SHOW PREVIEW: iceBike* 2011

Doing nothing by half measures, distribution goliath Madison is set to once again put on a bigger and better IceBike*
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Madison’s Ellie Guttridge talks to Mark Sutton about the wide-ranging incentives for dealer attendance, the product debuts and, perhaps most importantly, reveals that a local brewery will be present in the evenings...

Will there be any new brand or product surprises this year?
We will be unveiling the full product line for our new brands, including Pacific Outdoor equipment and luggage, Easton Mountain Products and Zardoz NOTwax. As well as these new brands, we offer first looks, including a first ever viewing of the new Commencal Supreme DH in the UK.

Then there’s an all-new entry level, ready-to-ride range of bikes from Adventure, plus dealers will have the opportunity to get a first-hand look and demos at some of the latest products, such as the Garmin Edge 800 and the ContourGPS HD Bluetooth-enabled helmet camera.

In clothing, there is the all-new Madison line, which is another leap forward for the brand and also the Autumn/Winter Pearl Izumi range. There will also be other exclusives that we have to keep under wraps for now, but you really are going to want to be there.

Can you highlight one product that every dealer should check out on their visit?
The Cervélo R5ca has got to be on everyone’s list to check out. Whether you’re a roadie or not, the R5ca is a must-see for the technology and innovation alone.

The new Pacific Outdoor range is also a must-see, with the panniers and bags proving a hit at the recent London consumer show. The show is open to all Madison customers, including our motocross, snow, outdoor and running retailers. 

What incentives are in place for a dealer to attend this year?
As always, there will be exclusive profit-boosting ‘one time only’ special offers from all over our product ranges – only available at the show. You can seriously boost your profits for the year by attending iceBike*. Food and drink, as always, will be free and fast-flowing throughout the show.

We have also arranged hotel rooms for all our customers at a discounted rate of £50, per room, per night (limited supply and available on a first come, first served basis).

iceBike* is about way more than just an expo to us. We do, and can, mix business with pleasure. We have great entertainment lined up for each evening. And, as well as all the usual drinks, we have got the local Chiltern Brewery to ensure sufficient supply of the ales, which went down very well last year.

What evening entertainment will be on offer this year?
Following the success of last year’s evening parties, iceBike* will again incorporate three customer parties open to all. These will be held every evening of the show, with music, great food, drink and plenty of entertainment in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

Will there once again be shuttle bus transfers available? How can dealers take advantage of these?
We offer a free shuttle service to the show, as always, from Luton Airport and Milton Keynes rail and bus stations. Visitors are able to book these when they pre-register at icebike.co.uk/register.

In addition to this, we will be offering shuttle buses between the event and hotels for the evenings and also between our main Milton Keynes site and the new facility at Knowlhill each afternoon, both to tour the premises and to attend our new-for-2011 visual merchandising seminar with Mercedes Ross.

What portion of Madison’s distribution space will the show occupy?
After last year’s iceBike* you could be forgiven for thinking we couldn’t get any bigger, but we have. The huge double-decker marquee will be making a come-back and will be packed with more than 700 square metres of bikes, including sneak peeks of the 2012 products, and more than 2,000 square metres of cycle parts and accessory displays from every brand that Madison distributes.

Madison has recently redeveloped all the office and showroom space within the Milton Keynes site, building to create a stunning and vast new showroom area.

When’s the deadline for dealer sign-up?
iceBike* is held in the same week every year, but this year it may conflict with half-term for some people, which may be an issue. But if you need to bring your children along for the day this is not a problem for us, so don’t despair. If dealers require hotel rooms, then really that deadline has passed – but we will do our best to help. If anyone still needs a room, email us at icebike@madison.co.uk. To just attend either the day and/or evenings then you can leave it right to the last minute, but pre-registration helps us better prepare for your visit and means you don’t have to queue.

How is Madison’s own-branded product line coming along?
Madison has long been known for own brand development, from Ridgeback and Genesis bikes to Aztec, Electron, M:Partand Nutrak – these brands continue to thrive and grow with the market and the market’s needs, but as you know we have expanded our own brands quite substantially. Saracen joined our stable over 18 months ago now and is flying – the response to the brand at the recent London consumer show was amazing. The Madison clothing range has been accepted by the trade beyond our expectations and at this year’s show we will preview a whole new evolution of the brand. This year we also have an extension of the Adventure brand, with a new concept that we think will appeal hugely to our customers.

Speakers aside, will you be welcoming any other guests or international brand managers?
Our suppliers value iceBike* and it’s because of that, that they support it the way they do, sending their product designers to give insight and get feedback from the UK market. There will be brand managers, designers and even a few CEOs from all over our portfolio of brands. We will, of course, also welcome some of our sponsored riders to the show, including a very special launch event on the Thursday of the show. Dr Sämann, the owner of Madison will, as always, come to see iceBike*. The press and media also attend iceBike* in their hoards helping promote all our products to the consumer – creating demand.

With two shows now on the calendar, has sign-up spread between the two dates, or do you see strong attendance to both?
The two iceBike* events are polar opposites really (forgive the pun) and we were really impressed with the turnout to the new July event. iceBike* in February is about all the products that are key to dealers for the spring and summer season – a springboard for all, allowing businesses to range plan the season ahead. iceBike* Winter, held in July, is about new bike ranges for the following year and seasonal winter parts and accessories, as well as apparel products for dealers to plan their winter ranges, like lighting and turbo trainers for example. There is no spread between the two events and, from the strong feedback we received, it is apparent that our customers find both really useful.

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