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.