BikeBiz: This is billed as a long-awaited show for the North – what feedback have you had so far to this effect?
(Colin Gale, events manager:) The North West has certainly been waiting a long time for this kind of show and since deciding to launch the event in Manchester we have been really encouraged by the interest in it from right across the North of England and Wales, as well as even up to the Scottish borders. So what we knew from the outset was going to be a large catchment area is now even bigger than we first imagined.
This is not just hearsay either. From speaking to businesses, cycling clubs, triathlon clubs and members of the public across the North and North West, they have all reinforced this very strong desire for a show such as the Bike & Triathlon Show in what is essentially a bike and tri mad part of the world.
What about the venue and the transport links to and from?
Manchester Central is a fantastic venue. Not only is it one of the best known exhibition venues in the country, but it couldn’t be easier to get to by bike, car, bus or train. You can even fly in to Manchester if you so wish and then use public transport in to the venue.
There is a full set of directions on the Manchester Central website www.manchestercentral.co.uk.
As this is the Bike & Triathlon Show, the thousands of onsite car parking spaces will be joined by secure bike storage so you can pedal to the show safe in the knowledge that your bike will be there safe and sound when it’s time to go home.
How many exhibitors are on the floorplan and what’ll be the split of bike and triathlon dedicated exhibitors?
The floorplan is ever evolving and we still have a number of very high profile exhibitors still to be announced. One of the many things that sets this show apart is that there is no pre-set number. We work with every single exhibitor and potential exhibitor to make sure that they get the most benefit they possibly can from the show. As a result this means sometimes we have to move the floorplan about slightly, but we would rather do this and ensure that this is the exhibitors’ and the visitors’ show than be specific and rigid in our plans.
Split wise, the show will be evenly split between the different areas of cycling and triathlon. So you can expect to see MTB and road zones for example, as well as nutrition, leisure and commute. The triathlon zone will also feature a swimming zone, as well as dedicated areas for running, event organisers and much more. There will also be a Kids Zone. as well as a VIP coaching area, British Cycling Central Stage, Road Bike Theatre and MTB test track courtesy of Shoretrax.
What’s the anticipated attendance of the first show?
As it is a first year show we do not have the benefit of past shows to refer to. However, we anticipate between 10,000 to 15,000 people to attend across the two days of the event. These will be people with a true and genuine interest in all areas of bike and triathlon. We are confident of attracting these visitors given the desire for such a show in the North and North West and the marketing and PR programme we have adopted.
How and where are you marketing the exhibition to boost attendance?
The eagle-eyed will already have seen our ads appearing in market leading cycling and triathlon titles, as well as on Bikeradar and Triradar websites amongst others. We have also joined forces with the Revolution Series and have been promoting the show at their race series and in their TV coverage on ITV4.
In addition to this we have been, and will continue to be, working with numerous bike and triathlon clubs across the catchment area, as well as Manchester Central and Manchester Council to promote the show heavily to the local area right up to the day of the event.
Our partnership with British Cycling has also allowed us to work closely with them to market the show to their expanding membership.
We are also engaging in a full PR programme that has already seen us gain coverage in a number of leading titles and websites inside and outside cycling and tri.
Of course, our partnership with BikeBiz is also a major help in our marketing efforts, that goes without saying!
What is in place feature-wise that is designed to draw in the crowds?
We have a huge and growing list of attractions with much more to be announced immediately prior to the show that may just push those sitting on the fence over the edge and make them come along.
Attractions include the British Cycling Central Stage featuring a number of leading lights from the world of cycling and triathlon, as well as top coaches from the British Cycling Olympic and Paralympic programmes. A full seminar programme will also run across the two days and will cover areas as diverse as nutrition, hydration, technique, bike design and much more.
There will also be a VIP Coaching Zone run by our partners at Koolstof Coaching and also a swimming zone where visitors can (you guessed it) have a swim.
What incentives will there be for the trade to swing by?
We want this to be as much for the trade as it is for the consumer. However as the show is running across a weekend, we appreciate that this can be a very busy time for retailers and the trade, so it has to be worthwhile.
As such, to accommodate the need for private meetings, we will be opening the doors early for trade members – free of charge to enter with proof of ID – and we have organised the BikeBiz Trade Lounge just off the main floor where you can go to relax, have meetings, do business or just catch up with old colleagues. This will be a purely trade-only area with a trade pass needed for entry.
What’s the long-term aspiration for the Bike and Tri show?
This is just the start. We have long-term ambitions to grow the show – something Manchester Central can accommodate very easily – and make this an ever improving offering for both the bike and tri-mad consumers, as well as the trade that serves them. We will work with our exhibitors now and in the future to get bigger, better and ever more engaging year-on-year for many years to come. We’re here for the long term.
Will exhibitors be permitted to sell from their stands?
Not only will they be allowed to, we will actively encourage it.
If you would like to retail from your stand, you can do so with pleasure. This is the exhibitor’s show and the consumers’ show, it’s not ours.
How can last minute stands be booked and who’s the contact?
Space is now becoming very limited, but the first point of contact is Aaron Dombey who will be more than happy to help in any way he can. You can call him on 01923 237799 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org