiting or sponsoring future events, visit http://thelgbtexpo.com/exhibit
For all media inquiries, visit: http://thelgbtexpo.com/press