At the end of November I posted an opinion on the initiative that Interbike has proposed to include bike shop's "better customers" at the annual trade show in Las Vegas. The point I made was that consumers were already coming to the show- in significant numbers- and that coming on the last day "legally" was not going to appease their desire to actually ride product at the outdoor demo. I stated also that Interbike's last day was typically a poorly attended affair with little to offer consumers.
|Interbike should let consumers do this...|
Well, if you read my earlier post, you would have the majority opinion of the matter as espoused by the 10 selected dealers. There were some other interesting comments doled out that were not like my opinion. One of the more interesting ones was how a dealer felt that the industry needed to rub shoulders more with consumers and experience "firsthand the same things that the average shop sees and hears everyday".
That is a noble idea, however, this dealer has it all backwards. Do not bring consumers to Las Vegas, Neveda to a boring convention of bike geeks if you want to truly get the industry wheelers and dealers to see what is going down with consumers on the front lines. No- you send the "generals" to the battle lines and have them observe the action first hand. In other words, Interbike is the wrong venue for getting true and honest feedback to the industry. The industry needs to visit the shops, stay awhile, observe the action on the sales floor and rub shoulders with consumers there, not the other way around.
Besides, Interbike is kind of a distraction, don't you think? And if the show isn't, then the city would be. I mean heck- where's the party? Right? Isn't that why people go to Vegas?
|Party Town? Right?|
That's right- Beer and babes. (I didn't say it was right, but it is what it is) So, this can't be far off the mark: Company X marketing guy says to himself, "How do I make it attractive for these special VIP consumers to see us? Hmm.... I know! I'll bring in a couple of kegs of specialty beer. maybe a Belgian, or an IPA, and we'll get some pretty gals hired to pour the brewskis while consumers line up and hear our guys talk about the 2014 line. It's a can't miss!"
Am I right or am I right? The thing is, the consumers that are already getting into I-Bike are doing this at the end of everyday already, plus they ride at the Outdoor Demo. You know- if I were a VIP consumer, I know what part of Interbike I'd want to attend.
Here's an idea, Interbike. Check out Sea Otter, and Outerbike. What do they do that you do not do? They allow consumers to ride bikes. I mean, that's the whole idea, no? You want to put more butts on bikes? Then let the consumers come and actually ride bicycles. Vendors are already doing demo tours, and they do that for a reason- to get folks to actually feel and experience product. You want jacked up, excited consumers to come out of Interbike and energize the marketplace, (as you stated in your press release), then this is how you do that.
Oh....and don't forget the free beers!