SUNCADIA, WA (BRAIN)—Interbike’s show director, Andy Tompkins, told Raleigh dealers that the annual show will again be in Las Vegas for 2012 as he laid out plans to put some zest back into this September’s show.
Tompkins, speaking at an early morning breakfast today at Raleigh’s annual dealer meeting, said Interbike is listening to its dealers and its exhibitors. For example, the two-day Outdoor Demo will get a makeover as Interbike tries to better position it as an outdoor festival. “It’s hard to chill when it’s hot and dusty,” he quipped. Interbike staff wants to turn this stretch of cactus-studded desert into a welcoming oasis.
Dealers and staff will find more shade, a variety of misting tents, more hydration stations and more food stands. “We want to make it much more of a festival and make it more comfortable for everyone,” he said. The demo ranks as a significant event in its own right and has been a staple of Interbike for years.
Tompkins also told dealers that when they arrive at the Sands Convention Center they will find that the show will now have a two-level format. Essentially, dealers could access the main floor via a new set of escalators that runs from a hall in back of the ground floor entry area where the NBDA seminar series has been held. It will run through the Health & Fitness show held concurrently with Interbike.
In what was welcome news for those at the Raleigh event was Tompkins’ announcement that Interbike will finally bite the financial bullet and turn on Wi-Fi access throughout the hall as well as doubling the number of hotspots.
Tompkins said the Sands’ infrastructure is dated and the number of devices trying to grab the signal poses problems that Interbike has little control over. “It’ll be better, but it won’t be perfect,” he said. Exhibitors and dealers have complained for several years about the cost and inaccessibility of Wi-Fi on the show floor.
Interbike is facing a changing trade show scene as DealerCamp, set for next week in Park City, nibbles at its position as the industry’s leading event. Another entrepreneur is planning to launch an expo in November in Northern Kentucky, again offering the industry an opportunity to reach dealers from the Midwest, East Coast and Southeast.
Dealers and exhibitors will also find some other new features this year at Interbike including a velodrome. Portland Design Works purchased the "Circulus" track built by a Pomona College student earlier this year. While it will be available for showgoers, Portland Design Works will have to exercise some discretion in who they will let onto the track.