Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 10th, 2006 at 1:44 pm
The recent announcement that Eurobike is planning a Portland trade show caught many people off guard. Everyone that is, except staff of the Portland Oregon Visitors Association (POVA).
POVA kept the entire thing a secret, despite ongoing, coordinated efforts by the PDC and Commissioner Sam Adams‘ office to promote and develop Portland’s bicycle industry.
Just weeks before the announcement was made, POVA staff sat around a table at City Hall during a meeting of the bicycle industry task force that included Commissioner Sam Adams, PDC’s Jennifer Nolfi, and leaders from the local bicycle industry.
Despite obviously being deep into plans and negotiations, POVA made no mention of their dealings with Messe Friedrichshafen (the company behind Eurobike) at this meeting.
According to Jennifer Nolfi, who addressed members of Portland’s bike industry at a meeting two nights ago, POVA says they had to keep quiet due to strict confidentiality terms and that they feared a leak would get them in legal trouble with Eurobike.
That’s all well and good, but there are ways to suggest at the possibilities of a big announcement without getting yourself in hot water.
The result of POVA’s communication breakdown is some lost credibility and confusion for Portland’s ongoing efforts to establish relationships within the bike industry with an eye toward recruitment of new businesses.
POVA’s surprise announcement also resulted in event promoter Don Walker bolting from negotiations with the PDC and Commissioner Sam’s office to bring his popular North American Handmade Bicycle Show to Portland. Walker was just about to announce Portland as the location of his show in 2008 when the Eurobike announcement was made.
The timing of the attendance at Interbike by the PDC and the Commissioner’s office, combined with POVA’s October surprise, hopefully doesn’t cause industry insiders to assume that Eurobike was courted by Portland “city officials” when in reality it was just POVA.
At the meeting Wednesday night Nolfi announced that POVA plans to have a meeting to debrief Portland officials and bike industry stakeholders about the announcement and give details on ongoing Eurobike plans.
I’m sure we can expect better communication as plans for Eurobike and Portland’s burgeoning bike industry effort moves forward.