INDIANAPOLIS, IN (BRAIN)—The North American Handmade Bicycle Show will offer a limited number of exhibitor tables to new builders, starting with the 2010 show, in Richmond, Virginia, February 26-28.
"This is not so much a policy shift as it is a tweak," said show founder and director, Don Walker. "At the same time we seek to uphold the highest standards and the importance of experience in frame building, we believe that the rules at present do not do enough to recognize new talent and encourage new builders in the vicinity of the show. This tweak addresses that."
At the 2009 show, in an effort to raise industry standards, a minimum standards policy was introduced which excluded the newest builders from exhibiting. At Richmond, a New Builders area will be created. This includes 15 tables, not full booths, offered to builders that have not met the minimum requirements of 50 frames and two years' experience, and having product liability insurance. The minimum standards policy will remain in place for exhibitors seeking a full booth.
"This provides customers, media, established builders and everybody else an opportunity to see some of the most exciting emerging builders," Walker said. "And for these builders it's an early appearance in an international forum and an opportunity to possibly make the leap between starving newby and established frame builder."
The new builders will be permitted to display one bicycle or one frame only from a table, not a booth. Their exhibitor's fee includes a pass to most of the renowned NAHBS seminars, where the industry's leading lights pass on their knowledge.
Of the 15 tables available, five are reserved for builders in the region surrounding the show. The remainder will be selected in the order they come in. If too many potential table exhibitors all contact Walker the same day, he will resort to a lottery system for inclusion.
Builders who wish to display in the New Builders area should apply by email to Don Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aaron Hayes of Courage Bicycles won the Best New Builder award in 2008.