2012 is already hitting expectations that it’s going to be a big year for cycling whether track, road or whatever sector. From Hoy and Pendleton’s gold medals at the World Championships, Wiggins’ win at the Tour de Romandie and then to Mark Cavendish's stage wins at the Giro d’Italia. With the not inconsiderable matter of the London 2012 Olympics around the corner as well it’s not too big a leap to see this year as having the potential to raise cycling’s profile higher than ever before.
Little wonder, then, that we’ve also seen a growing appetite for cycle events this year tapping into cycling’s high profile. One of the key new dates in the calendar is IPC’s Road Cycling Show, which appeared for its debut in April at Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey.
IPC brought its portfolio powerhouse of cycling magazines and websites – including Cycling Weekly, Cycling Active, Cycle Sport and Cycling Fitness – as well as cycle stars like the shy and retiring Mario Cipollini, Flying Scotsman Graeme Obree, Team Sky riders, Rob Hayles, Roger Hammond and more to the event.
So did IPC’s Road Cycling Show manage to carve a space out of the busy show schedule and make an impression on cycle consumers in the South East?BikeBiz asks Keith Foster, publishing director for IPC’s cycling titles, for his take…
Are you pleased with how the show went? Did it meet up to expectations?
Yes. The Road Cycling Show proved to be an exciting new concept. We wanted to attract contemporary ‘high-end’ cycling enthusiasts; people who are serious about their hobby tend to own the very best bikes and equipment, are into sportives, racing or serious commuting and probably follow the sport. And it was clear from exhibitor and visitor feedback that we successfully delivered this level of quality audience.
You seemed to have a good number of cycle stars there – how important do you think they were in drawing the crowds?
That’s really difficult to gauge, but there’s no doubt they were extremely popular within the show and we are very grateful to them and their various sponsors and agents for helping make it all come together. The range and mix of seminars, interviews and presentations over the two days (in the Gatorade and Cycling Weekly theatres) were all extremely popular, with a good variety of subjects and topics that were highly relevant to the target audience.
What was the most popular aspect of the Road Cycling Show?
The sportive on Sunday was incredibly popular for a first time event, with almost 1,000 participants and clearly the various cycling stars and celebs were popular as well, but if I had to name one thing that visitors were gushing about, it had to be the Cycling Weekly Hot Bikes feature, which displayed over 20 of the UK’s most desirable bikes (as selected by the Cycling Weekly Tech team). These ranged from a superb value £1,000 bike to a £13,000 jawdropper. And what made this feature so special is that you just can’t get to see this sort of collection of bikes, in one place, on one stand, anywhere else.
And will the Road Cycling Show return next year?
Absolutely, the dates are already set for 20th and 21st April 2013. Put it in your diary!
Is there anything you’d do differently for 2013? Any chance you’d expand the event beyond road cycling?
Yes, of course. The 2012 event has been a huge learning curve and the 2013 show will benefit hugely as a result. We’ll be talking to potential exhibitors about our plans for next year in the coming weeks. As for expanding it beyond road, we have discussed this possibility, and whilst it’s clear that many of the visitors are into both road riding and mountain biking, we feel that, for now, the show should continue to build upon the core road cycling foundation that has been established.
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