LAS VEGAS, NV (BRAIN)—After a brief Southern California scare, it seems the overwhelming majority of attendees were happy that Interbike stayed in Las Vegas.
OutDoor Demo numbers were slightly down compared with last year largely because of strong thunder storms and rain on Tuesday morning. However, the cooler weather and tacky trails made for great test riding of 2012 rigs.
"OutDoor Demo is a great barometer to gauge how and where our competitors are allocating marketing dollars," said Andrew Juskaitis, global product marketing manager for Giant. "Everyone's got more bikes and a more professional presence than ever before."
Easton brand manager Dain Zaffke said quality face time with dealers is why OutDoor Demo is so important. "We got to take our time with retailers, really dive into the products and hear their feedback on the product too," Zaffke said.
The show moved indoors on Wednesday with more opportunities for networking. For ASI national sales manager Roy Haugh, this year's show was the best since his first one with the company in 2004.
“We worked really hard to get our dealers to come to our booth and gave them incentives to come to Interbike and have fun and do business," Haugh said. "For a couple of years there was this idea that nobody writes orders at Interbike, so we stopped asking our dealers to. This year we asked for the business and we got it."
The Sock Guy's Michael Foley wrote more orders on Interbike's first day than than any other day in the company's 10-year-history. "Interbike has always been very good for us," he said. "We always write a lot of orders and give dealers something easy to check off their to-do list and provide them with a product that sells."
Retailers such as Jax Bicycle Center's Dave Hanson also was impressed with what he saw on this year's show floor. "Since I last attended the show I'm impressed to see a more professional level of dress and appearance—more young sales management employees and owners in the booths," he said. "Our industry needs that new blood pumping into the industry.”
Interbike's final attendance numbers weren't available as of press time. Next year's OutDoor Demo is schedule for September 17 - 18 at Bootleg Canyon, while the Interbike Expo is September 19 - 21 at the Sands Convention Center.