Combining virtual with physical: CABDA on 2021’s hybrid events Rebecca Morley catches up CABDA Expo show director Jim Kersten
ith the pandemic forcing the postponement and cancellation of many trade shows and events throughout last year, it’s encouraging to see organisers hopeful of a return to physical exhibitions in the coming months as restrictions continue to ease around the world. In the US, CABDA’s 2021 expo series will be hosted as hybrid events, with show activities taking place both in-person and virtually on the new online platform CABDA Connect. Each expo will feature two days of physical exhibits, seminars, keynotes and meetings, followed a few days later by a day of virtual activities. Booming sales COVID has had a huge impact on the bike trade around the world, and the US cycling industry saw ‘unprecedented’ growth last year according to the NPD Group, with the 63% year-over-
26 | July 2021
year growth for bike sales in June primarily stemming from higher-end bikes typically purchased by enthusiasts, including road, gravel and full suspension mountain bikes, as well as e-bikes. Sales of bikes with average selling prices above $1,000 also experienced growth in June 2020 compared to the same month the year before. Full suspension mountain bikes were up 92% in dollars, gravel bikes up 144%, sport performance road bikes up 87% and e-bikes up 190%. In April last year, sales for traditional bikes, indoor bikes, parts, helmets and other accessories grew a combined 75% to $1 billion compared to the year before. Lifestyle/leisure bikes grew by 203%, front suspension mountain bikes were up by more than 150% and children’s bikes increased by 107% for the month.