LAS VEGAS, NV (BRAIN)—You got the feeling just walking into the Outdoor Demo, with perfect temperatures and hordes of people taking test rides, that this year’s Interbike was going to be a good one.
And by all indications it was.
Total attendance (preliminary) was more than 22,000, representing almost a 4 percent increase over last year’s show. Breaking down that total further, early indications show more than 11,000 buyers, which could be a possible record for Interbike, as it was a 6.5 percent increase from last year.
Unique retail businesses accounted for 3,800 attendees, representing a 17 percent increase compared to last year, according Interbike show director Lance Camisasca.
“It’s the best Interbike I’ve been a part of,” Camisasca said. “And this is my tenth. The energy was really strong.”
Exhibitors had all kinds of observations regarding the show. Kryptonite marketing manager Donna Tocci found the show to be extremely busy on the first day. She felt crowds flattened a bit from there.
“We just felt that attendance was a little light this year,” Tocci said of the show's latter stages. “Although I wonder if some of this is due to the increased popularity of Dirt Demo. Dealers spend two days there and a day or a day and a half at the show and then leave. I can’t imagine that they can leave their businesses for a full week.”
Fox Racing Shox marketing manager Elayna Caldwell-Grim agreed that Outdoor Demo is picking up steam. “It was busier than usual at Outdoor Demo,” she said.
WTB marketing coordinator Dain Zaffke said that both Demo and the indoor show went well for the company. “We had non-stop crowds coming through all three days,” Zaffke said. “It’s definitely a long week out there. It’s expensive and physically draining, but hopefully that Las Vegas gamble will pay off throughout the year.”
New exhibitors such as Zym also found value at Interbike. “The show went extremely well for us,” said Brian Koff, owner of Zym, maker of hydration tablets. “Attendees were surprised that we’ve only been in business for less than a year. We picked up new accounts, and my current customers that came by the booth are pleased how well Zym sells in their stores.”
One of Camisasca’s goal’s at this year’s show was to have a wide variety of after-hour things to do, and the mid-week Crit and Cross races helped accomplish that feat.
“We wanted to bring the cycling culture to Vegas,” he said. He hopes to have both races back in the fold for next year.
One thing Camisasca wants to do next year is attract the national media. His goal: have a road enclosure on the Strip where “utility products” such as coasting and folding bikes are being highlighted by the “Matt Lauer’s of the world.”
“We came very close to getting it done this year,” Camisasca said. Next year he hopes to see it become a reality. —Jason Norman