Brian Lau is a ﬁnancial consultant by day and an adventurist on the weekends (or every bit of his spare time). When he’s not helping businesses with their merchant services and payroll solutions, he’s off-roading remotely with his family and friends in his Sprinter (which we’ve featured before). Now, he’s also the guy behind the latest outdoor event, Explorer Expo, and we caught up with him to talk about his 1st show!
Can you give us some brief details on your background?
In my early 20s, I was in the Euro BMW scene. I liked to ﬁx up cars and drive fast. Now my priorities have shifted to include my family, and I’m taking more time to enjoy the outdoors and create memories. Part of that newfound love inspired me to co-create Sprinter Overland Trip, a white-glove overlanding experience exclusively for Mercedes-Benz 4×4 Sprinter vans like mine. My involvement with Sprinter Overland Trip (SOT) has allowed me to explore some of the most scenic destinations on the west coast while making new friendships with like-minded Sprinter owners.
How did the Explorer Expo come about, and why did you create the Explorer Expo?
Explorer Expo was created with two things in mind. The first objective was to support our vehicle and trip sponsors by giving them an event to showcase to our followers and trip attendees. The second goal was to blend the adventure vans market with off-road products, services, and other vehicles that have a role in contributing to the experience and lifestyle. At SOT, we use many similar products and solutions for our Sprinters that the general Overlanding community utilizes. We also know that many of our demographic started with other vehicle platforms before leaping into the van life.
How long has the show been in the works?
The idea for Explorer Expo ’22 was planned for Q4 of 2021. We had a lot of ideas in mind and relied on the production experience of Adventure Rigs to implement each stage of the planning phase, all the way to execution. We had seven months of planning and only four months of marketing to kick off our inaugural event. The next Explorer Expo will be bigger and better!
Was your 1st event everything you had envisioned and expected?
Every 1st event is a crapshoot with no history to reference. I’d say it was a great success for our 1st show. We aimed to create a vibe that
differentiated us from other shows. One way of doing this was to give our vendors an awesome experience. We invested heavily in providing them with unrivaled amenities. The venue we chose was SkyPark Camp + RV Resort, which offered excellent views, full hookups (water, power, wiﬁ), and a pristine event site. We also set up an appreciation dinner exclusively for the vendors. The venue also offered a layout that created an intimate atmosphere for attendees to connect with the vendors genuinely. With a focus on quality over quantity, we were able to present a show that was more meaningful and result-driven for vendors and attendees alike. Our next Explorer Expo is in the planning phase, but we gained experience, received feedback, and we’ll have more time to market for a much larger attendance.
The location was deﬁnitely exclusive. How does that add to the uniqueness of Explorer Expo?
Not far from the city below, Sky Forest is only a 30-minute drive up the San Bernardino mountains in Southern California. The drive is easy and scenic. Across the street from SkyPark Camp is SkyPark at Santa’s Village, which is a destination for mountain biking enthusiasts. With Explorer Expo being held at SkyPark Camp, we attract not only adventure vehicle owners but those that participate in the adventure lifestyle. The event is free to attend, but it does take a little effort to arrive at the show. This location brings up a different type of attendee that isn’t there to just window shop. Skypark Camp is limited to just 50 vendor spots, which makes it an exclusive show. Attendees are there to meet the best vendors in the overland and off-road community.
Can you tell us anything about the next Explorer Expo?
We’re still in the planning phase, but we are committed to continuing the vibe we created at the ﬁrst event. We are going bigger and better with more entertainment, food, and top-rated brands that help build a better experience through their products and services.
Where should people go to get more info on your upcoming events and what social media accounts should they follow?