Interbike, the largest bicycle industry trade show in North America, closed last Friday after hosting the bicycle industry for 5 days of product demonstration, education, networking, industry celebration and more. Exhibitors, retailers and media expressed positive commentary, noting that feedback from the show floor and at OutDoor Demo was favorable and complimentary.
Retailer store count was up 4%, representing a continuing trend that more IBD’s are making the trip to Interbike, while overall retail buyer attendance was just slightly down. Interbike expected a minor dip in retailer attendance after eliminating the Health+Fitness Business Expo this year – a show that attracted buyers from both cycling and retail fitness stores in North America. The reduction in the number of attendees per store reflects a trend across many tradeshows. The overall footprint at Interbike was approximately 328K net square feet, representing the largest show to date. Friday’s Customer Appreciation Day netted almost the exact same attendance as the 2014 edition, but an increase in retailer attendance for that day helped bolster overall traffic. A more detailed dive into attendance makeup will be provided in the Post Show Report scheduled to be distributed by Mid-October.
“As Interbike continues to evolve as a show, I’m so grateful for the support our industry showed this year, as the passion and excitement from our tribe was stronger than ever,” said Pat Hus, Vice President of Interbike. “When racks are empty at OutDoor Demo and booths are packed during Interbike, I know the magic of the show (the connection and interaction between retailer and exhibitor) is happening. The fact that we were able to increase the number of stores that attended this year gives me confidence that we are on the right track. We also heard from some non-participating brands that plan to be back at the show for next year based on what they saw and heard in the aisles – this is great news,” Hus added.
Highlights from the show include:
OutDoor Demo: Moderate temperatures, some wind and light rain made for favorable riding conditions at Bootleg Canyon this year. Attendance was flat compared to 2015, but it was clear that retailers were there to ride. A quick survey of the grounds on Monday and Tuesday showed empty racks, lines of attendees waiting to ride bikes and busy tents full of retailers and exhibitors discussing the latest products shown at the demo. Participation in the Bootleg Canyon Challenge and the new Showdown in the Desert were strong, and more than 100 attendees rode the new Ride 2 Recovery course alongside some of our nation’s wounded heroes.
Media Preview: Approximately 190 members of the media attended the 2nd annual Media Preview event on the eve of Interbike at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Thirty Five brands, including Campagnolo, Cannondale, SRAM, 100%, Rolf Prima, Pedego and more were on-hand to show their latest innovations at this private event. In addition to having one-on-one time with the brands, journalists voted on the most innovative product at the event, handing the Media Preview Award to Thule for their T2 Pro rack.
Fit Symposium: Fit experts from across the industry gathered at Interbike to hear from Ben Serotta, Andy Pruitt, Dan Empfield, Paraic McGlynn, Paul Swift and more. Participation from retailers and sponsors were positive, creating a springboard for the continuation of the event next year, with more advanced topics and curriculum.
The Women’s Collective: Many of the seminars that took place in the new Women’s Collective area were “standing room only” over the course of the event. Both male and female retailers attended to hear from experts offering ways to deepen their engagement and authenticity with women at the IBD level, and ultimately increase sales among female consumers. The OIWC, Merchandising Werx, PeopleForBikes and several other companies/athletes presented at these sessions that were curated by Verde Brand Communications.
The Circuit and Electric Theater: New for 2015 was The Circuit presented by Shimano, where attendees could test bikes on a purpose-built track – all in the confines of the air-conditioned Mandalay Bay Convention Center. More than 35 brands had bikes available at The Circuit, and attendees made more than 5200 visits to the track and completed over 8700 individual test rides. Educational content was also provided at the nearby Electric Theatre, presented by BOSCH. Here a consistent standing-room-only audience was brought up to speed on e-bike legislation, sales and marketing trends, current market growth, safety and more.
The Interbike Awards Gala: Interbike’s annual awards gala didn’t disappoint this year. The evening kicked off with a reunion of the cast from the 1979 film “Breaking Away.” Dennis Christopher (Dave Stoller), Jackie Earle Haley (Moocher) and Dennis Quaid (Mike) jump started the excitement before 37 awards were presented for Product Innovation, Athletic Achievement, Best-In-Triathlon, Dealer Excellence, Supplier Performance, Advocacy Efforts and more.
Retailers, exhibitors and media indicated that they were able to successfully conduct business and accomplish their goals.
Interbike returns to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center beginning with OutDoor Demo in Boulder City, Nev., September 19-20, 2016, followed by the Interbike Expo September 21-23, 2016.