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HFB Moving to Vegas in September

Published February 11, 2010

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA (BRAIN)—Interbike and the Health and Fitness Business Expo (HFB) will converge in Las Vegas in September. Nielsen Business Media, parent company of both trade shows, has decided to co-locate the shows this year.

Andy Tompkins, show director of both trade shows, said HFB will be held during the first two days of Interbike, Sept. 22-23, and occupy three ballrooms at the Venetian Hotel and Casino, which connects directly to the Sands Convention Center where Interbike is held.

Fitness exhibitors should see increased traffic as a result of crossover buyers, while their display costs will come down from nearly $18 per square foot last year to $15 per square foot this year, Tompkins said.

The two-day show was previously held in early August at the Convention Center in Denver, Colorado. But organizers began contemplating a date and venue change last fall due to declines in retail attendance and exhibitors.

Nielsen plans on marketing the shows to independent bike and health and fitness dealers, which will have access to both shows with one badge.

“Since we have attended both shows in the past it would be better for us personally,” said Bill Randen, general manager of Penn Cycle and Fitness, with seven stores that sell bikes and fitness equipment in Minnesota. “I would be concerned that the timing for fitness might be getting pretty late to have the product in the stores before we need it in November.”

Randy Clark, owner of Bicycle Garage Indy in Indianapolis, Indiana, likes that he will be able to kill two birds with one stone. With about 30 percent of his overall sales in the fitness segment, Clark made the trip to the Denver show for years.

“It’s no secret that the Denver show is a mere shadow of its former self,” Clark said. “It’s no secret either that the bike business has held up.”

Clark said sales of retail fitness equipment were down 15 percent at his two stores last year.

Steve Meineke, president of Raleigh America, which owns the Diamondback Fitness brand, said the slowdown in home development and renovations—a huge driver of fitness retail sales—brought activity in the fitness market to a screeching halt. In addition, retail consolidation and bankruptcies over the past couple of years have led to massive erosion in the independent fitness dealer (IFD) channel, he said.

Though Diamondback Fitness products sell mostly through IFDs, the company skipped the HFB show last year choosing instead to bring dealers to its Seattle headquarters to present its new lines. Meineke said the company has not yet decided on whether to exhibit at the Las Vegas show in September.

“Trade shows are where the independent dealer community gathers and there is a need for a forum,” Meineke said. ‘”They definitely play a role in educating and supporting retailers. So it’s a real dilemma.”

—Lynette Carpiet

Topics associated with this article: Tradeshows and conferences

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