Eurobike in Portland, Oregon?
One of the first things I saw this morning was a story on Bike Europe's website titled, "Eurobike Gets Sister Bike Tradeshow in US". Excuse me? As far as I know this isn't an April Fool's Day joke because later in the day Bicycle Retailer & Industry News broke even more of the story, "Eurobike Makes Move to U.S. Market To Challenge Interbike."
So, this show is to shake up the trade show scene a little bit and compete with Interbike, right? I'm all for healthy competition. However, they are saying the show will be in a to-be-determined set of dates in September. Seriously? Potential exhibitors have at least three shows that month already. Eurobike (largest bike tradeshow in Europe), Cycle Expo (Canada), and Interbike. I know that the point may be to shut down Interbike, but let's be realistic, it isn't going to happen in a year or two or even five. What happens in the mean time?
Do you do four shows? That's a strain on personnel, not to mention finances. C'mon, we all have budgets. It's more travel costs. Hotel costs. Food costs. Shipping costs. Booth space costs. Schwag costs. Time out of the office. More marketing dollars (graphics, catalogs). More booth building costs (space configurations may be different in each location). And the personnel - you can only be in so many places at once and only be away from home so long before you get miserable and aren't that good at your job. Even our fabulous Masiguy would get a little tired of all the arm flailing if he had to do 4 major shows in a month, right?
Will dealers go to both? Because, let's face it, unless there is some killer incentive, dealers need to go to Interbike to see the manufacturers. Not all will go to Portland in the first year or two or maybe ever. Dealers are, for the most part, small operations. Will US dealers be able to be short staffed twice in the month? Will they be able to afford it? I don't see that happening. So they will have to choose. Could it be that they'd have to choose between seeing some manufacturers over others as some prefer EuroPortland* and some prefer Interbike? Who is that benefitting?
*EuroPortland is my made-up name for the show until it has one of its own.
Portland, Oregon. Been there once and remember it to be a fantastic, lovely city that I'd enjoy going back to anytime. Great alternative city, lifestyle-wise, to Vegas for the bicycle industry. However, as much as some of us complain about it (ok, I do....I don't enjoy being dehydrated from the second I step off the plane...and all the smoke in the casinos -gasp!), really...how many of us spend much time outside? Would we spend time outside in Portland? It's a trade show....most of the time is inside (except dirt demo) on the show floow and then at restaurants or events.
Can Portland handle an event the size of Interbike? Because that is the goal, right (get as big as Interbike)? At least that is my assumption, which could be wrong. Portland is a small city. Can we all get dinner reservations? Strange thing to think about, but I'm a very food focused person and when you have customers that you'd like to take out, it's kind of nice to be able to feed them before midnight. Vegas - sure you run into some snags, but for the most part you can find great places to eat on the spot. My personal favorite is the Grand Lux. Why? Location. Location. And warm cookies to go(need I say more?). But, I digress....
Why the western part of the country, again? Why not more eastern this time to be different? You'd think Eurobike would try to lure European companies to this show with the same management and all. Yet, they put it on the West Coast - as far away as you can be from Europe and be in the US(ok, Hawaii would be further and Alaska...but you get my point). Besides, didn't Interbike originally have an East Coast version in Philly? If you want to gain some kudos with the US crowd go East Coast. Interbike is already way over there in the West. I've heard many people over the years lament that they miss the Philly show. They might be more than willing to go to an East Coast show, too.
These are, clearly, just my ramblings and first thoughts about the EuroPortland. As I said, I'm all for healthy competition, but I think they are going to have an uphill battle. Then again, it will make the rewards all the more sweet, right?
I am interested to hear more about this event as details are released. I'll bet Jonathan Maus at Bike Portland will be all over this story (he's already started). It seems as if the organizers haven't been in touch with him yet, but if they are smart they will be before long! He'd be a huge asset to anything they are putting in place.
I'd like to hear from some manufacturers and some dealers out there. What do you think? Would you go to both? Would you only go to one? How would you decide which one you'd go to?
Just my ramblings after way too long....thanks for stopping by.