The Gentlemen’s Expo have been in Toronto for 3 years this past weekend. I heard about this show last year but didn’t have a chance to check it out until this year. As first, there were a lot of impressive guests like Chris Rock, Manny Pacquiao, and Spike Lee on the long lists of guests, however, couple weeks before the show, they were cancelled (not sure why!). When we visited on Saturday afternoon, the show wasn’t too busy. It could’ve been the guest change-up, or maybe everyone went to cheer on the Blue Jays next door at the Rogers Centre
The majority of the show’s booth had to do with alcohol, from Ketel One, Hennessy to Shock Top, if you’re a drinker, you would’ve thoroughly enjoyed the large selection of drinks you can get. There were also a bunch of clothing vendors that sold everything from clothing made locally in Toronto to funky designed socks for the statement piece of any gentleman’s wardrobe. There were some booths featuring men’s grooming needs which was very popular since there were many gentlemen with man buns present!
One of the most entertaining part of the show was the sporting booths. Puma had a soccer virtual penalty shot to promote their shoes. Tennis Canada Smash Court was having a competition of who can hit the fastest tennis serve. There was also a bag jump from 365 Sports which looked super scary! They also had an archery tag area set up. Another cool booth was Urban Tactical Shooting Range, which had a great visual set up with lots of neat goodies and an ipad showing all their shooting range packages. It really stood out as they were very friendly and had great ideas for their shooting packages, such as the “Walking Dead” Shooting package. This booth was one of the ones that did their job at promoting their business very well!
I was a little disappointed with the cooking demo stage and lack of food vendors. The show had only two food trucks- The Food Dudes and Hank Daddy’s BBQ Truck. We were able to watch some of Chef Sean Santos’ cooking demo and he was cooking some of his pork dishes. To be honest, the cooking demos had a lot of potential to be much more entertaining but it just seemed to be unexciting. There were a couple of guests seated on stage to try the food. I think the chef could of made the cooking demo more interesting by interacting with the guests more and engaging in the audience.
Table Mountain Curing Co had some great cured steak for sale and sampling. This Toronto-based company makes their jerky tender and delicious! There are no added MSG or nitrate in their products either! I would highly recommend you checking out their product!
Overall, the show was neat and had a couple of stand-out vendors. I think it really lacked something all guys love: video games! There was not a single Xbox or Playstation in sight! I think if the show had a bigger variety of vendors to suit all types of gentlemen it would be more appealing and draw in a larger crowd. The ticket prices started at $25- quite steep considering the 5 drinks you get are quite small. Since the show is still quite new, I think it will continue to get better and better each year. If you haven’t checked out the show before, check it out next year!