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Cycle of Influence Summit tailors agenda for a post-pandemic industry

Published August 16, 2022

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (BRAIN) — After its planned launch was interrupted by COVID for two years, the first Cycle of Influence Summit will be held next month in this fast-growing cycling town. The get-together will have an agenda that organizers have modified substantially since the first planned event in 2020, said show director Sergio Bravo.

“It has evolved a lot,” since the first plan, he said.

The show is Sept. 6-8 at the Record conference center in downtown Bentonville. Bravo is offering a 10% discount code for BRAIN readers: brain10COI. The code expires Friday. 

When Bravo was planning the 2020 event he focused the agenda on big pre-pandemic issues including the trend of power sports retailers stocking e-bikes, for example. 

While that remains an interesting topic, other issues have risen to the top as e-bike sales have increasingly become a big part of most IBDs' business. In a more mature e-bike market, safety and legal issues are top of mind for many in the industry. 

“Now every shop is trying to get their hands on e-bikes to sell. The new issue is that there are tons of new riders on bikes and we need to ask, ‘what are safety provisions for those people? How do we corral these new riders to teach them and educate them, give them knowledge, so they don’t just go as fast as they can down the street and the trails?”

Speakers on safety and legal issues around e-bikes will include Steven Sheffield of Bosch, attorney Steven Hansen, and retailer Chris Nolte, owner of Propel e-bike stores in New York and California. 

Besides the new focus on e-bike safety and regulations, the conference agenda includes a new look at supply chain and domestic production.

“Everyone has done supply chain (as a topic at industry conferences). We wanted to focus on USA production … we do have to fix the supply chain but we also need to manufacture more here,” he said. 

Speakers on supply chain include Drew Medlock, the CEO of Allied Cycle Works; Tim Lane, the president of Digit Bikes; Darren Murphy, president of Push Industries; and Rick Adams, the CEO of LeMond Bicycles. The event also will include a visit to the Allied factory in Bentonville.


Speakers on the future of the IBD include HLC CEO Pat McGinnis, Signa Sports' North American VP, Hap Seliga, and Beeline Connect's chief revenue officer, Neil Macc. 

Bravo said his conversations with industry members since 2020 convinced him that there was a demand for a summit, as an alternative to a conference format. “A summit is more about a conversation, a meeting of minds. A conference in my opinion is more about a podium with a speaker and an hour-long speech with a slide show that was shown at 10 other events that year.”

Bravo said the Cycle of Influence Summit will include “a more uniquely casual, friendly networking gathering, where you are able to gain some knowledge, through networking, panels, and discussion. There is not a heavy scheduled-filled conference of events where you spend the day going from one place to another.” 

Besides the visit to Allied, the event will include time to ride Bentonville's growing network of trails. 

Bravo has owned an industry marketing company, Smith Smith & Smith, since 1989, for clients in and out of the bike industry and other active lifestyle markets. 

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Topics associated with this article: Events, Tradeshows and conferences

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