LAS VEGAS, USA – The similarities are striking between the biggest bike shows in Europe and the US. Las Vegas Interbike, which closed its doors last Friday, showed the same busy and brisk atmosphere as Eurobike. This despite the fact that the US bike market, like the one in Germany, showed an 8% drop in shipments to dealers in the first six months of the year.
That this year’s Interbike International Bicycle Expo that kicked off Monday September 21 with the first of two Demo Days followed by a three-day tradeshow event would turn into a record breaking one was unlikely. However, after the first Demo Day with 200 more stores visiting than last year, indications were already there that the 2009 Interbike Show would beat the US economy doom and gloom.
Despite the fact that with over 22,500 visitors total attendance was slightly down on last years number due to fewer exhibitor personnel; the number of stores that visited the Las Vegas bike show was up. According to the show organizers the total number of stores increased to just over 4,000. They noted that more shops from outside the bike industry (i.e. outdoor, adventure travel, performance apparel and winter sports stores) visited Interbike looking for products outside their categories.
Further, the organizers tallied that the total number of buyers were up to just over 11,300 which was mainly caused by the increase in the number of attending shops. International buyers increased to more than 1,300 representing 64 countries. Top 10 countries represented were Canada, Taiwan, Mexico, China, Australia, Japan, Italy, UK, Germany and Columbia.
So, was all fine at 2009 Interbike? No, exhibitors complained on the increased costs for putting up their stands. Maybe the workers (all members of the almighty Unions) at the Sands Convention Center wanted to make up for their losses with Interbike as some other major trade shows in Las Vegas have been cancelled. It contributed to the fact that a number of exhibitors calculated that their costs for a stand at 2009 Interbike was 2.5 times as expensive as at Eurobike.
Business wise Interbike was hampered by the current situation on the US bike market where bad spring and early summer weather combined with the state of the US economy resulted in an 8.3% drop in bike shipments to dealers according to the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association in its report on the first six months of 2009. It results in high inventory levels and with that dealers had little reason to order for the 2010 collections presented at Interbike.