BLOOMINGTON, MN (BRAIN)—Temperatures hovering near zero degrees didn’t deter hundreds of bicycle retailers and product vendors from flocking to Bloomington, Minnesota over the weekend for Quality Bicycle Products’ annual Frostbike trade show held Feb. 15 to 17.
QBP flew in more than 200 of its top dealers—about 50 more than last year—and invited about 360 additional dealers to the event, which included a full slate of seminars and a two-day tradeshow at QBP headquarters.
QBP invited 120 vendors to exhibit their products at Frostbike including a handful of its new customers such as Burley, Yakima and nuun, which is relatively new to the bicycle industry with its hydration tablets.
For many vendors, Frostbike is less about launching new products and making sales—that’s reserved for the larger Interbike—and more about using the event’s casual atmosphere to spend quality time showing their product to dealers who are often rushed at Interbike.
A few, though, capitalized on the audience of top dealers by introducing never-seen-before products.
DeFeet showcased its first-ever line of women’s specific socks for summer ’08 at Frostbike this year.
“I wanted to take the opportunity to offer something brand new and fresh and to remind dealers to keep DeFeet in their selling cycle,” said DeFeet national sales manager Christina DeKraay.
Retailers appreciated the small, laid-back show and the long list of seminars, which covered tools for success in the areas of advocacy, profitability and environmental sustainability.
Scott Wilke, of South Shore Cyclery in Cudahy, Wisconsin, attended Saturday’s class on the critical elements to include while devising an employee handbook.
“We’re about ready to do something like that, not this year, but next year for sure. It’s on the list of things that have to get done so it’s interesting to see some of the common experiences or problems people in developing one,” Wilke said.
Steve Flagg, founder and president of QBP, used Frostbike as an opportunity to announce several QBP initiatives for 2008 including forming a new partnership with The Biking Solution to offer a store display design package to retailers by Interbike and deciding whether to open a new QBP warehouse facility on the West Coast.
For more on Frostbike, read the March 15 issue of BRAIN.
(PICTURE: QBP ACE Committee member Seth Nesselhuf gives retailers a tour of QBP's LEED gold standard building at Frostbike.)
— Nicole Formosa