Last week, I read on the Bicycle Retailer site that Interbike is contemplating an East Coast Demo. For those outside the industry, Interbike is the bike trade show that is held every fall in Vegas. You've heard me talk about it enough here recently, but for any new readers, I like to clarify. But I digress...
Anyway, I didn't think much about this whole East Coast Demo until read it again today at Bike Europe (trade publication for..duh...Europe). Well, that got me to thinking and we all know that is a bad idea....
They are thinking of doing this demo time so that retailers on the East Coast that maybe can't make it to Interbike (it can be friggin' expensive) can have a chance to see the new bikes. Sounds good for the dealers for sure! They are even talking about having a consumer day. Imagine all the bike nuts that would line up to ride the brand spankin' new bikes that won't even be out until spring. I envision some riding buddies getting up early, making the trip down to Providence and spending a morning riding bikes like little kids on Christmas morning with a new bike. Cool image, huh? It will be a fun, fun, fun day for them. So far, so good...bring it on, right?
And then there are the industry companies in New England who will be pretty stoked to do a big event in their backyard. We don't have bikes for you to ride, but they talk about seminars and clinics and networking opportunities all of which we could possibly partake in. Getting to hang out with some dealers for the day is always a good time. And, we'd actually get to ride some bikes, too! We don't get to do that in the desert because it's always time to put up the booth and finalize last minute details before the doors of the trade show open. So, we'd get to be those kids in the candy store, too, for a couple of days.
Still....all good, right? Then I started to wonder about the bike companies. Not Seven Cycles or even IF (this is in their backyard, too). I started to think of Giant and KHS and Haro and Masi -- all located in Cali. They are all pretty drained after spending a week in Vegas - few days in the desert and a few days in the convention. This all on the heels of a pretty event-packed summer, I'd think. They'd have to almost go straight from Vegas to Rhode Island. Are they up for that? I know that the point of all this is to get your bike into the hands of the buyers - the more buyers that see your products, the more chance that they will like the product and buy it. I get that. Guess I just understand the fatigue side of it, too. And, let's not forget the expense. Maybe some of these companies have big, huge marketing budgets (I'm pretty sure a few have gigantic ones compared to ours), but maybe not. Shlepping multiple bikes and gear cross country isn't cheap.
And then I start to think....how many retailers don't go to Vegas from New England and the Mid-Atlantic States (because this would draw people from NY, NJ and PA, at least)? Would it be a lot of overlap? Some, I know, but most? Don't know. Or, would they choose not to go to Vegas next year just because of this opportunity and miss all the other companies that they'd want to see - small companies that can't afford to go to both - or even have the opportunity to be at both. Remember, you don't ride locks.....or bags....or lights....we can go and hang out and ride those shiny bikes, too, but would there be other spaces for us? Not really...ok, we can do a seminar, but would that show all the new products? Don't know - haven't thought that far yet, folks, just spinning thoughts here. And it's not about us, we're right here so we'll represent just fine, thanks...it's smaller companies that don't have those budgets to do Interbike and Providence - even to come and network.
Let's not forget Mother Nature...Oct 16th in New England? You could have that dirty four letter word...snow. No, I'm not a snow person - get over it - hate it. I certainly wouldn't want to be out in it for three days....although I know some people who would love to ride in those conditions.
I'm rambling. But, what do you think? Will New England dealers forego Interbike for Demo Time in Little Rhody? Will the big bike companies want to do both demo areas? Will they have the man/woman power and budgets to do both?
It's still all tentative and Interbike is sending, or has sent surveys, to dealers. We'll all know around Feb. 1st, which is the date to have exhibitor materials and pricing info by then. Interesting....let's hear what you think.