Interbike 2017 | Outdoor Demo | Las Vegas
Well I made it to my first Interbike, Interbike 2017 via a media pass for GearMashers. What that essentially means is I got a free 5 day pass to both the 2 day Interbike Outdoor Demo and the 3 Day Expo, plus an advance showing of some cool gadgets the night before the expo starts.
Interbike 2017 Flight and Hotel
I am based out of Austin and was able to score a good flight on Frontier Airlines to Las Vegas direct. I was a little wary of Frontier based on reviews I had read, but as it turned out my experience was really good. Kudos for Frontier. For those that haven’t flown Frontier, they do ding you on just about everything from making you purchase a seat to paying for bags, so the initial ticket price is definitely deceiving. I recommend if you do fly with them, purchase “The Works”, which will cover your seat seat purchase, bags and allow you to change flight times.
I am staying at the Excalibur Hotel, which as hotels go is subpar. There was a long line to check-in and you ended up feeling more like a number than a hotel guest. The downstairs is full of smokers and smoke with loud music and gaming machines making all sorts of noises. The layout of the hotel is an absolute disaster from a customer standpoint. The gambling machines seem to merge in with the hotel reservation desks making them almost invisible. It’s quite the opposite of Lexur Hotel, which is spectacular and had I known I would have stayed there even though it was more expensive.
Las Vegas Interbike 2017
Las Vegas is definitely a weird venue to host a fitness expo. Walking around, you hardly see anyone biking or running, which is the opposite of say Boulder or Austin. Next year Interbike is moving to Reno, Nevada, which may improve things a bit. I believe cost was an issue for the move, since Las Vegas is rather expensive.
If you have never been to Interbike it’s definitely a little overwhelming. Vegas itself is overwhelming and add any expo to it and well you get the point.
I am glad I arrived on Sunday because it gave me enough time to get aquatinted to the layout. Casinos are notorious for being mazes on purpose and I had to travel through 2 of them to get to the expo center. It probably took me a good hour and 8K steps to figure things out. It’s actually sort of crazy how confusing it was.
I am sure there were alternate routes, but I have one that works, so I am sticking to it.
Interbike 2017 Outdoor Demo
I was expecting more from the Interbike Outdoor Demo and came away a bit disappointed. Some of it was my fault and some was lack of participation from cycling companies.
The Interbike Outdoor Demo is located about 20-30 minutes from downtown Las Vegas in Bootleg Canyon, Boulder City. The venue is pretty spectacular with mountains all around.
Interbike had a complimentary shuttle service running every 30 minutes between the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef entrance and OutDoor Demo at Bootleg Canyon. That was a really nice touch.
In order to get the most out of Outdoor Demo, you need to bring the following
- Cycling Helmet
- Cycling Shoes
- Cycling pedals
- Cycling Shorts
- Change of cloths
- Camera or phone to take cool pictures
Honestly I wasn’t quite sure if I needed to bring all that and my luggage space was limited, so opted to not bring any cycling gear except for shorts. I thought for sure shoe companies and helmet companies would be there and would want people to demo their products. I mean it was the perfect venue for testing and feedback. Boy was I wrong. No shoes and really no helmets to speak of. To me this was a big missed opportunity, especially for shoe companies. Coming from a running background running companies would love that type of exposure and instant feedback.
I also expected a lot of freebies, but those were few and far between, except for food and drink samples.
Shimano for instance was handing out free towels with their logo on it, but I would have much preferred a hat. Continental had hats, but they wanted $10 for them. That made zero sense from an advertising stance. You essentially have leaders in the cycling industry viewing your products and you want to charge them for a hat?
I did walk away with one freebie from Halo Headbands, which was super cool. You had to throw a ring around a head, which a blew, but I got one anyway.
Big thanks to Scratch Labs who always seem to bring it!! Yeah I scored. Scratch was showcasing some of their new bars (Cherries & Pistachios) (Chocolate Chips & Almonds) and hydration mix (Passion Fruit), which were super good.
So my thoughts on Interbike’s Outdoor Demo is unless you bring your riding gear, you might as well skip it. From a media stand point, I was able to make some good contacts, but honestly most of them I could have made during the 3 day Expo. Unless things change and there is more participation, I don’t see Outdoor Demo as being worth it for the extra 2 day cost of hotel, food expense and missed work.