Interbike’s Retail Store Attendance Increases by Over Four Percent
- Overall attendance down slightly due to Health+Fitness Business Expo departure -
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – September 23, 2015 – 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 2014, 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 Theatere: 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:
“This was the busiest and most productive Interbike we’ve had in years,” said Bernie Doering, SVP Global Sales for BRG Sports. “Our sales and product staff were busy with dealer showings from the opening bell, and our booth was filled with retailers from open to close. A fantastic show overall for all of the BRG brands.”
“Outstanding show! Leaving Vegas with a briefcase of orders,” said Kevin Wren of Wren Sports via Facebook.
“Interbike is always important for us and this year was really great,” said Jim Stevenson, VP Sales & Marketing for Bianchi USA. “I’m a big advocate for the role of the IBD, and Interbike is one of the few places where we can all come together. It’s great to catch up with our customers face-to-face and meet new ones as well.”
“Great Show! I had way too much fun this year,” said Brandee Lepak of Global Bikes in Arizona. “I saw lots of great new products that we plan to purchase and attended some excellent seminars. Networking was fantastic as usual. Looking forward to a bright future and The IBD Summit.”
“As a first timer it was overwhelming to see all the industry leaders in one spot,” said Robbie Jenkins of Papa Wheelies bike shop in Portsmouth, NH. “I truly feel that if we want the industry to continue to flourish than we need events like Interbike to continue to grow. It allows us retailers to come together and immerse ourselves in the world of bikes outside our stores, see the latest and greatest products and trends and get a lot of work done in a few days. I made a ton of great contacts, received tons of knowledgeable information to help my business grow and prosper, and it got me hyped on bikes all over again.”
“Props out to Interbike; Pat Hus and the Interbike team have taken a real innovative approach to transforming the show and engaging attendees. Great Job guys,” said Jeff McGuane, former CEO of One Industries and President of Cycling Sports Group via LinkedIn.
“This was my first time attending Interbike, and as a result I now realize the diversity of the show,” said Michael Sommer, Gadget Guy, Fox News Channel. “I was especially intrigued by the e-bike technology and will be following that segment closely in the future.”
“As a business writer covering stadiums/arenas and sports for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, I look forward to every September when Interbike rolls into town,” said Alan Snel. “It began with the festiveness of the Outdoor Demo, moved indoors Tuesday night for the product preview and extended for three wild and woolly days inside the convention center. This year was extra special because Interbike organizers brought together three of the four Cutters from Breaking Away, including leading man Dennis Christopher, who provided an insightful and amazing interview. Writing a business story about how Breaking Away inspired so many in the bicycle industry to love biking was a highlight for me during the week.”
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.