Brooklyn Bicycle Co.’s Best of Interbike 2016
We at Brooklyn Bicycle Co. thought we’d share, in honor of our fifth Interbike anniversary, our “Best of Interbike“–i.e. what we love most about the experience–so future newbies can know what to look forward to, and veterans can remember why we make this crazy trek every year.
Strengthening Community Ties
It’s by far the people who are the best of Interbike. These days, when email is the most prevalent form of communication and orders are placed via online portals, many of our dealers are folks whose faces we’ve never seen–and Interbike is a chance to change that!
Many of us of course come to Interbike to meet potential new dealers, but just as important is getting to shake hands with, high-five, and even bear-hug the dealers we’re already working with. After all, those are the folks placing regular orders and putting in the hours to sell our brand to consumers. We couldn’t be more grateful, and Interbike is a chance to show that gratitude–and have a laugh or two.
Learning and Commiserating
Nothing feels better than sharing an experience with another brand and hearing them say, “We’ve been going through that same thing!” Even competitors can feel like pals when you’re both having warehousing issues or both of your seasons played out in weird ways. Sitting in our separate offices all across the country and even the world, it’s easy for us to forget that there are other people out there fighting the same battles–and that many have won! And Interbike is an opportunity to share success strategies, too. If you solved a logistical problem or came up with a creative marketing strategy, tell the booth next door how you did it! Sharing those solutions makes the whole industry stronger–and that’s the best of Interbike.
Amplifying Our Message
By close of Interbike each year, each of our team members has probably told our brand story 75 times, and while it’s exhausting, it’s also exciting! As a brand, and not a shop, we rarely get to interact one-on-one with our customers. We communicate in 140-character social media messages; we email and sometimes have a few minutes to talk on the phone; but otherwise we’re in our offices emailing shops and media outlets for even the chance to have a single conversation. What a luxury it is for each of our team members to be given 25 of those chances–every day! And speaking of media outlets, media attention is definitely on our best of Interbike list. No email pitch you send compares to talking with journalists one-on-one, with your best products right there at your fingertips, and a common loathing of Las Vegas.
Measuring Our Success
Interbike gives us the opportunity to see how we’re doing–by allowing us to measure our success not only against our own efforts in previous years, but also against our competitors and others who complement us by playing in a different sector of the same space. We can always measure our sales or web traffic against last year’s, or gauge the competition by ad campaigns we see or by what people are saying about them on social media; but the story a brand chooses to tell when they have customers right there in front of them is a powerful indicator of who they really are, and offers us otherwise elusive insights that definitely make our best of Interbike list.
Bonding as a Team
When you’re a small business, as we are, it’s hard to take time away from work to do off-sites, retreats, and other dedicated bonding exercises. But Interbike is work and team-building all rolled into one achy, sleep-deprived, Johnny-Rocket-filled extravaganza, so whether you want to or not, you’re going to see the best and worst of your teammates–their strengths and weaknesses, how they function under stress, and whether they’re photogenic in the tragic trade show lighting. So get ready to bond!