Last week we attended Interbike, the leading bicycle industry business-to-business event. After a less than satisfying experience at a bike show in NY earlier this year, we were very hesitant to spend the money to travel all the way from western MA to Las Vegas for an event that we knew very little about. After talking to people that had attended in the past, we decided we should at least go once and see what it was all about. And to our surprise, the event ended up being very beneficial.
The exhibit hall was huge. Almost overwhelming the first day we walked in. There were hundreds of companies to see and people to talk to. We met with people from NuVinci, Shimano, SRAM, SBS, Gates, and many more. Some were people we had been talking to over the phone for months; others were new people that we hope to build a relationship with. All of these people had something to bring to the table. They provided insight into the industry that you can only gain through experience and offered advice to guide us as we launch our company. After attending the exhibition, we have better sources for components and a better understanding of the industry as a whole.
In addition to the enormous exhibit hall full of bicycle-related companies, there were several seminars to attend and new products to test out. Most of the seminars we attended were very informative. The two most beneficial ones were Online Marketing and the Bicycle Industry Overview. The industry overview gave us a clear idea of where the market is going (which fits directly in line with our product) and how a company needs to position itself to be successful.
Overall, the show was definitely a success. We met some great people and got a lot of encouraging feedback on our new tricycle.
While research is important, firsthand experience is ten times more valuable than what you can learn online or from a book. We look forward to having our trike on display at one of our vendors next year!