Are trade shows dead?

Many of the smaller companies present at Harrogate's International Cycle Convention report writing up some good business. But many of the bigger companies have complained at the dearth of IBDs. So, what can be done?
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As usual, companies at the show - which finishes in a few hours - are reporting mixed results.

Show quotes will start appearing here tomorrow but it's safe to say that not every exhibitor is going home happy. Some have broached the subject of refunds.

The Harrogate show has not been awash with independent dealers. Was there a police cordon around town, stopping bike shops from getting through? Was the timing wrong? Are dealers too bonkers busy right now?

Or is it that independent dealers in all sectors (fashion, motorcycles, the outdoor trade, you name it) are no longer attending trade shows in the same numbers as five, ten, twenty years ago?

Could bike trade shows do more to attract visitors? Should there be one, big blow-out social do with dealers given free tickets?

The no-shows at the show mean the investment in erecting expensive stands and feeding and housing expensive reps may not be expended in future years.

It's a problem that will be exercising the minds of industry execs in the coming months.

Do IBDs want suppliers to support them? If so, why won't IBDs come to trade shows?

"If I was an indepedent, I'd go to every show going," said Nigel Moore of Moore Large.

ICC 2003 will be held 1-3rd June next year. But who will be there?

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