Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Show Time Or Yawn Time?

Eurobike starts today or tomorrow, but whenever it really starts, it doesn't matter. The physical show has been transcended by pre-show releases in the digital realm and the slew of dealer only shows that have taken place over the Summer months. It used to be that "day one" of a trade show was a frenzied mess of news being spewed forth which, I suppose, made some brands sad. They got lot in a blast of marketing hoohah. Thus the situation we have here now where the actual show is kind of an afterthought. Well.......if you even care to think of it at all. 

Shimano's new S-Phyre shoes "official debut is at Eurobike, but they splashed it all over media well before hand. 
 Products like Shimano's newset shoes for road and mtb racing were launched via Shimano's own website and all over cycling media yesterday, despite Shimano saying that the shoes "official debut" was to be at Eurobike. So what? Who cares anymore where your "official debut" is at physically? The news is stone cold by the time Eurobike's doors swing open.

The Bell Zephyr Ghost helmet is reflective at night, had MIPS built in, and features a two way adjustable cradle.
Shimano isn't the only one doing this. It is almost any company with a new marketing angle or product to sell. Bell Helmets has redone their entire line and have a new Zephyr model which is pretty cool. Yep.....officially launched at Eurobike, but is all over social media already. As is FSA's electronic gruppo, which was almost entirely develpoed via online sneak peeks for the past several months, but is "officially" being launched at Eurobike.

Ho hum or showtime? I guess when it comes right down to it, why go to the show? Save yourself the money and hassle of traveling, sit back, crack a cold one and watch it all unfold on-line. It has been doing so for a couple of months now anyway. Furthermore; much of what has been revealed has already been touched, ridden, and in some cases bought and sold through retailers. It isn't good enough anymore to get your press release off to "Bike Rumor" first so your news hits the digital airwaves first. Nope. Now you have to actually get the stuff into the hands of special media folks, and even better, certain consumers, to get a more "authentic" take on products out to the masses. To wit: QBP's Saddledrive and subsequent demos of bikes already taking place across the nation. Think about that. Those Woodsmokes and Timberjacks were not even known or whispered about just two months ago. Now you can get rider reviews and go ride one yourself, if you are lucky enough to have had a demo truck go through your area already. Several other bike companies are doing the same as well, by the way.  By the time Interbike happens those bikes will have been old hat for many consumers and bike shop employees. Why even bother going to that show unless you want to demo a ride on one of those sleds. Oh.....and Outerbike. There's that too.

PRO, a Shimano component brand, has a new dropper post coming out soon.
 Now I should say a few things to bring some perspective to my rant here. First off, I've been to Interbike several times. So, I know the song and dance routine, but I also have had that privilege of attending. Maybe some folks have wished they could go sometime. I get that. It is kind of like Las Vegas for cyclists: Everyone should go at least once.

Which leads me to my second point. I really, really don't like going to Interbike in Las Vegas. It's slimy, and it is just a soul-sucking area to be in. I personally do not wish to ever go back for any reason. I'm not the only one. An industry rep, who shall remain nameless, wrote the following about Interbike/Las Vegas to me recently:

"Every year, I wish for a non-fatal injury accident that prevents my attending Interbike. I hate Las Vegas and I hate trade shows generally."

So, yeah.... Of course I am going to say negative things about the cycling trade shows, right? Well, I also feel strongly, even if I did like the whole deal, that the trade show format is sorely outdated. Look, it use to be an integral part of commerce for the cycling industry, and in some cases/ways, it still serves that function, but it is a way of doing things that is akin to manual typewriters and wired telephones. can still get things done that way, but why? It's time to smell the coffee and get on with 21st Century technology and more efficient means of doing all this. I think the landscape today shows us the traditional trade show format is definitely a yawn.

1 comment:

Irishtsunami said...

What, you don't find Surly introducing the same bikes in a different color amazing? That was sarcasm, sometimes I don't do it well in type.