Stimulate, educate, motivate: Madison and Sportline CEO Dominic Langan on iceBike* 2020

How have preparations for iceBike* 2020 been so far? 
Preparations for the show are always manic but in a good way. Every year we try to mix things up and improve the show to keep it fresh and interesting for our visitors. We are on track and cannot wait to welcome visitors again this February. 

What are the main attractions this year?
One area that has proved popular for the last two years is the Business Services Area. Once again, we have expanded this part of the show and called in even more external partners such as the ACT, ATG, the Bicycle Association, Bikmo and Citrus-Lime, who are on-site to speak to retailers about how best they can benefit from such services.

Sitting alongside our own internal services such as Freewheel, Credit Control and B2B, we are told that visitors really get a lot out of this part of the show.

Obviously, the seminars will be another big part of the show so stay tuned for the confirmed schedule which will be announced soon. Then, of course, expect to see and meet cycling royalty in the form of Sir Chris Hoy and the Madison Saracen Factory Race Team. All of this without even mentioning over 60 huge brands all coming to Milton Keynes dressed to impress.

Is there any particular brand(s) that you’re looking forward to seeing?
I am definitely excited to see ODI this year. We announced ODI back in October and have big plans for the brand for 2020 and beyond, so they will definitely be one to check out at the show – particularly as founder Colby Young will be around to chat to visitors.

Genesis is also heading in an exciting direction for 2020, with some big marketing initiatives to tell you all about including one which is launching at the show. It has long been the adventure bike brand of choice for people all over the world, so we have a big focus on telling that story this year.

It goes without saying that the likes of Shimano, Lazer, Park Tool and Kryptonite will be out in force, with a plethora of new products to check out.

I always think it is a great opportunity to meet and chat with the people behind these brands, get to know them and talk about bikes over a coffee or a beer.

Brands aside, is there anything new to keep an eye out for at the show? 
I have already mentioned the Business Services Area and seminars, but we have also brought our concept store back to iceBike* alongside retail expert Mark O’Dolan. It always goes down well and gives retailers a chance to sharpen up on their POS and visual merchandising knowledge.

Evening entertainment is another highlight, with three themed nights and good food and drink. So once you’ve had a productive and informative time at the show, there is plenty of time to relax with old and new friends alike.

Finally, we always have incredible show-only offers on at iceBike* that only retailers that attend the show can take advantage of. All in all, plenty of reason to come and see us in Milton Keynes this February!

What are your hopes for the show in 2020, and how do you plan to evolve the show in 2021 and beyond? 
The hopes for this show are the same as every other year, we want to stimulate, educate and motivate our customers and their staff ahead of the season start. The show needs to add value and I think that is why iceBike* has been such a successful format.

The days of traipsing around show booths in labyrinthine hotels, while staff are more occupied by their laptops or phones than engaging with the customer are over. Showing product is important but showing customers how to sell it confidently, successfully and profitably is key.

iceBike* is constantly evolving as is the market. For the show to survive and indeed for Madison to survive, we have to remain relevant. This relates to the brands we carry, our go-to market strategy and the various initiatives we have in place to help our brands and our customers remain successful.

How do you feel about the general industry show landscape – are in-house shows the way forward? Is the need for industry-wide trade shows deteriorating? 
All of us are busy and have endless demands on our time and a million excuses for not leaving the store to go to a trade show. We understand that and we work very hard to make sure that the investment in time made by the store to visit iceBike* is amply rewarded.

As a business owner or business manager, you owe it to yourself and your staff to be constantly looking for new ways to move your business forward – it’s your responsibility.

You need to stay as fresh and as motivated as you did on the day you started. You need to be excited about what you do and give it 100% because your competitors will be doing exactly that and that is exactly the motivation we aim to deliver with iceBike* each year.

In other news...

Local roads: what are the priorities?

Rebecca Morley listens in to a Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum policy conference where speakers met virtually to discuss the funding of local roads, maintenance and preparing for future challenges