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New site includes calendar of bike demo events, resources for retailers, brands and event organizers

Published October 6, 2017

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (BRAIN) — As most parts of the bike industry struggle to provide consumers with experiences they can't get on their smart phones, bike demo events are becoming increasingly important. One problem, though, is that there is not a single directory of events that would allow consumers to find one that fit their needs, or allow brands, retailers and event organizers to plan and promote their event.

Eric Butler thinks he has the solution. The bike industry veteran, who has worked in retail and on the supply side at Foes Racing, has launched a site that he says will "close the circle" and connect the various stake holders in the demo world. — which also has sections for other industries, including electronics and outdoor gear — includes searchable event calendars, as well as a listing of venues that can host events and content with tips for consumers on how to get the most out of demo events. The site makes money by selling monthly and annual memberships to event organizers and by selling display ads. Members who list events are also promoted through the site's social media. Event listings include contact info and other critical information, while the venue listings include information like the availability of restrooms and the proximity of airports.

While consumer festivals and demo events have become very popular with brands the sell exclusively online, Butler said brick-and-mortar retailers could benefit from hosting more demo events and promoting them better.

"We really want to get bike shops on board," he said. "All we hear about is low foot traffic in stores and online competition. But bike shops have the resources to hold great events — they've got the inventory and relationships with brands and they've got good people and locations."

Butler is hoping to build the most comprehensive calendar of events, searchable by brand, date or location. Such a calendar would also be invaluable to brands planning their schedule of demo events and deciding how to get their demo vans out to far flung events, which sometimes overlap or are not scheduled in an efficient circuit for the van operators, in part because there is no comprehensive listing.

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