Saturday, September 21, 2019

Minus Ten Review 2009-40

Dusty kicks in Circus-Circus. I-bike 2009 trip memories.
Ten years ago this week I attended the Interbike trade show again for the fourth year in a row. This time in the company of Grannygear, not with the old "Crooked Cog Network" gang leader. That ship had sailed. Now it was me and Granny, against all odds we were putting out content about 29"ers while the "big league guys" were finally starting to come around to the whole big wheeled way of thinking.

We had some contributions from Germany in the form of articles by "CG", but when I think back on how we were able to carve out the little niche in the media that we did, well..... It's pretty amazing we could even get one reader! I mean, there are so many more popular, more well known, and far better funded sites and publications from those times that for us to even be heard was just unreal to me. I still cannot believe we pulled off the things we did, and trust me, we busted our butts for no monetary gain. It was pretty dumb, financially, but we maximized our resources and did a LOT with a little bit. Take for instance the '09 Interbike show.

I flew out to meet Grannygear on Sunday night. Monday we hit the Outdoor Demo, same thing Tuesday. We went from morning till evening, only taking time to eat before the demo and afterward. Then it was decompress, talk over things, maybe make a few posts, and to bed we went. Wednesday we hit the indoor show hard. That was it. We skipped out on the last two days of the indoor show deeming it all wasted time. We got all the content, no social hanging out, and WAY less spending on room and board. The savings were significant, and I was home by Thursday evening.

Afterward we reflected on our mission. Grannygear and I determined that we didn't miss much by skipping two days of the show. By '09 Interbike already was showing signs of dying, and we could see it. Less vendors, less "new" stuff to report on. Of course, this all was during the Big Recession, so go figure, but socially and media-wise things were on a fast track of change. Interbike never got its feet under itself to keep up.

Eventually brands just took their messages and their goods direct to consumer, bypassing the show, which had lost its relevance as a place to do business for the same reasons. Businesses took their deal making direct to the shops, not waiting for some "show" to sell their wares. Eventually, it became increasingly clear that even by using a meager budget to go to Las Vegas every year, it just wasn't worth it from the standpoint of content generation. By 2013 I was begrudgingly going to the show and after that dismal experience, Grannygear and I decided not to attend it again. I was out of "Twenty Nine Inches" by the end of 2014 and Interbike died in 2018. Now there is no North American trade show, and I doubt those days will ever come back again.

Maybe I'll be proven wrong......

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