SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA (BRAIN)—As the new managing director of Interbike, Pat Hus recognizes the challenges he faces in returning the annual tradeshow to the sole unifying industry gathering in North America.
As Hus points out, the tradeshow is still quite successful, and has sold out for 2011, but the reality is many of the industry’s largest bike suppliers have pulled out of the indoor portion of the show to hold their own dealer events earlier in the summer. Add to that new events cropping up like DealerCamp and QBP’s summer expo and demo, and it’s enough to cause concern for Interbike.
“I don’t think this market should be getting fragmented. I think we need one show that serves the needs of retailers and suppliers. Right now I don’t think we have the right product. We’ve got to figure out a way to make the show work for both supply and retail,” he said shortly after his appointment was made public on Wednesday afternoon.
That means lots of travel and face-to-face conversations with dealers and exhibitors about what they want to see out of the show moving forward. Hus has ideas on how to add some punch back to Interbike to make it must-attend event for retailers and suppliers including implementing a program to lower exhibition costs, launching a secondary show in the winter, changing the date and/or venue and looking at adding a consumer aspect to the show. Beyond the show itself, Hus plans to work on building the Interbike brand through PR initiatives and sponsorship of industry events.
Hus, who was recruited for the position by Interbike, starts his new job June 1 and will be working strategically with show director Andy Tompkins and Interbike’s marketing team on plans for the show beyond 2011. In the newly created leadership role, Hus reports directly to David Loechner, president of Nielsen Expositions. He will work from his home in Arizona with frequent trips to Interbike’s offices in Southern California for the next year before relocating.
Hus comes to Interbike from Easton Bell Sports, where he worked as the company's director of sales for the specialty retail channel for the past year. His last day at Easton Bell is May 27. Hus was previously the CEO of Titus Cycles, and also worked at Cannondale for many years.