Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Interbike 2011: Final Thoughts

A cool idea for a tensioner
After all the hoopla, I have to say that the way I did Interbike this year was the most enjoyable since the time I went to Interbike in Anaheim many moons ago.

I actually had fun. Day two of the indoor show especially. With nothing pressing, it was good to be able to talk to show folks like those in the booths at  Salsa Cycles, Twin Six, Ergon, and more.

I got to hang out with my good friends Grannygear, and Mr. Ben Witt. That's always good stuff. People like Ergon's founder, who took the time to detail out his vision on three of their newest products was unprecedented in my visits to Interbike in the past. Learning about cool products from people that know how to articulate their passion and knowledge is always a good time as well.

But Interbike itself was....odd. I can't quite put my finger on it. Outdoor Demo was not as well attended. Interbike is blaming the rain on Tuesday, but that only lasted until 10am. Plenty of time for folks to hit the shuttle busses and come out for rides. But they didn't materialize. Even the first day seemed flat to me.

Added to that was the lower number of exhibitors. Now.....statistically they, (meaning Interbike folk), will say the exhibitor numbers were up. But reality was that less companies were demoing bikes, so the ones that did have bikes were sending out a lot of rigs, for the most part. I did see some booths on Day Two of the outdoor with remarkably clean bikes. Too clean for having been demoed. Assuming they were demoed, which I am betting that they weren't. Ya know?

Then we went indoors and, well...... There were less people plying the aisles. No way around that. It was a smaller footprint than ever before, as far as the show floor. There were some folks downstairs, but everything I heard was that there weren't many takers as far as folks looking at stuff. In fact, I heard it wasn't well for numbers down there. No wonder. It was the first ime in well over a decade that Interbike had a lower level at the show, and I'm betting most folks were like me, and forgot all about it.

So, smaller footprint, and still it was really easy to see down the aisles and to get around. This might actually have been in the vendors favor though, as less people meant more quality time with folks looking at stuff. Vendors are reporting good orders from the show, and I don't doubt it, since each person had a chance of actually getting in front of a vendor to place an order without being rushed, or not getting in at all to see a vendor.

I was in Twin Six's booth for quite awhile, and this was apparent as they were able to talk to everybody that was showing interest. Do you think that if attendance was maxed that this would have happened? I don't think so. Just my opinion.

So, maybe it was a good thing for the show to shrink in size and attendance. Maybe it is more personal and conducive to business that way. Maybe, like Ergon's founder told me, "More isn't always better." A fine conundrum for a show located in the City of Excess!

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