SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA (BRAIN) — While some suppliers have been scratching their heads, wondering where they will set up their booth come September for the Interbike trade show, organizers assured them that the final floor plan for the Mandalay Bay Convention Center will be released in mid-June in an email that went out late last week.
Pat Hus, managing director of Interbike, said in a recent interview that the floor plan is typically out in early June. “It’s a tricky process when you move from one hall to the next,” Hus said. “But we’re not late. I think everybody has a bit of uneasiness because it’s new. Last year we were in the Sands [Expo] and everyone knew where they are. Now, in a new hall, they don’t understand the hall and the flow.”
Hus said that because it’s a new floor plan in a new venue, it must go through a series of approvals including the fire marshal, event management company GES and GoExpo, which builds the floor plan electronically. And this process takes time.
“But, we’re feeling really good about the move,” Hus said. “We’re waiting for third parties to confirm with us and as soon as we get thumbs up, word goes out to exhibitors.”
Still, some longtime exhibitors voiced concern over the delay in receiving a floor plan, which they said they see by April or May, well ahead of the Sept. 18-20 show.
“We have a 20x20 or 20x30 booth and always had an island,” said one vendor. “Because of the pillars at the Mandalay Bay, they have to change things significantly and we can’t have an island and that requires a change in booth design.”
Hus acknowledged that some companies will have to “rethink” their booth, but that they will have plenty of time to rework their space.
Hus also noted that the show—occupying 315,000 square feet—is almost at capacity and Interbike will have a waiting list of companies this year.
“We don’t have unlimited space,” he said. “Anybody that doesn’t have their contract in better move quickly. Every year we get a lot of booth requests right up to the week of the show. Those people will be turned away. We’re compacting the show as much as we can and maximizing the floor.”
Unlike the Sands Expo, which had a ground floor, the Mandalay offers one floor of exhibition space. Organizers have created additional overflow space in an “outdoor activation” area in the large, flat, open parking lot outside the hall. Sponsors will set up trailers there. A stage with live entertainment, a beer garden and demo tracks for electric bikes will all liven up this new outdoor area.
Hus said more details on this new outdoor space as well as parties and other events the week of the show will soon be made available.