Possible earlier dates of Interbike show could benefit HFB fitness show segment

A potential push forward of the dates for Interbike in 2011 to early August could be a boon for continued participation in the show by the fitness industry.
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Interbike management is considering pushing the dates of the late September bike show in 2011 to early August, which could benefit participants of the co-located Health & Fitness Business Expo.

Traditionally in late September in Las Vegas, the Interbike show as of 2010 is also the site of the Health & Fitness Business show. Both are run by Nielsen Expositions. With the shrinking in the last few years of the fitness-only trade show that has been held in Denver, management began to look for ways to help it survive. Co-locating it with the thriving Interbike show, an idea tossed around by some in the fitness industry for years, became the answer. Click here to see a Jan. 6, 2010, SNEWS® story, “Health & Fitness Business to co-locate with 2010 Interbike in late September.” 

Generally, the industry agreed with the merging; however, the major complaint is that it is very late for proper launching of fitness equipment for the coming season (Take a look here at the Jan. 25, 2010, results of a SNEWS survey about the show’s co-location.)

Andy Tompkins, show director for both events, told SNEWS the company has been seriously looking at the Interbike event’s dates since the bike industry’s buying and selling cycles have been slowly moving forward. Eurobike, the huge Southern German-based event, has tried to move into late August but with Southern Europe’s emphasis on August holidays, it had to back-pedal. At this point the huge show, with more than 39,000 trade visitors and 21,000 consumer visitors in 2009, opens its doors about Sept. 1, give or take a couple of days depending on the calendar.

“The dates of Interbike have always been in September for the convenience of the retailers,” said Tompkins, who explained that some shops don’t like to leave during what is considered the summer high season. But now, “retailers themselves are being asked to make buying decisions well before Interbike.”

That means they either are going to special fly-in brand events or making decisions based strictly on catalogs or rep explanations. And for many regions in the western United States, the season remains high even through September, he said. Plus, the Outdoor Retailer show in early August, which is run by the same company, has not had an issue although August is still “high” season for outdoor activities, he said.

“There is no complete consensus and this is why we are taking our time,” Tompkins added.

Although the decision for a date change would be based on the buy-sell cycles of the cycling industry, Tompkins noted that any change would benefit the newly co-located fitness segment. In fact, if realized, the change would move the Health & Fitness show dates back to where it had been in early August.

“It would work well and conveniently ties into the calendar the fitness industry is looking for,” he said. “It would be an added benefit since we’d love to keep fitness a part of the Interbike show.”

In 2010, Interbike (www.interbike.com) will be Sept. 22-24, with a pre-show “demo” of bike gear Sept. 20-21. The HFB fitness segment (www.healthandfitnessbiz.com) will run Sept. 22-23. Fitness participants will be able to attend the entire show as well as the extensive workshop series that emphasizes the needs of small retailers.

Click here to see statistics on attendee and show demographics for both the Interbike and HFB shows.

--Therese Iknoian 

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