Interbike was staged for the final time in Las Vegas on 20-22 September, as it marked the end of an era and set its sights on its new home in Reno-Tahoe for 2018. According to a release from the show organisers, ‘exhibitors and retailers consistently commented on the quality of conversations, brands and education they found at the 2017 version of the largest trade event in North America.’
“It was so great to see the tribe gather again here at both OutDoor Demo and Interbike,” said Pat Hus, Vice President of Interbike. “Despite the difficult business climate our industry has faced over the past two to three years – retailers, brands, distributors, journalists and more from around the world made the trip, and we’re hearing great things coming out of the event. In all honesty, we feared that it could have been much worse based on all the general business climate of the bike industry, but the good news is that people showed up and people seemed very positive.”
Hus added, “The demo and expo were definitely smaller than last year, which is disappointing but trade shows are truly a reflection of their industry. When revenues constrict in any business, marketing spend is the first place that tends to get reduced. Still, the brands that had a presence at the show and the retailers that made the trip are to be praised for investing in the event during a down market – and from many of the conversations that I had with both, the choice to attend was the right one. Feedback on the move to Reno Tahoe was also very positive and we’ve exceeded our expectations on contracts received already for 2018.”
General exhibitor & attendee feedback:
- “This was the best show we’ve had in 5 years,” said Larry Pizzi, President of Raleigh Electric. “Not only did we see a steady stream of traffic, we had retailers wanting to write orders. A great show for Raleigh Electric overall.”
- “Interbike was very successful for Focus, especially in launching our new line of e-bikes,” said Dan Delahanty, General Manager of Focus and Kalkhoff USA. “Key to our success was the opportunity for retailers and media to test ride our bikes at Outdoor Demo and then meet at the expo to talk business. Interbike provided the perfect platform for our brand with existing customers and helped us show our offerings to prospects and media.”
- “Once again a visit to Interbike was well worth the trip,” said Dick DeBartolo, a veteran journalist and contributor to ABC World News Now, Tech Guy Labs with Leo LaPorte and GizWiz. “Not only is every conceivable kind of bike there, but also every kind of new and ingenious bike gadget! That’s what I especially look for; clever bike gadgets to show on the various media outlets that I work with. The 2017 show didn’t disappoint!”
- “Interbike continues to be important for my business,” said Howard Larlee, owner of Orange Cycle in Orlando, Florida. “We can sit down and meet with our website provider, our POS company representatives and speak with smaller suppliers all under one roof during a two day visit to Interbike. The seminars are worth attending and allow me to feel at least 2% smarter about management, marketing and retail technology. I can’t say where else I would go to get the same kind of ‘big picture’ view of the trends in bicycle retail. We will attend Reno next year.”
- “Our goal at Interbike was to connect with mechanics, shop owners, and industry partners,” said James Stanfill, President, Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association (PBMA). “We accomplished that through the Mechanics Challenge, launching an industry standard for mechanic certification, and producing educational seminars. As we look towards Reno in 2018, the PBMA recognizes the importance of events like Interbike to bring our community together.”
- “We were really pleased with the quality of the attendees at Interbike this year,” said Dan Large, North American Technical Service Manager for Campagnolo North America. “Traffic may have been lighter than in the past, but it was steady, and all of my attendee interaction was more professional and at a higher level than in years’ past as well.”
- “Interbike’s last hurrah in Las Vegas was great for Athlos,” said Dave Manchester, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Athlos. “Activity throughout the show was high, our booth very busy, resulting in new customers and additional sales leads to follow up on. The attending dealers were very focused and were there to conduct business. Overall an exhausting, busy, three days that we’d consider a success.”
- “Smith’s Interbike experience this year was super positive,” said Eric Carlson, Global Brand Director for Smith Optics. “Even with the many unknowns across the sell-in process, we believe it’s super critical to support the industry and support the North American market directly. We were able to work with editors and athletes alike that will help us connect directly to the consumers, which is our #1 goal.”
The show’s events and educational sessions included:
The Industry Breakfast – Over 550 people attended and were fed at the annual industry breakfast.
Shootout on e-Mountain: More than 500 post-test ride surveys were taken by retailers that rode the latest eMTBs from Fantic, Cannondale, Bulls, Focus, Haibike, Raleigh Electric, iZip and Haro. Each rider took a survey on the bikes they rode, and the results will be published by Electric Bike Action magazine and Mountain Bike Action magazine.
Mechanics Challenge: The second iteration of the Mechanics Challenge, presented by Park Tool, drew more than 75 service technicians from all over the United States to perform tasks against the clock in a fun atmosphere.
Fit Symposium: The third annual Fit Symposium, curated by Medicine of Cycling, was filled to capacity for the second year in a row. Experts in the world of bicycle fit presented to 100+ attendees on the Tuesday afternoon of the show.
Media Preview: More than 125 endemic, non-endemic, domestic and international members of the press gathered for the third annual Media Preview. This private event featured more than 30 brands showing their most innovative products on the eve of Interbike.
Mann University: Dan Mann from The Mann Group brought his half day GEAR workshop to a full house of retailers on the day before the show kicked off.
The Forum: New for 2017, this on-floor educational area featured short, powerful sessions from some of the top minds in retail education. Its easy access while walking the show floor drew standing-room-only crowds for many of the sessions.
The Circuit: Back for the third year in a row, more than 1700 attendees tested ebikes from 30+ brands and conducted over 6000 test rides on Wednesday through Friday.
Interbike Marketweek will take place in the Reno Tahoe region beginning with a new consumer demo and festival in North Lake Tahoe, California, on 15-16 September 2018, followed by OutDoor Demo on 16-17 September, and closing with the Interbike Expo on 18-20 September 2018.