COVINGTON, KY (BRAIN)—Jim Keefe is throwing his hat into the industry trade show ring with plans to launch a new show for specialty bike dealers this fall. Called Specialty Bike Expo, it’s set for Nov. 30 through Dec. 3 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.
Keefe, a 25-year media veteran and recreational cyclist, has spent the last 15 years launching trade shows, conferences and meetings ranging from 12 to 8,500 participants across various industries. Last year, he commissioned a study from Elliot Gluskin and Jay Townley of the Gluskin Townley Group to poll dealers about key drivers behind their reasons for attending or not attending trade shows.
Major factors they pointed to were time of year, distance traveled, location, educational offerings and opportunities for business improvement. “There appeared to be a need for a show that’s easier to access at a time of year that’s better for IBDs and puts more emphasis on education and training,” said Keefe, owner of Conference Results, an event creation and management company. “Interbike does a good job, but the number of sessions and depth of sessions is pretty limited.”
Partners in the venture include the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Northern Kentucky Convention Center; both helped fund the research and are assisting Keefe with show preparations.
Aside from the general exhibition area, the Specialty Bike Expo will feature:
• a consumer day at the tail end of the show;
• peer-to-peer presentations on best retail practices;
• pre-scheduled appointments between show sponsors and retailers.
Keefe expects to draw between 600 and 750 shops, with most traveling from the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast. He also thinks he can pull in between 60 and 100 exhibitors the first year, but he declined to say which brands had signed on during an interview on Friday.
The convention site is at the junction of three major interstates, and a short 10 miles from the Delta hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
Online registration for trade attendees will open July 5 at www.specialtybikeexpo.com (click on above link). Consumers will be able to register starting July 15.