BikeBiz finds out how the show's exhibitors intend to cement Core as the most important date in show season

Core Bike 2011 review: part one

If the footfall at Core is anything to go by, January has been further re-enforced as the month to have a trade show. As suggested in BikeBiz’s December Retail survey, shops favour the first two months of the year as key periods for planning ahead and choosing suppliers with whom to do business.

For the first time in the show’s history, a rival of sorts had set up camp a few miles down the road, which arguably may have contributed to the 15 per cent rise in pre-registration, then again, CoreBike as a standalone show gives dealers plenty of reason to make the journey and many spent hours on the road exclusively for Core’s exhibition, now in its seventh year.

Show figurehead, Elaine Curtin tells BikeBiz: “This is the first time I recall there being a queue out of the door on the first morning. If not spending the night, most people are turning up prior to 11am and spending the majority of the day at Whittlebury Hall. Plenty of small shops have come for the weekend and many even brought their partners along with a view to making use of the facilities here.”

Accommodation, a few solid meals and a constant supply of booze is certainly a model that has proven a winner in the bike trade and it’s Core’s hospitality that seems to be drawing bigger crowds each year.

Curtin says: “It looks like we’ve had a further 15 per cent attend on last year’s figures, which is in line with the extra registration we received pre-show. The numbers through the doors has been consistent throughout the duration of the four days and we’ve had greater numbers of press covering the product, which is a bonus. From an exhibitor’s perspective, the show’s exactly what it should be and all are happy that we’re in the right central location to offer a very worthwhile show for a large portion of the trade.”

Signs were evident that Core’s organisers are keen for feedback on what it does best and what it could do better. An 11-question survey was handed to all retailers coming through the doors and the questions within address rumblings of discontent about the fight for space among suppliers. These included questions such as ‘If there were more exhibitors at Core, would you spend more time at the show’ and ‘Are there any other distributors that you would like to see present at the show’.

Curtin continued: “We won’t open the flood gates to new exhibitors as this would alter the structure of the show. We are, however, keen to hear from our audience and post-show, the firms currently at Core always sit down to do de-brief and discuss the future.”

The questionnaire also references the possible interest in a ‘demo day’, suggesting a fresh, interactive aspect may give future crowds more reason to make the journey.

In other news...

Limitlass hailed ‘a huge success’ as festival celebrates women’s mountain biking

The Limitlass MTB Festival, hosted by Katie May, Fiona Finnie and Anna Riddell, has been …