As a part of the tenth annual Bicycle Leadership Conference, Interbike hosted a breakfast presentation titled “Guiding Our Future” on Tuesday, February 6 at the Bahia Resort Hotel in San Diego, California. Show Director Lance Camisasca shared post-Interbike survey results and directed roundtable discussions with close to 200 industry supplier, retailer and advocacy leaders in an effort to share key decision criteria and generate recommendations for future show timing and event locations.

“We are thrilled that such an overwhelming majority of retailers and exhibitors were pleased with last year's event,” Camisasca said. “The BLC roundtable recommendations confirmed our survey results that there are varied opinions in the industry as to where and when to hold the show, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The differing opinions are moving closer to an industry consensus.”

After providing more than 3,000 usable email addresses to Boulder Sports Research, 18 percent of both attending retailers and exhibitors completed the Interbike 2006 Retailer and Exhibitor Survey. Notable survey results include:

  • When asked to rate their experience at Interbike, 94% of retailers were satisfied or very satisfied, and 86% of exhibitors were satisfied or very satisfied.
  • 69% of retailers would prefer Interbike to be held between September 1 and October 31, with their first choice being the first week of October, followed by their second choice of the last week of September.
  • 64% of exhibitors would prefer Interbike to be held between September 1 and October 31, with their first choice being the last week of September, followed by their second choice of the first week of October.
  • When asked to identify which city would best suit their business needs, 61% of retailers chose Las Vegas while 50% of exhibitors chose Salt Lake City, Utah.

During Interbike's breakfast presentation, Camisasca shared with BLC attendees the survey results and some key market criteria to consider when selecting a show venue. For example:

  • Contiguous available square footage needed for exhibiting, meeting and networking,
  • A large and diverse selection of hotels, restaurants and entertainment options conveniently located to the events,
  • An international airport located near the event that is serviced by a variety of carriers, which offer many flight options and low airfare rates,
  • An OutDoor Demo site with great weather, extensive cross country/downhill trails and a closed road loop, and
  • Relaxed labor union regulations and high quality services.

After sharing this information, Camisasca asked those seated at half of the tables to discuss the question of whether to move the show to Salt Lake City or remain in Las Vegas. He asked them to choose one of the locations and to present three supporting arguments to support their choice to the audience. The other half of the tables were assigned to discuss the question of show timing. They were to choose between holding the show in late September or early October and present their decision with supporting arguments to the audience.

Results of the roundtable discussion closely matched the results of Interbike's online survey, and comments from the BLC Interbike breakfast roundtable were positive and helpful.

“Interbike's presentation was huge in that they came to the industry in an open way and shared the dilemma of how to schedule and choose a host city,” said Dale Brown owner of Cycles de Oro in Greensboro, North Carolina. “Salt Lake City sounded nice in many ways. It would be a great place for the OutDoor Demo, but nothing can match Las Vegas for the variety of accommodations.”

“I was one of those who voted on Interbike's survey to move the show from Las Vegas,” said Skip Swain NORCO's vice president of sales. “However, after hearing more about dealer support, the issues relative to choosing a venue and discussing those issues at the BLC roundtable, those of us at the table decided there was no compelling reason to move the show. Las Vegas has the necessary space for exhibitors to all be on one floor, and in response to industry complaints about the lack of cycling advocacy efforts in Vegas, keeping the show there provides the bike industry with an opportunity to put our mark on the city.”

“Although we have some industry differences in opinion, mainly relative to the event's future location, the time spent together did yield some pearls for us to review before making any final decisions,” concluded Camisasca. “We are very grateful to the NBDA and the BPSA for allowing us the opportunity and forum to bring such important event topics to the leaders of the bicycle industry.”