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Interbike surveys industry on show dates and location

Published December 9, 2016

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Interbike has sent out an email survey soliciting information that could change the timing and location of future shows. The survey was sent to exhibitors and retailers midmorning Friday.

Among the key questions being asked regard show timing — primarily whether to move the show to mid-to-late June or mid-to-late July. Interbike has traditionally been held in mid-September. The survey also asks whether exhibitors would be able to make a move to earlier dates in Las Vegas for 2017.

As for a future change in location, the survey offers four cities to choose from and asks respondents to rank order them in terms of preference. The cities are Anaheim, California, Las Vegas, Denver and Salt Lake City.

Emerald Expositions, Interbike's owner, already has a major footprint in the Salt Lake market, where it holds its winter and summer Outdoor Retailer expos. And Park City, a 40-minute bus ride from downtown Salt Lake, has hosted a number of dealer events over the years.

The survey also asks exhibitors a series of questions about product introduction timing, the buy/sell cycle, and the timing of orders placed by retailers.

Approximately 26,000 people — Interbike's database list from its events — received the survey. It will be sent again next week and will be online for approximately two weeks. A separate but scaled-down version will be sent to the media sometime next week.

Interbike's show director, Pat Hus, said the survey is a "fact-gathering study" to learn how best to improve Interbike's role in the industry. "Within the first hour after we sent it out we had 43 responses from retailers and 46 responses from exhibitors. That's pretty good," Hus told BRAIN.

"Specifically, we have heard interest from participants to explore moving Interbike to the June/July time frame. This move would change the purpose of Interbike from an end-of-cycle marketing event to more of a product introduction event," Hus said in the email.

Hus also noted that some participants — both exhibitors and retailers — have grown tired of Las Vegas. As for exhibitors, a key complaint has been the costly charges imposed by the union at Mandalay Bay.

Exhibitors also routinely complain about what they call exorbitant charges Mandalay Bay imposes on exhibitors who want to offer attendees beer, wine, coffee or refreshments at their booths. For example, one keg of beer plus a server can cost an exhibitor in excess of $600.

Interbike has come under increasing pressure from exhibitors who say the show is too late in the season. Consumers start to see a trickle of next season's new products on the web and in print as early as mid-April as suppliers offer the cycling media a "first look" while at Sea Otter.

And Interbike, like Eurobike, the industry's largest show, has also seen key bicycle suppliers — Trek, Specialized, Giant and others — leave the show over the years to host private dealer events, with some events scheduled in June.

To combat the move toward private events, Eurobike has moved its dates for 2018 to July 8-10, turning what had been a five-day show, including consumer days, into a three-day business-only event. For 2017, Eurobike will again be held in late August.

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