Well, it’s official: we’ve formally announced plans for an OutDoor Demo on the East Coast in Providence, Rhode Island this coming October. Details are still forthcoming, but the basics are that it will be held at Roger Williams Park just south of downtown Providence.
The press release says just about all there is to say at this point, but I just wanted to add a few thoughts. It’s also a great excuse for a blog post…
As a former New Englander myself (Southern Connecticut native with 6 years spent in Worcester-Boston areas), I’m really glad that we have an event that will provide an opportunity to showcase some of the awesome regional bike culture that exists back east. I’m sure that there will be a bunch of great ideas for peripheral events during that week of the Demo. I’ve already heard talk of a cross race.
One event that you’ll read about in the press release that will not be happening – at least this first year – is a consumer demo day. The possibility of a consumer day at any of the Interbike events always generates alot of excitement and discussion, but we really feel that we need to fully serve the needs of the industry first before we try to open things up to the end users of all this great gear that we showcase. Key ingredients of this decision were both formal and informal surveys of manufacturers and retailers that did not give us a strong consensus that a consumer day was important or demanded at this point. Given the enormous additional logistical and infrastructure needs that having a consumer day would place on us and exhibitors to implement successfully, we decided to get through the first year as a trade-only event.
David Bernstein’s most recent edition of The Spokesmen industry podcast had an interesting discussion of the possibility of an ODD East just before the holidays. At that point it was just a small news item in BR&IN that mentioned that we were looking into the possibility. It’s fun to listen to them talk about Interbike and the stuff we’re doing. They bounced around the pros and cons as they each saw them from their points of view in the industry.
The main thing to remember in all this is that our goal with this new event is to serve the needs of the East coast retailers by having an event in the OutDoor Demo mold as close to their backyards as possible. Vegas is really a suburb of Southern California so a shop can just fill a car full of staffers to drive to Interbike pretty easily. We hope that ODD East will make it easier for Northeast and Mid-Atlantic shops to give their staffs the same opportunities to see, ride, network and learn at an Interbike event.