SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA (BRAIN)—Interbike will launch a dealer conference in downtown Monterey, California, piggybacking on the Bicycle Leadership Conference dates of April 17-19, just before the Sea Otter Classic.
The event, dubbed the IBD Summit, will be held at the Portola Hotel and Spa, about a mile away from the BLC’s host hotel.
Interbike managing director Pat Hus said the focus will be on retail education, but details on the speakers and topics are still being ironed out. Interbike is working closely with Sea Otter, including president Frank Yohannan, to get the event off the ground.
“We view Interbike as much more than a trade show in Las Vegas,” Hus said. “This is the starting point of extending the Interbike brand into a new event.”
This week, Hus and sales manager Andria Klinger hit the road to promote the new conference to retailers and to sign up sponsors. Hus expects to draw between 75 and 100 of the top retailers in the country. Dealers would incur travel, food and lodging costs and pay $595 to register for the three-day conference, but Hus believes that larger stores will see it as a worthwhile investment in training.
And Interbike is committing financial resources to conference speakers. Hus said he’s signed up Marian Saltzman, a noted trend spotter who spoke at the Outdoor Retailer summer show last August, as one of the keynote speakers. Interbike is soliciting speakers from outside the industry and major corporations, Hus said.
Monterey offers a scenic backdrop and a variety of shops and restaurants, but is far from ideal as a conference venue. Major nearby airports in San Jose and San Francisco are a one- and two-hour drive from downtown, respectively. And hotel rates can get pretty steep in the waterfront tourist town.
Hus admits there are cost and logistical hurdles. But the Portola will offer attendees rooms at $145 per night, much lower than its regular rates. And Hus hopes to set up a shuttle service for retailers flying into San Jose or San Francisco. But the biggest advantage, he said, is in the potential for supplier and retailer networking through joint dinners and rides.
Sea Otter’s Yohannan said he has been contemplating ways to get more retailers to his consumer festival and race for years. “The industry is doing a very good job with the BLC at the executive level and we’ve got consumers covered at Sea Otter. This is the third piece,” he said.
Retailers who attend will get an early peek at 2013 products from sponsoring suppliers, who will have meeting rooms set up in the host hotel.
In a press release issued by Interbike, retailers Matt Ford, owner of Rock N Road in Orange County, California, and Jay Wolff, owner of Helen’s Cycles in Santa Monica, California, endorsed the new event.
Interbike plans to launch a website with more information soon at www.theibdsummit.com.
Triathlon Pavilion planned
In a separate release, Interbike announced that it is teaming with industry association Triathlon America to create a designated triathlon area at the trade show next September.
The association will endorse the show as the “official triathlon trade event” as part of the deal, eschewing participation in competing shows, such as DealerCamp.
Interbike said it will dedicate 10,000-square-feet of space to tri-specific booths, education and networking areas. The “Triathlon Pavilion” will on the main upper level of the show.