The Interbike Trade Show will not hold a 2019 event, potentially signaling an end to the show’s 37-year run as North America’s largest bicycle trade event. Interbike’s parent company, Emerald Expositions, announced the news in a release on Thursday evening. The news comes one year after the event was relocated from Las Vegas to Reno, Nevada.
“We have made the decision not to proceed with the event that had been scheduled for Reno in 2019,” Derrell Denny, the executive vice president at Emerald Expositions, told Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
Denny told the website that Emerald had surveyed retailers and suppliers since the end of the 2018 show in September. The responses indicated the industry wanted a more affordable show.
“It became pretty clear (after surveying the industry this fall) that the market has changed quite a bit,” Denny said. “We need to look at how we can serve the market in a pretty different way. It will have to be pretty cost-efficient, with inexpensive travel. … As we got closer to the end of the year, we realized that companies needed to be able to budget for it, so we wanted to reach out before the end of the year.”
The news marks a final bookend for the show, which saw attendance industry participation wane in recent years. Launched in 1982 by Steve Ready and Herb Wettenkamp, Interbike was originally held in Las Vegas before jumping to Reno and Anaheim, California, before returning to Las Vegas and then back to Reno in 2018. There were 150 exhibitors in the first year, but that number quickly grew. At one point the show was the largest bicycle trade show in the world. Brands, retailers, and media met at the annual event to showcase new product and sign annual distribution deals.
Interbike’s attendance began to fall in 2016, and in 2018 the show relocated to Reno, in part to cut costs. Over the years, many of the major U.S. bicycle brands migrated away from Interbike, opting instead to host retailers and media at private events.
According to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, Emerald has also laid off many of Interbike’s employees, including director Justin Gottlieb and sales director Andria Klinger, among others.
Denny said that dynamics within the U.S. bicycle market contributed to the trade show’s demise.
“There are about 4,000 retail stores now, and arguably about half of them are doing business predominantly with one commanding brand. … That’s a pretty big factor,” he said.