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Interbike takes second stab at East Coast demo open to trade, consumers

Published September 16, 2015

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Exhibitors who have missed seeing some of their East Coast dealers here at Interbike will have a new way of reaching them next year.

Interbike is launching a new four-day demo event next fall called CycloFest in Charlotte, N.C.

CycloFest will be a mix of demo, tech seminars and retail education on the first two days, which will be dedicated trade days, followed by two days that will be open to the public. Consumers will also be able to test ride bikes.

Musical entertainment is planned for both the trade and consumer days. Interbike also is planning to host races, though the details of what types of races are yet to be determined.

"This is in no way a replacement to Interbike for East Coast retailers and their staffs, but more of an opportunity to let them be a part of the demo experience," said Pat Hus, vice president of Interbike.

"When we look at our OutDoor Demo attendance every year, it is always weighted heavily to the West Coast. Most eastern retailers could have two days of travel in order to attend Interbike, making it difficult to attend the demo or even take part in tech seminars. This event is a natural progression and one that we hope will allow retailers to experience those things they have been missing for years now at Interbike. Adding some new twists to this new event should make it a very compelling event to attend."

CycloFest will be held Oct. 20-23 at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, which is conveniently located just minutes from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport — the second largest airport on the East Coast and the largest hub for US Airways.

Interbike chose the USNWC as the venue for several reasons. Chief among them was its central location on the East Coast, providing easy access to bike dealers in the Southeast; the more than 25 miles of groomed mountain bike trails; extensive road riding in the surrounding area; and the facility's other amenities and activities including zip lining, stand-up paddleboarding, rock climbing and whitewater rafting.

The two trade days open to retailers, distributors and media will feature educational sessions from The Mann Group, the NBDA and Interbike University. They will also include tech seminars by SRAM and Fox Racing, who have committed to the demo.

Interbike is working with USNWC to secure music acts for the event. The venue features musicians on its concert stage most weekends in the summer.
This isn't the first time Interbike has taking a stab at an East Coast demo. The show organizer hosted the Outdoor Demo East in Providence, R.I., for two years back in 2008 and 2009. That event was eventually tabled.

Asked what's different this time around, Hus said, "I think the market has changed and evolved. I think there's demand now. The East Coast retailers have voiced their opinions and they want the industry to give them the attention they deserve."

Hus also noted that the Providence event was held in 2008 and 2009, when the bicycle market took a steep decline.

"One of those years was a bad economic year," Hus said. "I also think [Interbike staff] may have thrown in the towel a bit early. You have to try something three times to get traction.

"It's a different team in place today than back then," Hus added. "We're going to make it fun, more engaging for retailers with competitions, and the facility has fun things that can add to the dynamics of the event. We're also bringing an e-bike component to it as well."

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