Questions surround Portland bike show announcement

Yesterday Lance Camisasca of Interbike responded to the announcement by Messe Friedrichshafen (organizers of the Eurobike trade show) to hold a new, rival trade show in Portland. In an official statement, Camisasca questioned the capacity of the Oregon Convention Center to hold a show that would be large enough to be successful:

“”The OCC’s main room has 255,000 gross square feet. However this gross space will likely only yield a net occupied total of 127,500 square feet.

No matter how you do the math, this event will likely be roughly one third the size of Interbike, even if it sells out.”

Camisasca is also planting seeds that the new show would harm the industry,

“…we are also greatly concerned about the dividing effect Eurobike’s announcement may have on the industry.This would certainly divide the industry and there are concerns about potentially having three shows in North America in September, never mind the Euro calendar.”

I think it’s strange that since making the big announcement, no one has heard any more details from Messe Friedrichshafen’s U.S. rep and Hood River resident Erich Reiss. Adding to the mystery is a report in this morning’s Oregonian Business section that says,

“The organizers have not signed a contract, POVA spokeswoman Deborah Wakefield said, but they have visited Portland and indicated their interest in holding an event in September 2007. “

Visits to and interest in Portland are a far cry from making real plans.

Despite the advantages of Portland over Las Vegas, it’s clear that the Eurobike folks have an uphill battle to establish a successful, rival bike trade show in North America and now I’m beginning to wonder how much credibility this big announcement really has.

Was it all a PR stunt to test the waters of public and media reaction?

Until we hear more from the Erich Reiss and his company, it’s hard to think otherwise.

I’ve got several emails and phone calls into Reiss but have yet to hear back.

Stay tuned.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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17 years ago

Good point Jonathan. It may very well be a ploy to expose a weakness in Interbike to help define the original Eurobike as the premiere world bike expo. One way or the other it does not appear to me that Eurobike has the best of intentions with this announcement. It seems that it is more about weakening Interbike than strengthening the industry.

17 years ago

This entire conversation is based on conjecture and speculation. I believe it is a non-issue until we hear otherwise from those in a position to make the applicable decisions regarding these shows.

What’s more, Interbike is not a divine being that should be left unchallenged. Those in the industry will choose where they want to be and for whatever reasons best help them meet their business goals. Competing trade shows keep show organizers ‘on their toes’ and provide greater opportunity to the industry to showcase their companies and products to a wider audience.

In my opinion, the Interbike representative’s response is inappropriate based on the available facts. What’s more, making a defensive public response is far more indicative of an organization which has sat relatively untested for some time. Instead of ignoring speculation and standing behind all that is does well, Interbike has alluded to some form of insecurity.