Interbike is Back on Track
LAS VEGAS, USA – Last week’s Interbike closed its doors with a total attendance of 25,536; up 10% on the visitorsnumber for the 2011 edition. Also the number of exhibitors was up by 250. Is there an explanation for this remarkable revival of the largest bicycle industry trade show of North America?
The US bike market is flat and shows no notable signs for the better. So what made edition 31 of Interbike so successful? It seems that Pat Hus – the new managing director of both the Interbike and the Health & Fitness show – and his team found the right key. “I hope you could get the feel on the buzz,” stated a relieved Hus at the end of the largest-ever Interbike (demo days 17 and 18 September; show from 19 to 21 September). And yes, that buzz was there indeed!
But what happened exactly on Interbike 2012? A short recap: after its 2010 communication disaster of moving the show from Las Vegas to Anaheim, Interbike seemed to have lost credibility. Thanks to the dealers’ outcry Interbike was forced to stay in Vegas while the former Interbike management learned its lesson. The new show management, Pat Hus and his team have a long track record within the industry, studied the market and each party’s interests on an international show like Interbike. The result was presented with this year’s 31st show edition.
“Our goal was to create an ideal environment where decision makers can get educated on 2013 products, learn new business practices through our seminars & panel discussions, network and ultimately conduct the business of cycling among the best and the brightest in our industry – and I believe we accomplished that goal,” said Hus. Furthermore it was a new barcode-using registration system that made life for both show management and show visitors much easier.
Hus furthered: “We’ve clearly created a lot of buzz out in the marketplace and when you combine that with last year’s momentum, it makes sense that these companies want access to our audience. Where else can you go and reach this many retail buyers in such a short window of time?”
Interbike 2012 by numbers
According to the new Interbike Director of Communications & PR, Justin Gottlieb, the Outdoor Demo Days in Bootleg Canyon: “Had the largest exhibition space and with 6,300 visitors was the largest Outdoor Demo ever.”
The show itself opened with a total of 250 new exhibitors. Most of them were showcasing their latest products in a new show section named “The Lab”. It was housed on street level and reminded many longtime Interbike visitors on “those good old heydays of the mountainbike boom” when startup companies presented their latest innovations for the first time to a wider audience.
Note that 200 of last year’s Interbike exhibitors didn’t show up on this year’s show anymore. “Next year we want that this year’s 250 newcomers to come back while we will work on getting 250 additional newcomers to Interbike 2013,” said a happy Hus.
Also the number of overseas exhibitors is said to have reached a new high. According to the show management especially exhibitors from China, Germany, Taiwan and Italy led to an all in all 10 percent international exhibitor increase.
Total show attendance rose – compared to the previous year – 9.7% percent up to 25,536. Store count went up to 4,160 (plus 4.7%). Hus explains this increase as: “Thanks to the small urban stores showing up that are not in the national stats”. The number of retail buyers and importers attending the show rose 6.1% up to a total of 11,733.
New venue in 2013
Interbike 2013 will be held in a new venue in Las Vegas. The show opens its doors from 18 to 20 September at stylish Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The American industry get-together will start again with the Outdoor Demo Days that will remain in Bootleg Canyon and will be held from 16 to17 September, 2013.
More on Interbike including product trends (no 650B, but yes on e-bikes) will be Bike Europe’s October issue.