SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA—Interbike backed out of its decision to move the annual tradeshow to Anaheim late Tuesday, saying it would return to Las Vegas for at least two more years in the wake of weeks of industry requests to reconsider the new dates and venue.
“The announcement that we were moving the show dates and location elicited a very real response that surveys and discussions alone couldn’t accomplish,” Andy Tompkins, Interbike show director, said in a press release. “Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to this year’s show and the countless conversations we’ve personally had with exhibitors and retailers regarding the future dates and location of Interbike, we are reversing our earlier decision to move the 2011 show to Anaheim in August. We are hearing loud and clear that, at this time, the industry prefers September dates and the convenience of Las Vegas.”
Interbike also emailed a letter from Tompkins announcing the change to the show’s exhibitors minutes before Tuesday’s press release went out.
The 2011 indoor show will be Sept. 14-16 at the Sands Convention Center—where it's been since 1998—preceded by Outdoor Demo at Bootleg Canyon on Sept. 12-13. The 2012 show is slated for Sept.19-21 with the Demo scheduled for Sept. 17-18.
Tompkins was traveling Tuesday night and unavailable for further comment. Interbike spokesperson Chip Smith said he realizes the industry will be looking for an explanation for the back and forth and Interbike intends to be open about its decision making process.
Some have been critical of Interbike's handling of the issue, questioning who in the industry was actually surveyed to arrive at the early August dates, and speculating about why Interbike would move the show.
“There’s a lot behind the story. We wanted to get out the news so people can start making plans for 2011, but there will be more of an explanation on how this went down,” Smith said.
The news of the reversal sent Twitter abuzz with industry chatter about the change, much of which praised Interbike for listening to the industry and returning the show to Las Vegas in September.
After a year's worth of discussion and research, Interbike formally announced on Sept. 18 that it would move the 2011 show to August 8-12 in Anaheim. The 2012 and 2013 tradeshows were also planned in the Southern Californian city. The change, meant to make Interbike more relevant to today's buying cycle, was supported by the BPSA, Bikes Belong and NBDA, as well as companies like Advanced Sports Inc. and Raleigh. But many retailers balked at the thought of leaving their shops during the summer season, and worried about the increased costs of traveling to and staying in Southern California versus Las Vegas. European exhibitors were concerned the dates would conflict with summer holiday and important pre-Eurobike preparations.
The attention brought by news of moving the show to August allowed the entire industry to examine how it utilizes Interbike, what the show means to the marketplace, and helped solicit real and frank opinions from every sector of the industry, Interbike said in its press release.
"Interbike has always been and will continue to be the industry's show," Tompkins said. "We have heard the market's passion and commitment to this event and we want you to know that we are listening. We believe the new direction will best serve the current needs of the marketplace."