Attendance was up between 15 and 20 per cent, there were distribution deals aplenty combined with never-before-seen product and the chance for the trade to relax together. Mark Sutton reviews another CoreBike and looks at why the show has become an unmissable calendar date for dealers nationwide...

CoreBike 2009: The Review

2009’s instalment re-enforced the idea that CoreBike has reached a point where, from a trade perspective, the show is simply unmissable. Add to that Core’s highly-valued social gala event and you’ll at least leave with a few stories to tell when you return to the shop.

With the addition of Merida, Jim Walker and Citrus Lime this year, there were even more reasons for dealers to make the trip to Whittlebury Hall – a venue which can not only accommodate the bike trade and its antics, but can offer a comfortable stay with all the luxury trimmings.

One concern raised following the 2008 show, was that the addition of more brands could result in over saturation – or ‘too much to see in a one day visit’. There seemed, however, to be no concerns of overcrowding as 2009’s event concluded.

Pete Drew of Silverfish commented: “Over each day of Core our space has been consistently busy, and we’ve managed to catch up with clients, for the most part, during the day, or over a beer during the evening’s entertainment. The great thing about Core is that the setting makes for such a relaxed atmosphere, even when discussing business.”

And this year’s additions were welcome ones. Merida booked two rooms to accommodate its comprehensive catalogue of bikes. Praising the venue, UK MD Tim Buxton said: “We’ve kept busy throughout and had some promising conversations with prospective clients, as well as signing a few dealers on the back of demonstrations. The show is an ideal platform in assisting growth of our distribution base.”

Of the other show newbies, Jim Walker Distribution debuted the Argon18 range, while Citrus Lime wowed trade members with its e-commerce system.
Marketing manager Graham Houghton explained why Core was a must-attend event for Citrus Lime. “This is our company’s first bike trade outing, although we’ve been building a cycle-centric client base for some time. We chose to debut at Core because it has an excellent and diverse mix of retailers attracted by multiple exhibitors under one roof.”

Ahead of next year, there were whispers among the trade that the show will be capped at 15 companies. However, Silverfish MD Darren Mabbot confirmed to BikeBiz that it was only space constraints preventing interested companies taking part. He said: “There is a waiting list and plenty of companies have declared interest in becoming part of the CoreBike Group. Unfortunately, unless we compromised by taking space from the dining hall, then it’d be very difficult to squeeze many more in.”

Event organiser Elaine Curtin told BikeBiz ahead of the gala entertainment evening:

“Early tallies show that attendance this year has jumped by 15 to 20 per cent. Dealers appear buoyant, although many are prepared to work a little harder this year. Registration jumped significantly in the fortnight leading to Core, suggesting that many were reluctant to leave their businesses. However as the weather took a turn for the better, dealers have come out in increased numbers to see what Core has to offer. Around 40 per cent of those who showed up during the weekend plan to stay on through Monday night’s entertainment.”

For BikeBiz’s CoreBike product round-up, click here.

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