Interbike show organizers said overall feedback was mostly positive from exhibitors and attendees at last month’s expo in Reno, Nevada despite the fact that retail buyer attendance was down about 28 percent.
Show organizers said they counted more than 5,000 attendees at the expo at the Northstar California Resort on Saturday and Sunday, plus more than 2,500 visitors on Monday, when the outdoor event was restricted to trade visitors. They also said Sunday evening’s new Retailer Welcome Reception was at capacity with approximately 150 retail buyers in attendance.
“As with any major change to an event, we have things to learn and refine in the future,” said Justin Gottlieb, the vice president of Interbike. “The demo experience was certainly improved over (OutDoor Demos) in the past, with Northstar California providing an amazing venue, but we hate to see empty bike racks with attendees waiting to ride. While this may be viewed as a good problem to have, there’s an opportunity for more brands to get consumers (who came from the Bay Area, Sacramento, Reno and beyond) and retailers from across the country, on their bikes at an epic venue. Now that we’ve gone through an event cycle, our sales team will be better prepared to show benefits and features of the event to industry brands.”
The indoor show marked the first time in years that Interbike had a convention center to itself, with no other trade shows in the same location.
“Our tribe was together as one, and the vibe — starting with energetic music in the lobby and expanding to the new Open Air District and outdoor test track, which held 45 companies — provided a refreshing indoor/outdoor experience,” the show said.
About 3,000 test rides were taken and tracked using RFID technology during the course of the expo at The Circuit test track. More than 130 bikes were available.
“While the attendance numbers were lower than expected, the new location offered a fresh experience to the industry during a time when change is needed,” Gottlieb said. “As I said in my opening statement before the Industry Breakfast, the last few years in particular have been challenging for the North American market — but we are bullish about the future of our business. Interbike is going to invest in and focus on growing attendance — from retailers to distributors, product managers, sales reps and more, as this is our primary goal for the 2019 event. We also have several sizable changes in the works for 2019 that we hope to announce in the near future.
“Trade shows play an important role in the business cycle of so many industries, as they bring valuable face-to-face interaction to all key constituents. We believe in the IBD and will continue to evolve our events to meet the needs of the bicycle industry.”