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Interbike 2011 brings new flavor to show floor

Attendees who gathered in Las Vegas for the 2011 edition of Interbike were in for a few new experiences at this year’s show. While Interbike is considered the largest cycling event in North America, this year’s exhibition seems to have surpassed expectations for all who participated.

InterbikeIn fact, 30 days before the show even opened, Interbike’s 2011 numbers were already surpassing the forecast set by 2010.

“Traffic has been really good. I don’t know numbers, but we’ve talked to a lot of people,” said Dennis Holliday, territory manager for Raleigh Bicycles. “Personally, I’ve spent a lot of time in the booth. I haven’t even had a chance to leave.”

As for official numbers, over 23,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors participated in this year’s Interbike. Preliminary attendance numbers show about 4,000 unique stores represented and 11,000 total buyers who attended. Over 1,300 buyers were International companies attending from outside the U.S.

“We heard that numerous product orders were written on both show floors and that conversations and line showings would lead to positive results for not only the coming season but for years to come,” said Andy Tompkins, Interbike show director. “These results stem from the fact that the cycling marketplace continues to grow despite a challenging macro economy, and the retail fitness sector has stabilized and is poised for growth in the future.”

Everyone on the show floor was aware of the increased buying trend.

“The show went beyond expectations and reflects a tremendously strong marketplace,” said Pat Hus, Interbike managing director. “There’s a new flavor to Interbike, and people sense that.”

Among the other good things and new flavor showcased at Interbike were a few new cycling exhibits.

Chrome Industries, the San Francisco-based messenger bag manufacturer, presented the Urban Yard, which included two separate areas on both floors of the show. At one section, the Urban Yard showcased the evolution of urban cycling, from vintage track bicycles to modern fixed-gear styles, and included literature and magazines in the area.

“At Interbike, we wanted a way to showcase the excitement and energy around urban cycling and the Urban Yard provides a high-visibility, unique way to do that,” said Hus.

Another event showcased by Interbike was the Interbike Industry Party, which celebrated not only 30 years of Interbike, but also theInterbike 30th anniversary of the 7-Eleven professional American cycling team.

The party was held at the Lavo Nightclub in the Palazzo, and debuted a new book about Team 7-Eleven, the first American cycling team to compete in the Tour de France in 1986. Interbike gave away copies to the first 200 people at the party, and members of the original team were on-hand to sign books and meet with attendees.

“The 7-Eleven story showed us that what’s good for American bike racing is also good for American bike retailing,” said Jim Ochowicz, co-author of Team 7-Eleven – How An Unsung Band Of American Cyclists Took On The World And Won. “As I look back 30 years to the formation of the 7-Eleven team and the birth of Interbike, I’m proud of what all of us in the bike community have been able to accomplish together.”

Organizers of Interbike echoed commentary on the success of the event.

“Celebrating our 30th anniversary with members of the 7-Eleven team, and the industry as a whole, is a great honor and a cool way to bring back the annual industry party,” said Andy Tompkins, Interbike show director. “Interbike and the 7-Eleven team have been instrumental in moving the industry forward for these last 30 years and we’re proud to be able to honor that at our event.”

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And although official booth reservations have not yet started for Interbike 2012, the outlook for next year’s show floor is looking good.

“Due to the success of the recent event we do expect a high percentage of exhibitors to return in expanded exhibit footprints,” said Tompkins. “Our goal is to build upon the momentum that was generated in 2011 and create an even bigger and better event for 2012.”

The 2012 Interbike Outdoor Demo will start on September 17, 2012 in Boulder City, Nev., to be followed by the kick off of Interbike Expo on September 19.

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