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Interbike reports attendance “down slightly”

Published September 18, 2014
Show returns to mid-September dates, and the Mandalay, in 2015.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Interbike organizers say overall attendance was “down slightly” this year compared with 2013, but the number of exhibiting brands — pegged at more than 1,400 — as well as overall square feet of the show were on par with previous years. They also point to a 31 percent increase on the last day of the show, Friday, which was open to consumers.

Interbike didn’t provide specific attendance figures in its post-show news release.

“While attendance numbers are certainly a measurement tool when gauging the success of an event, it’s not the only one,” said Pat Hus, vice president of Interbike. “At the end of the day, the quality of the show experience is most important. When we hear that retailers brought in new brands, purchased product, met with company executives, networked, learned from the seminars — we know that the show was a success.”

Total attendance at the OutDoor Demo was flat compared to 2013, organizers said, with flight delays and road closures on the I-15 due to rain affecting attendance on the first day. On the second day, “attendance was stronger than most years,” with police directing drivers to park on the road leading to the event as parking lots filled.

Interbike attributed the drop in this year’s overall attendance to several factors including a shortfall at the neighboring Health+Fitness Business Expo, held in conjunction with Interbike, with the three largest brands opting out of that show; rainy weather that delayed or detoured travelers; the Eurobike show, which was a week before Interbike and posed some timing conflicts for exhibitors and media; and the overall business climate for IBDs, who had a down year in 2013, and tough start in 2014.  

Show management said that a third-party poll of non-registered retailers in the months leading up to the show found that more than 75 percent said they couldn’t afford the trip or to leave their stores as they needed to drive sales due to the poor overall business climate.

Still, Hus and his staff pointed to additions to the show that were well attended. The Industry Awards night on Thursday was a sold-out event. And the media reception Tuesday night and Mann University course for store managers on Friday were filled. And exhibitors like Intense Cycles reported having a successful show.

“We hope, when all the dust settles, that we may have added as many as 35 to 40 new Intense dealers for the 2015 season,” said Andrew Herrick, CEO of Intense Cycles, about OutdoorDemo and the indoor show.

Interbike will return to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center next year and to later dates with OutDoor Demo Sept. 14-15, followed by the indoor expo Sept. 16-18, 2015.

The Health+Fitness Business Expo will no longer be a standalone show, but become a neighborhood within the Interbike show floor.

“The retail fitness industry has been in a state of decline since 2008, and the number of retailers is lower than ever before. Combine this with the fact that the product cycle for the fitness industry is every 6 to 7 years, and manufacturers just don’t have the need to show new product at an annual trade show,” Interbike said. “As a result, our fitness show will no longer operate as an independent event in conjunction with Interbike.”

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