Las Vegas, NV (October 16, 2002) – Despite world-wide statistics showing an overall decrease in trade show attendance*, the Interbike International Bicycle Expo, held recently in Las Vegas' Sands Expo and Convention Center, closed the show with all-time record attendance. The trade-only event, which attracts industry personnel from around the world to see the latest new cycling products and trends, experienced increased attendance figures in nearly every category, reaffirming Interbike as the meeting place for the bicycle industry.
Preliminary figures show approximately 22,000 industry personnel converged on the Sands Expo and Convention Center for Interbike 2002, representing nearly 1,000 exhibiting companies and 9,500 buyers from 4,500 retail storefronts. Of the overall attendance, Interbike organizers estimate that roughly 20,000 individuals had attended by the end of Day One, which historically is represented by 2,000 to 3,000 fewer individuals.
“Based on our records, Sunday was the single largest day of attendance in show history. As of the close of the first day, more people had attended the event than any other single day,” said Michael Baker, marketing manager for VNU Sports Group.
“Our booth has been completely packed,” said Kristi J. Valentine, USA marketing manager for Specialized. “The 3 day show has compressed the expo nicely and we've had incredible traffic the entire time. We really took advantage of the early VIP hours and were busy everyday from 7AM until 6:30PM,” Valentine added.
“The 3 day show worked much better for us this year. We saved more money and we were more concentrated during expo hours,” said Ron Wilkerson, president of 2 Hip Bikes. “The BMX Zone has been great – it's been expanded and the energy has been exceptional,” he added.
The show kicked off with the Outdoor Demo, held in the nearby town of Blue Diamond, Nevada. Under a sun-filled, cloudless sky, this hands-on event continues to attract cycling enthusiasts as another attendance record was shattered with preliminary figures exceeding 4,000 people, with over 2,700 of them retail buyers, spending the day testing the latest bike designs on Blue Diamond's network of trails and fresh pavement. This positive beginning to the show provided show organizers a welcome indication of what to expect over the course of the next three days.
On Sunday, the show moved inside to the Las Vegas' Sands Expo and Convention Center, where exhibitors displayed their latest cycling-related wares for the first time ever, covering over 660,000 square feet of floor space. For the next three days, Interbike was a frenzy of product clinics, apparel line presentations, technical seminars, cycling celebrity appearances, industry celebrations, and camaraderie. All attendees took note of the exceptional attendance levels and the busy foot traffic.
Briko, manufacturer of cycling helmets, eyewear, and apparel, had impressive booth traffic this year. According to David I, Briko National Sales Manager, “The show was excellent and we were a lot busier than we had expected. The VIP hours offered us a great chance to meet with our larger retailers, dealers who wrote great orders,” I said.
“The show has been great for us,” said Geoff Pittfield of SaddleCo, a first time exhibitor at this year's expo. “We brought our new Flow saddle and the response has been incredible. We will absolutely be back next year, only bigger, much bigger,” Pittfield concluded.
Tracey Brown, CamelBak sales coordinator expressed the hydration leader's stamp of approval on attendance. “The first day at the CamelBak booth felt like being the windshield of a speeding car. We gave out more dealer kits on the first day than we did all show last year,” Brown said.
“Interbike has allowed a small company like us to showcase our hard work,” said Adam Ziskin, VP of marketing for Rain Shield and 02 Rainwear. “We've lined up a lot of big dealers and to be honest, we've been hoping that it might eventually slow down for a minute so we can clean up our booth.”
Beyond focusing heavily on the business at hand, Interbike also took time to recognize the constant work of the industry's advocates, the achievements of its athletes, and the dedication of its retailers.
To honor the efforts of those who've made major contributions to the bicycle industry over the last year, Interbike and Bicycle Retailer and Industry News hosted the 3rd Annual Industry Awards Celebration on Monday, October 7. Held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the industry presented awards for a wide range of categories, honoring people, companies, and products in 20 categories. Among the 20 awards given during the festivities were the Lifetime Achievement award to Raleigh USA's Bill Austin; Man of the Year to Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong; Woman of the Year to Elissa Margolin from the League of American Bicyclists; Supplier of the Year and Distributor of the Year awards went to two-time recipients Trek Bicycle, Quality Bicycle Parts and the Hawley Company; the Award for Advocacy went to Gary Sjoquist, and the Retailer of the Year went to Chris Kegel of Wheel & Sprocket in Hales Corner, Wisconsin.
The 3rd Annual Industry Awards Celebration also proved that bicycle advocacy continues to gain momentum and further support from the industry, as Interbike raised $20,000 for the Thunderhead Alliance and its national Safe Routes to School campaign.
Several of cycling's top stars were also on hand at this year's expo, making themselves available to greet with fans, sign autographs and embrace the industry that supports them. In attendance were big names like Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, and Roberto Heras of the US Postal Service team, Tyler Hamilton and Phil Liggett; mountain bike champions Alison Dunlap and Dave Wiens, and BMX celebrities Dave Mirra, Matt Hoffman, and Ryan Nyquist.
Nearly every attendee had something positive to say about this year's Interbike Expo and reiterated its importance to the industry.
“This year's Interbike trade show was the best ever for the efforts of the bicycle industry and advocacy,” notes Rich Olken, Bikes Belong Executive Director. “Both suppliers and retailers are really getting it. As a unified voice the bicycle industry and bicycle advocates can change the future of cycling for the better and Interbike provided the perfect forum for advocates and the industry to make the connection.”
“As a journalist, Interbike is where I come to gauge the pulse of the industry and its trends. From a product stand point, it is the most valuable resource for obtaining the latest information from the manufacturers,” said Ron Ige, editor of BIKE Magazine.
The 2002 Interbike International Bicycle Expo, produced by VNU Expositions, was held from October 5 to October 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Held once a year, Interbike is North America's largest cycling trade show, attracting attendees from around the world. Prior to the show, Interbike hosts a one-day Outdoor Demo allowing retailers and media a chance to test the latest in bikes and cycling equipment. The next chance to see the future of the bicycle industry will be at Interbike in Las Vegas, Nevada October 11-14, 2003.
Complete 2002 attendance and demographic show statistics will be available in November. For more information, please visit www.interbike.com.
* Tradeshows held in the first quarter of 2002 continue to report declines in every measure of growth, according to the findings of Tradeshow Week's Quarterly Report of Tradeshow Statistics. Attendance was once again the area hardest hit, experiencing an 8.1% drop compared with 2001.
Highlights from Interbike Expo 2002
A sneak preview of the Interbike Expo took place on Saturday, October 5th, at the 7th Annual OutDoor Demo located at Blue Diamond Village, tucked in a remote canyon high above Las Vegas. A record crowd of more than 4000 Outdoor Demo attendees got the chance to try the latest products from the worlds of road and trail riding. With over 100 exhibiting companies, a beautiful sunny afternoon, and plenty of water and sun block, Interbike retailers took advantage of this unique opportunity to experience the latest and greatest in cycling products in their intended environment. Sponsors of the OutDoor Demo included Master Lock, Shimano, Mavic, Louis Garneau, Yakima, Kenda, PowerBar, Gu Sports, Enervit America, GES and the International Mountain Biking Association.
Interbike Industry Reception – Oktoberfest Block Party Thousands of bicycle industry revelers gathered for the annual industry party this year, with an ever-appropriate Oktoberfest theme. Interbike's Oktoberfest Industry Block Party gave attendees the chance to network with industry friends while enjoying festive food, free beer, and live music from Greg Koch and the Tone Controls. The Oktoberfest Industry Block Party was held adjacent to the Sands Convention Center and behind the Imperial Palace on October 6th, where sponsors like Giant Bicycles presented an aerial and stunt demonstration and other sponsors CatEye, Tireflys, K2 Bike, and Sigma Sport did their part to make it a great time for everybody.
Interbike / Bicycle Retailer & Industry News Industry Award Celebration In celebration of a year's worth of achievement across the industry, Interbike and Bicycle Retailer & Industry News hosted the 3rd Annual Industry Awards Celebration. Twenty of the industry's shining stars were recognized for their leadership, advocacy, and athletic achievements as the 2002 winners of the Industry Awards received the coveted BRAINy Awards. Outstanding effort and achievement in the world of bicycles was celebrated on October 7th at the Hardrock Hotel and Casino's hip nightspot, The Joint. Sponsors of the Industry Awards Celebration included Bikes Belong, Trek Bicycle, Giant, VeloNews, the National Bicycle Dealers Association and Mountain Bike and Bicycling Magazines.