When you hear the words “Gentlemen’s Expo” what would you expect to see there? If you answered cars, computers, beer and cigars, then you have followed the same brain wave as the expo’s creators. There are women-targeted expos and marketing events all the time, all typically focused on fashion and beauty. And while a lot of advertising is aimed at men it’s not typically done in a manner that denotes respect for the expected customers. Rather than just marketing to Men, this expo aimed for the Gentlemen of Toronto. Beer and computers yes, but also cooking demos, grooming tips, and entrepreneurial presentations. A lot of refined manliness was packed into the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the first annual Gentlemen’s Expo.

IMG_6658

Three days in November (sorry, I mean Movember!) saw the Gentlemen’s Expo come to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. There were 10 themed pavilions featuring feature top and niche brands from across Canada.  The pavilions included: The Sporting Man, Tech Man 2.0, The Stylish Man, Eat Drink & Be Manly, and The Working Man.IMG_6706

There were a few clothing vendors present – one featuring the bullet proof suits you may have heard of recently.

IMG_6698

Another is a line of active wear made by police officers and represented by Jodi Mitic.

IMG_6746

While the chosen vendors did fall back on some expected tropes of male interests (there were a LOT of vintage cars!), it doesn’t mean they were the wrong choices – in fact I was very pleased to see that the male-oriented interests displayed were very highbrow.

IMG_6728

Amusingly enough I wasn’t the only woman in attendance, and I don’t think my presence stopped any of the guys there from enjoying themselves. It was a very chill atmosphere.

IMG_6676

I got to see a lot of new products getting a wider audience, like Agnite Lighters, Man Up Cosmetics, Cole + Parker Socks and the Core Chair  (I want one!), so if you’re interested in new business opportunities then this is a great event to check out.

IMG_6774
Speaking of investments, one of the first guests of the weekend was former Dragon W. Brett Wilson, being interviewed by Ben Mulroney.

IMG_6755

And lest we get hungry or thirsty there were food and drink options to keep us happy and a cooking presentation stage to edutain us.

IMG_6647
Last but not least if any gentlemen came in feeling a little shaggy or scruffy they had the option of being cleaned up on site.

IMG_6754

This was only the first year, and so while it seemed to me that it started out a little quietly I definitely see the potential for a bustling hotspot for trendy and cultured men in the city.  I do hope to see it return next year.

Photo Gallery from The Gentlemen’s Expo 2013