- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 1 August 2016
When BNA reported on the first Australian Triathlon, Endurance and Cycling Expo (ATEC) last year, roving reporter David Halfpenny said it was better than expected. This year, David said it was better than last year and we will share some of the highlights and also what we think needs to change to make this show bigger and better next year for visitors and exhibitors alike.
On the floor there were about 110 stands to represent about 140 brands and businesses exhibiting, within the ‘Bike Zone’ there were 50 cycling specific business and brands. A few larger brands such as 2XU, Canon Bicycles, Polar and Wattbike were represented with their own stand while the majority of exhibitors were small to medium businesses. In the Bike Zone there were also bike services such as coaching and bike fitting, importers and cycling organisations and events represented.
The ATEC program listed even more big name brands exhibitors such as Trek, Argon18, Colnago, Cervelo, Felt, Fulcrum, Selle SMP and Kask however these where integrated into the bike shop stands for Bike Bug and Park Cycles. These are both good bike shops however it was effectively stand for the shop with their range on show and not really the brands themselves. I prefer to see each brand represented individually (even if it is a shared stand) with a representative from the brand.
Damon represents Ceramic Speed in Australia
Drew Johnson says Cuore cycle wear is growing fast
Big brand Polar is getting back into cycling
Beyond bike specific exhibitors there was a plethora of supplements and nutrition companies. In fact, it was hard to focus as they each promote amazing benefits, each one better than the last. An energy bar and a gel is just not enough for a cyclist, you need to be on top of your diet with the right supplements, you need to have tour pre-training or pre-competition nutrition strategy planned out and it is vital know which pills, bars, gels, shakes and drinks you need during and for the recovery. The expo provided a good opportunity for visitors to talk to the staff get guidance.
The expo hosted some activity areas, for bikes, the kids took to a long sandy test track while two other riding areas (one for kids and one for adults) appeared largely unused. Two other bike areas however, one for children and one for adults appeared largely unused each time I passed by. I would love the organisers to organise staff to animate visitors to participate or simply ride them self to keep the action going. Outside there was road racing (criterium) and running events.
An area that attracted a constant stream of visitors was the stage with presentations from sports experts from different fields speaking on different topics.
At ATEC, I caught up with Tim Christian of OORR cycling apparel and we both shared our top three exhibitors from the show in the video.
The PLUS side of ATEC
Bicycles Network Australia was a media partner for ATEC this year – which meant that we helped publicise the event and at the event spoke to a number of the exhibitors. I attended on the opening day (Saturday) and it was a full day – for a visitor a couple of hours is probably enough time unless you want to stop and talk with a lot of exhibitors.
The large space of The Dome in the Sydney Olympic Park was well utilised and presented. Exhibitors and visitors had space to move plus it was warm with a lot of natural light and the atmosphere was right. I was impressed with the layout and professional organisation of the event.
Aaron Dunford of Fusion Peak professional Cycle Fitting (right)
Exhibitors who made the effort to talk to visitors, to engage the ones who were just passing or just browsing, got the most out of ATEC. It is easy to sit or wait in the booth but the ones who were always connecting were busy the entire show – even during the quiet periods.
Siblings Lachlan and Gabrielle operate Altitude training environments for performance athletes
Helen of Women Cycling Clothing puts a twist into cycle wear.
The multi-sport focus is a good move for this expo and though swimming or running doesn’t have to interest the die-hard cyclist, many exhibitors have brands or services that cross-over different sports.
Carlijn Kerdijk, John Leighton and Jane Robertson of Bicycle NSW
Room for Improvement
ATEC have reported 4,110 visitors and buying an early bird ticket for $15 saved $10 of the price of ticket at the door. I feel that the entry fee for visitors should not be levied as it creates a hurdle for attending. Without an entry price, I would expect visitor numbers to double which in turn increases the value for exhibitors and makes the more attractive to other companies and organisations the following year.
Many of the big bike brands in Australia have turned to their own consumer events and roadshows, impressive visitor numbers are the way to gain interest and similarly to increase the range on offer for visitors.
Increasing the number of sport activities and demonstrations inside the exhibition space, and ensuring that these continue throughout the day would add to the entertainment value.
It’s a Wrap
On behalf of Bicycles Network Australia, the ATEC bike show was a good opportunity to connect with different brands and there is always potential to get bigger and better. Cyclists in Australia want a bike show and the timing, location and coverage of the Australian Triathlon, Endurance and Cycling Expo makes sense – If ATEC were to drop the entry price, this should be the invitation for the big brands to take notice and sign-up.