Organizers of the Interbike International Bicycle Expo (Interbike) announced that new procedures in the retailer registration process were implemented this year, in an attempt to both reduce the amount of consumers walking the show floor, and improve the quality of conversations manufacturers and retailers are having over the course of the show.
Feedback from exhibitors and retailers have indicated that Interbike’s online registration process is taking more time to complete, as the company is demanding more verification of retail attendees. Interbike’s Managing Director, Pat Hus, said that Interbike is – first and foremost – a trade show, not a consumer show.
“Based on feedback and experience from attending other trade events, we wanted to ensure that we had qualified retail buyers at Interbike,” said Hus. “While the new registration process might take a few minutes longer than the past, we felt it was necessary to put in place. It’s our job to do this kind of homework for both our retailers and our exhibitors. At the end of the day it’s not necessarily about the quantity of conversations you have at a show, but rather it’s about the quality.”
Over the years, many exhibitors and attending retailers have commented to Interbike staff that there seemed to be a significant number of non-industry attendees at OutDoor Demo and on the show floor; likely entering as guests of retailers and exhibitors. Interbike is a “trade-only” show, so in an effort to heed the call of our exhibitors and attending retailers, we have tightened up the registration process to ensure that only qualified bicycle industry trade can obtain credentials to enter – including exhibitors, retailers and the media.
Tom Kattus, General Manager of Campagnolo North America has been attending Interbike for 25 years and applauds the more stringent requirements.
“Interbike is a very busy show for the exhibitors, the retailers, and for the media attending the show,” said Kattus. “As exhibitors, we invest a significant portion of our annual marketing budget to be here, making our ROI extremely important. We attend OutDoor Demo and the 3 days of the show – our schedules are packed for the entire 5 days and it is paramount that our time is spent with the right people. If there is a qualified retailer, distributor, or member of the media waiting to speak to me or one of my colleagues and we are tied up with someone that entered inappropriately, it’s unfair to those that are there to do business. This needed to happen and I’m appreciative that Interbike has taken this action.”
Hus added that overall store count is tracking in-line against 2011 data, signaling that the same number (or possibly more) retail locations will attend.