SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. - Oct. 14, 2009 â€“ Interbike OutDoor Demo East, traditionally a trade-only event, was held last week in conjunction with the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival, a family-friendly consumer event. Approximately 3,000 people attended the four-day event held in Roger Williams Park in Providence, R.I., Thursday Oct. 8 through Sunday Oct. 11.
â€œThis is the first time we combined a trade-only event with a consumer element and we feel it went over very well,â€ said Andy Tompkins, Interbike's show director.
The first two days of Outdoor Demo East were reserved for members of the bicycle industry. More than 700 retailers representing 225 individual retail businesses participated in product demos, Super Seminar series hosted by the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) and networking opportunities. These numbers were on par with last year's industry attendance figures.
Interbike OutDoor Demo East aims to service New England and Mid-Atlantic retailers who do not attend and/or additional staff members who are not able to participate in the Interbike International Expo and OutDoor Demo. Exhibitors used this focused event to talk face-to-face with new and less familiar retailers.
More than 60 exhibiting company's booths, product displays, demo products and staff stretched across Roger Williams Park's lawn. Surrounding the exposition area was a 2.2 mile (3.5 kilometer) cyclo-cross course, the same course used for the 2005 and 2006 U.S. National Championships, and approximately 10 miles (16.1 kilometers) of off- and on-road courses for bike testing.
â€œRetailers came by were excited to see our mountain bike line that we re-launched at Interbike in Vegas,â€ said Joe Breeze, cycling advocate and founder of Breezer Bikes, a brand known for its West Coast roots. â€œBut I was surprised how many more people came by asking about our commuter line. I wished I had brought more of our Breezer commuter bikes.â€
Lincoln Phillips, sales manager for Goodale's Bike Shop in New Hampshire, said the shop can't take all their staff to Interbike in Vegas. Last year they sent 16 employees to Interbike OutDoor Demo East. This year they attended again with 16 staff members.
â€œOn the first day I drove an hour and a half each way and brought eight employees with me. There were so many bikes we couldn't ride them all,â€ said Phillips. â€œOn the next day, my day off, I drove down again with eight more employees to test more bikes. It's important for our staff to be able to see and test ride 2010 bikes for the brands we carry and the ones we don't. The drive was definitely worth it.â€
On Saturday and Sunday, Interbike OutDoor Demo East became the â€œInterbike and Providence Cyclo-cross Festivalâ€ with the expo area officially opened to the public. During the festival, attendees had the opportunity to see and demo soon-to-be-released bikes and accessories from brands such as Breezer, Cannondale, Felt, Fox Racing Shox, Fuji, Giant, Haro, Lapierre, Mavic, Pedro's, Redline, Rocky Mountain, Thule and Yakima, to name a few. Attendees could also purchase bikes and accessories from retail shops Belmont Wheelworks and East Providence Cycle, which also exhibited during the festival.
â€œUsually I have to go to multiple bike shops to find what's out there,â€ said Kevin Maher a consumer from Oxford, Conn. â€œHere there are no politics. I can see bikes and accessories from multiple brands, ride them on an actual trail and not in a parking lot, and make back-to-back comparisons.â€
An important portion of the Festival was the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival. Twelve hundred men and woman professional and amateur cyclists competed in multiple races during the festival. Friends and family cheering the racers on helped swell attendance figures and contributed to a lively atmosphere. For complete race results, visit www.providencecrossfest.com.
The consumer portion of the event also included 2010 product test rides, US Open Cycling Foundation kids' safe cycling activities, the Mike Steidley Stunt Show, music, food and more.
Bicycle advocacy efforts were also well represented by booths staffed by members from such organizations as Bikes Belong Coalition, East Coast Greenway Alliance, Providence Bike Coalition and the US Open Cycling Foundation.
The 2009 Interbike and Providence Cyclo-Cross Festival was sponsored by Interbike, GSD Event Productions, Yakima, Mavic, Earth Wind & Rider, California Giant Berry Farms, Specialized Bicycles, Kenda, Verge Sport, BJ's Wholesale Club, Harpoon Brewery, Mountain Bike Magazine, and Wheelworks Bicycle Stores and Cycling Centers.
"For its second year and in a challenging economy, we are very pleased with the industry's participation and consumer attendance of both the trade-only OutDoor Demo East and the consumer-focused Interbike Festival,â€ said Tompkins. â€œWe know we have some things to improve on both events to better the ROI for exhibitors. Feedback from the event has been positive. We strongly believe in the benefits of an East Coast demo event for the industry and will continue to gather and analyze industry feedback as we plan for next year's event.â€
For more information about Interbike, please visit www.interbike.com.
Interbike (a business unit of Nielsen Business Media, the parent company of the Outdoor Retailer (OR), Action Sports Retailer (ASR), Health+Fitness Business, and Fly Fishing Retailer trade shows) is a full-service trade show company that creates, markets and produces high-quality expos and educational conferences. Producers of the OutDoor Demo and Interbike International Bicycle Expo, Interbike is the leading bicycle industry business-to-business event management company, bringing together top manufacturers, retailers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of cycling. Interbike (www.interbike.com) gathers more than 1,100 cycling-related brands and close to 23,000 total attendees annually.
The 2010 Interbike trade-only events begin with OutDoor Demo (September 20-21, 2010 in Boulder City), followed by the Interbike Expo, September 22-24 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. Dates for the 2010 OutDoor Demo East have yet to be announced.
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