As one handmade bike show calls it quits for 2022, another has announced its creation.
The North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) had to cancel its event for three years straight now, citing lack of exhibitor interest for the cancellation of its September show in Denver. NAHBS organizers say they'll try again in 2023, but there's competition now with bike makers and vendors flocking to the newly announced handmade bike show called MADE.
Set to open its doors in September 2023, the Portland-based bike show has already attracted more than 170 frame builders and industry vendors, keen to take advantage of the show's unique format.
Billy Sinkford, ECHOS VP and MADE spokesperson, says the Portland-based bike show has staying power.
Organized by the PR and marketing agency ECHOS Communications, MADE sports a large-scale event model that provides frame-makers, media and consumers, both domestic and international, with a consistent layout and location, allowing for increased continuity, cost-efficiency and time management.
"Moving around year after year makes it exceptionally difficult for larger brands to exhibit and to exhibit year after year," Sinkford said. "With MADE, people know what to expect. You know where to get their morning coffee, all that good stuff."
The global bike show is already in talks with the City of Portland to potentially host the event. It will be open to the public over the weekend and held outside or in a mixed indoor-outdoor venue. Several days prior, the event plans to open its doors just for media and industry to create content around the bikes, builders and vendors to help spread the word about custom and handmade products.
"As the show is going live, media will be able to show all of these beautiful bikes to the world in real-time ,and have much better access and not have to do it in a stale convention center setting," Sinkford continued. "They'll be able to go for a ride with the frame builder, throw their leg over the bike, and take it to a beautiful spot. It'll be much easier to create impactful content and take beautiful photos of the bikes because it will be outside."
It's no secret the pandemic revealed some indoor trade events were no longer sustainable. The outdoor model of MADE gives vendors and builders more freedom to display their products, offer demos and meet potential consumers. Not only that, the appeal extends to international and out-of-state frame builders, who have the option to hold their gear and products in a storage space until the next show.
MADE won't charge builders for vendor space and has partnered with BikeFlights to subsidize the shipping costs. The goal is to create equality amongst builders and spotlight smaller companies that may not get much exposure due to bike show costs.
"Putting it outside is simply more pleasant," Sinkford said. "Also, it allows for larger brands to have a demo fleet or a builder to bring several of their own personal bikes to have them available for people to try out. It brings people that much closer to the builder. Suppose they're already interested in purchasing a custom bike, and the potential buyer has already been in talks with builder X. In that case, they can throw their leg over a bike they've made and at least get an idea of the ride quality, and feel is. And for some builders and brands, they're not just making custom. They're also doing stock size runs, so they could let somebody ride a bike that they could actually purchase."
The show plans to feature events at Chris King, Speedvagen and Breadwinner Cycles. Registration is officially open next month, and companies like Moots, The Pro's Closet Museum, Bicycling Magazine, Paul Component Engineering, Mosaic, to name just a few, have already expressed interest or pre-registered.
MADE is coming in September 2023 and we'll be following the show's progress. In the meantime, visit the website for more information.
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