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CABDA West draws 1,100 retail attendees on opening day, show director says

Published January 17, 2019
UPDATED: Corrects retail attendance figure

Editor’s note: The retail attendance figure originally supplied to BRAIN was for non-exhibiting attendees on the expo’s first day. That total includes media as well as companies that did not have booth space at CABDA West. Show director Jim Kersten says 1,115 retail buyers and staff attended the first day, and an additional 330 were issued badges the second day. There was no way to tell if first-day attendees came back for day two, since badges were not scanned or tracked upon entry.

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DEL MAR, Calif. (BRAIN) — Opening day of the inaugural CABDA West expo here brought in 1,115 retail attendees, show director Jim Kersten said. Many exhibitors said those dealers came predominantly from Southern California, with pockets of attendees traveling to the show in San Diego County from locations as far away as New York, New Jersey, Iowa and the Denver area.

"I've seen more L.A. dealers here than I did at Interbike," said Derek Butterfield, a Los Angeles-area rep for J&B Importers.

Exhibitors were largely pleased with the number of retailers they saw, and they welcomed the ease of setup in the expo hall at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Racetrack.

"It's a cost-effective show. For the traffic that came by it was good bang for the buck," said Tim Harb, owner of distributor LBC Bicycle Supply in Bell, California.

Many brands from throughout California said CABDA West's affordability and close proximity made it a low-risk, must-attend event.

"We can't afford not to do it because we're in California," said Ross McMahon, U.S. sales manager for Santa Cruz-based Praxis Works.

However, McMahon expected to see more retail traffic on the event's opening day.

"I'm not regretting we came. I just wish there was more," he said. "A two-day show like this, I want to come away with 25 new dealers," adding that by the middle of the day he had made contact with only a handful of new retailers.

Several exhibitors said the show drew a strong representation of retail decision-makers, and they wrote up new business throughout the day.

"We've had great talk with true quality buyers," said Jake Inman, who works in inside sales for distributor BTI.

"I got to talk to a lot the guys I wanted to target," said Jack Gresmer, bike sales manager for Osprey Packs.

Rocky Mounts' Andrew Duran said the rack brand had signed four new dealers by mid-day. Los Angeles County brand Aventon Bikes brought on seven new shops. It also sold five of its show bikes to a San Diego-area dealer.

"If I had to book the show again today, I'd book it again," said Justin Christopher, the company's vice president of e-commerce.

Show director Kersten said the event benefited from a last-minute surge in pre-registration, jumping from 1,150 signups at the start of the week to 1,800 by Wednesday.

Many exhibitors said they contacted their current dealers in Southern California ahead of the show, and that they got valuable face time with them in addition to reaching potential new retailers.

CushCore's Kenny Roberts used the drive down from the company's base in Bend, Oregon, to visit a dozen retailers along the way.

"It made sense since we're so strong on the West Coast to get out the dealers and educate them on installation and stuff," Roberts said. "We're getting a lot of good leads here at the show, and meeting a lot of people we haven't met before."

CABDA West continues Thursday. For more on the show, see the Feb. 1 print edition of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

Topics associated with this article: CABDA

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