Crossvegas was just something thrown into my trip for an extra challenge. It’s like the spur of hike-a-bike to an overlook that you add to your long ride just because it’s worth the view. The real reason I went to Interbike was to visit with sponsors and potential sponsors. Couldn’t all that be done through the magic of the internet? Well, maybe… I can let someone know what I need and what I’m willing/able to do for them, but the impersonal setting doesn’t suit me nearly as well as meeting face-to-face.
I’ve been told that I’m very “marketable.”
Last year, I approached the show with very little focus. I swept across the show floor going into any booth that looked cool, and probably handed out about 100 business cards in the process. It was a successful trip in many respects, but I got pretty lucky along the way. This year, my approach was more calculated. I made contact ahead of time and found out when I should stop by to talk to the right person to hand out a packet full of race resume and other pertinent info.
The process of turning myself up to “11″ and selling people on my ability to persuade the masses is both incredibly fun and incredibly exhausting. I took breaks often to hang out at the Ergon booth with my friends in there. As Sonya Looney put it… it’s a “safe” place where you can sit down and switch off for a few minutes. Plus, they had a kickass happy hour on Thursday afternoon. I generally played it cool on the post-show parties, though. It’s hard to do my job if I get further sucked in to the money pit/hangover that is Vegas. There’s a great article along the same vein over on BikeMag: Interbike Survival Guide
With the exception of not being able to track down a marketing guy at SRAM, I was successful in meeting with everyone who needed to be met with.
Fun side story- I did have a fun moment at the SRAM booth when I stopped by their info desk. The nice girl behind the desk said she had the same shirt as I was wearing. I asked if she’d taken advantage of Target’s “2 for $10″ deal as I had, and, turns out, she did, and her other shirt was the same as I’d bought.
Like I said, I would rather meet in person, but the info desk couple was very nice and encouraged me to take a ‘MTB Sponsorship” card and email them after the show.
As for everyone else, the meetings were positive. Nimblewear, Gu Energy, ProGold, and Industry Nine are all a go for doing it again next year. As far as potential new sponsors, I can’t really talk about who and what just yet, because it’ll be different than the who and what this year. More on that sometime (hopefully) early in November.