Making plans to be at Interbike & then actually getting there & affording it are very different things. One does not simply show up to Interbike and walk in. You have to get a pass, either as a vendor, exhibitor or attendee and they are not gotten very easily either. I had developed some pretty good relationships with some local bike shops as a coach & was able to get a pass. Getting there required some creativity also. I blogged about that story over here on my website. Additionally, there was no way I could afford a hotel stay for the whole week there. I connected with another USAC coach who was an exhibitor there & in return for helping him at his booth & advertising for him he would pay my hotel. It turned out to be a great mutually beneficial arrangement.
After losing my job, getting my coaching license & pursuing other cycling-industry related jobs I knew that going to Interbike this time (I’ve gone twice before) would have a far more focused effort as I would be going not only to secure sponsorships for my team & myself next year but I would also be going to hopefully drum up some more employment possibilities as well as network. As I stated in my Day 2 post, this year’s Interbike was already showing the fruits of that labor. I was amazed however, by how exhausted I was after only two days. I woke up that morning wondering if this is how New Yorker’s felt after all the walking around I’d done. I had even earned myself a few ‘battle wounds’ of blisters on my feet.
I spent the majority of the day at Andres’ booth for Athlete Forward . He offers a very unique alternative to the traditional on-line platform for bringing athletes and coaches together in a web-based communication tool. The main differences between his website and others that are in wide use now are a more user-friendly dashboard, more versatile, better/more control by the coach as far as how/what work-outs are given, much more affordable & also offers some features that give visible snap-shots/graphs for week-at-a-glance training goals versus actual progress.
As an aside, we found it odd that they had a large section of Interbike in the downstairs section of the Sands convention center & so many people didn’t even know there was a downstairs section. Although it was mostly filled with general fitness & triathlete related vendors, it still didn’t get anywhere near the amount of traffic it probably deserved.