January 10, 2022 – Will Interbike return? And if so, where? Today, Emerald Expositions, the parent company of Interbike, sent out a survey asking former attendees their thoughts on whether they would attend the show again. The bicycle industry trade show last took place in Reno, Nevada in 2018. The show moved to Reno after many years in Las Vegas.
Questions in the survey included whether or not people would want to attend the show again in 2022 or 2023, whether or not there should be a consumer aspect to the show, and importantly, what people thought of the show returning to Reno or moving to Denver, Colorado. Another question asked if people liked the idea of having the show in its traditional time slot of mid to late September.
In 2017, Interbike had signed a letter of intent to bring the show to Salt Lake City, Utah as part of a show package with Outdoor Retailer, also owned by Emerald Expositions. Hopes for the Beehive State were dashed when the Outdoor Industry Association pulled both shows from Salt Lake in protest for Utah’s public lands policies. Interbike was relocated in 2018 to Reno.
News reports have stated that Salt Lake City is in the running to have Outdoor Retailer return to its home of 20 years, as the shows contract expires soon with Denver. However, The Conservation Alliance and the Outdoor Alliance recently sent Utah Gov. Spencer Cox a letter stating that unless public lands policies were improved, that the show may not return to Utah.
The letter lays out their stance on Utah’s fight against public lands and the return of OR to Salt Lake and concludes:
“For 20 years, Utah was a popular location for Outdoor Retailer and many in our industry would love to see the show return to Salt Lake City. However, it would run contrary to the outdoor industry’s values to return the show to a state that is openly hostile to public lands and waters, and that’s working to undermine two iconic national monuments. If the state continues pursuing this lawsuit, leading brands and organizations in our industry will refuse to participate in a Utah-based show, even at the risk of compromising the show’s future viability.
We respectfully call on you to abandon all efforts to erode protections for Grand Staircase Escalante, Bears Ears, and other Utah public lands, and instead join us in our efforts to build a strong economic vision for the West that includes conservation and outdoor recreation.”
While the Reno venue was solid, and the nearby demo area of Northstar at Tahoe a great place to ride, the show was sparsely attended. Some of this was due to the slow reduction in the size of Interbike and trade shows in general, and some of this was due to transportation to and from Reno.
Since 2018, there has been no national bicycle industry show, although there have been several regional and smaller scale trade shows such as CABDA and The Big Gear Show (an outdoor show with a strong bicycle component).
Interbike’s return would likely include education for dealers, booths, speakers, and industry socials, and a possible consumer day.
Update: January 14, 2022 – Interbike sent out a follow up email on the survey apologizing for an error in the original email, although it’s unclear what they are apologizing for. They did confirm that they are indeed considering a relaunch of Interbike:
“To relieve any existing doubts: Yes, we Emerald, are considering a relaunch of Interbike and receiving the input and perspectives from this amazing community is one of our top priorities. Our commitment is to ensure your vision and needs are met and achieved.”