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CABDA officially relaunches its annual trade show

Published November 21, 2014

CHICAGO (BRAIN)—It’s official. The Chicagoland Area Bicycle Dealers Association (CABDA) is launching a trade show and is booking exhibition space for the Feb. 4-5 midweek expo.

And for industry veterans who remember CABDA’s early foray into the trade show business, the event will be held across the street from the old Pheasant Run facility in St. Charles, Illinois.

Jim Kersten, who owns Edgebrook Cycle & Sport in northwest Chicago, said Friday that the show has already signed up some key companies including SRAM, Todson, Lexco and Sigma. Richard Schwinn and Waterford Precision Cycles, as well as several other custom builders, will also exhibit.

“We’re bringing a preseason, dealer-oriented show back to the Midwest,” said Kersten, who is serving as the show’s director. “Part of the focus is on seminars and for shop staff to see some new product.”

Many Midwest dealers no longer take staff to Interbike, and a regional show in the off-season gives staff a chance to see products and attend technical seminars, Kersten said. Many Midwest dealers also attend QBP’s Frostbike open house and expo, which will be held Feb. 20-22.

Kersten expects the revived CABDA show to attract about 100 store owners plus staff. Within the Chicago area alone, he estimated there are more than 60 dealers. But CABDA will reach out within a 400-mile radius of Chicago in hopes of attracting a wider base of retail support.

At one time CABDA was a major stop on the trade show circuit and was held in Rosemont, Illinois, not far from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. But a variety of management and financial issues ended the show and fragmented the Chicago dealer base.

Kersten said CABDA members want to run a trade association that has a trade show — not a trade show that has an association. CABDA, as a dealer association, re-formed several years ago, and meetings during the off-season have been attracting upwards of 40 dealers, he said.

The show will be held in the DuPage Expo Center in St. Charles. “We want to keep this a low-cost event. It’s nonunion and they (expo staff) have been very happy and eager to work with us,” Kersten said.

Booth prices range from $600 for a 10 x 10 with a 25 percent discount for each additional booth. One area is reserved for 20 x 20 booths priced at $1,800, or $1,620 if the exhibitor is a CABDA member.

The DuPage Expo Center offers 23,000 square feet of exhibition and seminar space, Internet access, free parking and discounted hotel rates at an adjoining hotel. It also has a 23-acre site for fat bike demos and a 100-seat theater-style room for seminars and presentations.

Exhibitor move-in is Feb. 3. For more information, contact Kersten at (616) 214-9467 or by email at




Topics associated with this article: Events, Tradeshows and conferences, CABDA

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