SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA (BRAIN)—Interbike organizers are considering moving the show to August in 2011 and beyond to coincide with accelerated buying and selling product cycles.
Show director Andy Tompkins said Nielsen Business Media, the show’s parent company, plans to make a decision on the show’s future dates in the next couple of months. He plans to attend the Bicycle Leadership Conference next week and participate in a panel discussion there regarding the industry’s product cycles where he hopes to gather additional feedback.
“We’ve kept our ears to the ground the past six months and the dates of the show have been called into question by some of our audience,” said Andy Tompkins, who also heads up Action Sports Retailer and the Health and Fitness Business Expo, all owned and run by Nielsen Business Media. “Interbike, as any trade show does, reflects the needs of the market it serves. Since the bike industry's buy/sell cycles have been changing, we’re just responding to these forces and trying to make sure that Interbike continues to serve as an effective and productive business resource.”
Tompkins said retailers and suppliers have indicated that as more and more manufacturers introduce products to the market in the summer months—and even as early as spring at events like Sea Otter—Interbike's dates have become less ideal for retailers to see new product and place orders. Many shop owners have already committed to certain brands and tied up their ordering dollars by the time the show rolls round, he said.
“That’s creating a challenge. Earlier dates would give the industry a chance to meet at a time when most companies are trying to sell product and give retailers the opportunity to see all their options at once and closer to the time when they are actually launched to the market by manufacturers,” Tompkins said.
Las Vegas would remain the location for the immediate future as it still makes sense logistically and economically, Tompkins said.
If a date change took effect, Interbike would most likely be held within the first two weeks of August and timed to allow industry members to travel between it and Eurobike, typically held in late August.
Tompkins said this year’s Sept. 20-24 show at the Sands Convention Center has nearly sold out, which could suggest a market rebound. Brands that have been absent in recent shows, such as Santa Cruz Bicycles, are returning while others like SRAM are booking larger exhibit areas.
In addition to attracting independent fitness shops with the Health and Fitness Business Expo next door at the Venetian, Nielsen is sprucing up Interbike with several improvements. It will incorporate community lounges with accessible WiFi for attendees and exhibitors to network and meet, offer an extended test track for bikes on the show floor and update signage and graphics to facilitate navigation.
Organizers also plan to kick off the show with an official press conference that will address market direction, trends and opportunities in the industry.