Success at the Interbike Conference

las_vegas_welcome_sign-717272.jpgInterbike is the largest bicycle trade show in the world. Over 22,000 people come each year. Some people come to buy (retailers). And some people come to sell (manufacturers and distributors).  80% of wholesale bike merchandise is sold during the 3 days of Interbike. They hold the event at the huge Vegas Conference Center in the Venetian each year.

Want to raise money for an expedition? You have to visit your sport’s trade show!

If you want to raise money for an expedition I suggest attending trade shows like this for four reasons:

  1. Face to face meetings with your prospective sponsors inspires huge trust. Makes getting sponsorship more likely.
  2. Seeing the gear first hand lets you know which gear you want most
  3. Giving your pitch in-person is great practice for giving it on the phone later 
  4. Trade shows are fun

We came to raise money and get gear sponsors for 10 Degrees Latitude Europe (July 2008). We made business cards (see contact page) and printed a one-page double-sided flyer. The business cards do a good job of establishing credibility and showing that we aren’t just a couple of schmucks. The flyer summarized our goals, needs and value proposition.

Adam and I spent 14 hours in Vegas. 4 hours at the airport, 2 hours in transit, 2 hours eating, and 6 hours at the conference. It was a PACKED 6 hours. We visited with over 40 companies, most of them together. And it was totally worth it. People responded very well to our goals, had positive things to say, and we already have many verbal commits from the best brands in biking.

As is always the case, we couldn’t have done it without our friends… My cousin Reghan gave us entrance passes (care of our friends at Specialized). Our friend Matt from Cadence Cycles advocated for us with amazing introductions to his favorite manufacturers. Even the people at the concessions counter were on our side (2 for 1 hotdogs).

More to come about our favorite gear from Interbike 2007!

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