Emerald Expositions, owner of Interbike and the Outdoor Retailer shows, has announced that they are cancelling the 2019 show. The full press release is below, and Bicycle Retailer (also owned by Emerald) has a great story on it, but the gist of it is this: The industry is changing, costs have sky rocketed, and the utility retailers would get out of a major tradeshow has diminished.

In order to remain relevant, we think they’ll have to reformulate to better engage with the brands, make it more affordable to attend, and give retailers a reason to visit. Or, perhaps, make it a media focused event like PressCamp was. Personally, we (Bikerumor) think there’s a big hole left from PressCamp’s closure, and recreating that experience, potentially with multiple regional shows that add retailer/consumer demo days on the tail end, could provide a lot of value. For now, here’s Interbike’s explanation:

PRESS RELEASE: Interbike owner, Emerald Expositions, announced today that the Interbike tradeshow will not take place in September 2019 in Reno as previously scheduled. Instead, the company will research alternative plans for 2020 and beyond, including the opportunity to launch events featuring bicycling and bike-related components within or alongside its various successful, multi-sport trade show franchises.

“The past four years have been difficult for the U.S. bicycle market,” said Darrell Denny, Executive Vice President of Emerald Expositions’ Sports Group. “The substantial increase in tariffs on bike related imports during 2018, and announced for 2019, is compounding these challenges. As a result, we are rethinking how to best serve the cycling industry and will conduct a review of the possible timing, locations and formats with dealers, brands, distributors, reps, designers and media over the coming months. Our goal is to develop and deliver thoughtful solutions which provide strong returns on investment for all industry participants.”

As a result of this decision, Justin Gottlieb, Show Director, Andria Klinger, Sales Director, Andy Buckner, Art Director and Jack Morrissey, Marketing Manager, will be leaving the company, effective December 31, 2018.

“Justin, Andria, Andy and Jack have dedicated themselves to the cycling space and worked long and hard,” Denny said. “We will miss them greatly and wish them the best on their future endeavors.”

Photo credit: Interbike.

13 COMMENTS

  1. “Dedicated themselves long and hard to the cycling space” huh? It’s this crew that killed Interbike and kept trying to raise booth space rates on vendors without bringing more people in the door. All while they got paid better than the average bike industry management level types to ruin the bike industry.

    Fact is they don’t care. They didn’t listen to vendors or dealers. It was just another show for them and they weren’t cyclists. Just greedy industry outsiders trying to make a buck.

  2. Bummer, but there’s an opportunity for a more customer focused trade show, regional like Tyler says, in the future. Eurobike must be doing something right.

  3. pretty sure that the bike industry has been in trouble long before the tariffs went into effect. Bike shops in general are doing poorly because they cant adapt to online retailers, bike companies throw so much stuff at the wall and then chase anything that looks like it will stick, Not sure how a struggling bike shop could even thing to keep up. It also seems that companies demo so much vaporware now, its no wonder they dont make money. you have to actually ship something to your customer. Unless you are on kick-starter. maybe that is how bike companies can make money. start a kick-starter campaign for everything and then only ship 25% of them. 100% profit on the other 75% of the items.

  4. Sea Otter is the current gathering of people who love bikes. Dealer get all new info direct from the brands. Consumers getting all their info from the web and bike events (races, fun rides, demos, etc…). Trade shows are suffering everywhere that are not consumer focused. Dealer specific events are dying while consumer events like festivals are doing fine. Dealer do not hold the monopoly on new info anymore… consumers get all info directly. Interbike became irrelevant each year as this trend developed but was not able to adapt to the new world, so it went away. If it comes back, it will become a festival w/ all levels of racing, fun rides, music and brands showing their goods like: Sea Otter, Gran Fondos, Downieville, etc… The name “Interbike” has a negative association anymore; can’t believe what a downer Reno was as a location. Just needs to go away and not come back. Start something new but do not bring back the name Interbike.

  5. Also want to comment on Marc Sani’s article in Bicycle Retailer, blaming Interbike going away on brands like Trek, Specialized. Marc Sani — “…where several large companies hold sway over the fortunes of so many, their (Trek and Specialized) behavior was and is appalling. And that behavior continues as they force-feed dealers with ever more branded product, diluting the diversity essential to a healthy industry.” This is complete BS. How dare a business be aware of trends or create their own to stay relevant and profitable. Marc needs to understand that business has one goal… stay in the black and relevant. Marc calls this behavior appalling since they quit relying on expensive Interbike to gather their dealers for them. Trek, Specialized already have their dealer network locked in. The industry is shrinking with a shrinking dealer base. It’s all about keeping the ones you have and distribute/communicate efficiently to them. Trade shows (B to B) are only relevant in an expanding industry. People like Marc should read the book, “Who moved my cheese?” Basically change is inevitable so you need to adjust to these changes instead of blaming others. Bicycle industry voted with their dollars… Interbike became irrelevant and could not adjust to the new world.

  6. The bottom line here is cost. Everywhere we turn, it’s cost. Interbike priced themselves out of the market. When it was cheaper (or at least more productive) for the bigger players to fly dealers to headquarters, house, feed, and booze them than to go to Interbike, the writing was on the wall. The last year we attended, 2015, it was about $40k to properly man a 10 x 20 booth inside and out. Hell, it was $1200 to have the union fork lift operator drop carpet at your booth 50ft away.
    The other end of the spectrum is consumer perspective. Inevitably, one of the first three comments on any post is someone bitching about cost. Spoiler alert. Everything desirable costs. It’s incredibly expensive to bring an idea to market. If you think there’s riches to be had in the bike industry, take everything you can beg, borrow, or steal, and throw your hat in the ring. You will find if there is anything left over at the end of the month, you are fortunate. But it’s only a matter of hours before someone in China will steal your idea and produce counterfeit product at pennies on the dollar. Even then, when nobody in the entire supply chain makes a profit, people bitch about the cost. Then post a gofundme campaign for their upcoming bikepacking trip.

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