SHOW PREVIEW: iceBike*

Ready to roll: Several exciting product revelations have been announced ahead of this month’s iceBike*. Mark Sutton discusses some of the highlights with Madison marketing director Will Fripp...
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Madison has begun 2010 with a spring in its step, given the takeover of DT Swiss distribution from Pace Cycles. The brand’s ever increasing presence in the suspension market is just one of the many aspects the distributor will be highlighting during iceBike*.

Having made firm progress expanding its portfolio, there will be generous helpings of previously unseen and largely redeveloped products on display when Madison’s house show rolls around again this month.

Having made a strong commitment to the Pearl Izumi brand, hiring dedicated staff to handle its development, much of the new clothing and accessories line will be on show and ready for order.

So, new product aside, are there any concrete, last-minute reasons to sign-up for iceBike*? Marketing manager Will Fripp believes that a trip to Milton Keynes is invaluable and won’t leave anyone out of pocket.

“Visiting iceBike* will pay for itself for virtually all dealers simply by them taking up a few of the special offers. These won’t just be offers for products out of dealers’ main range plans, but will be offers on items most dealers need every day. With so many market-leading brands under one roof, it would be disadvantageous to miss it.

“Besides, many come along just for pleasure. We put a lot of effort into the event to make it comfortable, fun and entertaining – especially for the evenings.”

If you’re yet to become a Madison customer, and are curious about what the distributor could offer your business, invites have been extended to all ‘bricks and mortar’ trade members.

“We have built a new website for show registration that also allows for non-account holders to request attendance,” says Fripp. “Our automated system allows our national sales manager to approve them. This year, more than ever before, we have had lots of requests from new bricks and mortar retailers.”

Although tight-lipped over the development, Fripp hints that visitors may get to see the next development stage of the already much applauded Madison B2B website.

“We will have four B2B terminals in use at the show and our eCommerce manager will be on hand to discuss and have one-to-one sessions with any customers. We are hoping to have a big new development for our B2B live in time for the show. I can’t discuss exactly what this is yet, but it follows our standard B2B premise of customers being able to do anything they can with Madison through normal communications – just online.”

Attendees needn’t wait until they’ve arrived back home to place orders though; in fact, orders at iceBike* will be positively encouraged through a number of one-time specials.

“This year’s special offer pack will be our strongest yet,” adds Fripp. “There will be two types of offer in the pack, denoted by differing coloured papers. One will be show-only offers, all of which are simply crazy in terms of value and have to be ordered at iceBike*. The other will be fantastic offers that give a few days more than the end of the show, allowing dealers more time to stock check.”

It doesn’t seem that long ago that the trade was invited to the first batch of 2010 previews, but guess what –iceBike* will serve as a sneak preview for many
2010 prototypes from Commencal, Genesis and Ridgeback. The second wave of Saracen’s ‘rebirth’ is also due, with first looks at the Kili and Urban bicycles.

Previously, some of the main on-site attractions, shiny bits and bikes aside, have been the seminars with key industry retail experts. Seat-filler Jay Townley will take to the stage once more, as will Dennis Reid, whose appearance has been sponsored by the ACT.

Both speakers will be presenting different content each day – so Madison customers should look out for an email newsletter detailing their topics. This content will also be updated, along side schedules and news, on the event’s website – www.icebike.co.uk.

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