From reading other related threads it seems that the London show is seen in a rather poor light.
So instead of saying how it gets worse each year or how a trader didn’t help perhaps we could put something together for the organisers/dealers/traders next year?
My two pence would be to try and make more definition between Excel show and NEC show. The London show is not going to be THE bike show of the year for new machines etc (well not unless the public convinces the main dealers to have a change of heart, which is more than possible). Nor is it going to compete on availability of space. Therefore I would suggest a new angle on it - like the independant traders, the innovation, the community aspects.
I think the London show has the edge, and the fact the exhibition side is around the revolution show is ideal, give us an event, something to look at, stuff like John McG talking through a TT lap is exactly the kind of stuff that should be the draw, watching Dougie Lampkin do a trail demo…
I can go to dealers and look at shiny metal every weekend, I cant listen to the stars of the bike world talk about what they do or do demos and its those things that give me value for money. if it was £16 just to look at bikes, not interested.
The days of getting brilliant deals on gear are long gone, putting a stand together at one of these shows is blooming expensive, its a wonder they offer any discount at all.
Minor point but an important one from a parental point of view. In previous years, they had ickle bikes for kids to muck around on. I think they were doing some road safety stuff one year on battery bikes. Gets the kids involved. They also did some timed courses round cones one year. That was cool.
Not a very positive addition but it seems to me if you’ve been to one bike show lately you’ve seen them all. I think the slow down of release cycles of new models contributes to this and the model evolution slowing down. For example the New CBR600RR isn’t that much different to the old one in real terms.
At the NEC there were hardly any traders compared with the old days because everyone buys on the internet. The Yamaha off road school were there so you could have a go around a tiny track if that took your fancy. It’d be wiser to save your money and book the actual experience on their proper track.
I don’t think the bike show has had its day, but I think you make a very good point Joby, the way we buy, commerce in general, has changed completely in the last decade, the margins are smaller thanks to the higher levels of online competition, particularly for gear, and, as you say, the cycles for bike release are longer. Net result is fewer bargains and less to see. Perhaps a Bi Annual show geared more toward the sport as well as the metal would get a greater audience and achieve better value.
would help if manufacturers turned up, I heard there was a few who didn’t bother? a lot of it is same old hat, same show bikes, same faces…same **** different show, that’s the feeling I have had when ever I have been.
the NEC was a bit different, seemed bigger and better, the London show seemed like a poor version for those that couldn’t make the NEC.
For me it’s a cost thing… if you want to lure me somewhere to go and buy stuff, I’m unlikely to pay just to get in. Either make the ticket non existent or make damn sure every stall has decent items on great bargains. Make sure that your prices are considerably less than the website. For example the Kriega stall just had them at the same price as their website. Ok, it’s a great product but why go there to buy?
I know this may sound counter intuitive but for me it’s not a day out, it’s a bargain hunt. If I can’t find bargains, why would I want to pay to go somewhere to shop? Getting to see the talks is good but my 2012 experience made it feel like I had to try and time it perfectly and organise, and it doesn’t feel like it fits with the fluidity of the day walking around.
With the 2012 one I went I found that pretty much 70-80% of the stalls were of no interest and a big proportion of that sold items that looked a bit cheap and tacky. I understand you have to stock everything but honestly I want to see the good brands knock down prices at these things.
I know size of venue is an issue with this but honestly the fact there was no room to try things on in some places, you couldn’t walk around the aisles, there was little categorisation of items so you spent lot of time just looking aimlessly. Simple store design in a lot of cases would have worked.
Anyway, sometimes you have to accept that these shows are for some people and not for others. As you can probably tell for me they’re not the thing to do. I might have given the NEC one a try if I was in Cheltenham for the weekend and was on the lookout for new gear. But I doubt it…
I think the timings just right, it’s normally pretty miserable and a couple of years ago was even snowing when it was on, so, you’re generally not missing a nice day on the bike…apart from Sunday this year, doh!
It’s a pretty good day outand a fair bit to see. liked the fact that there seemed to be a bigger shed built custom section this year. The only downside was revolution as far as production value goes…still pretty good to see, but, lacking the wow factor and production of previous years.
Didn’t go this year, but abiding memory from last years show was some pretty poor stands from manufacturers (Honda excepted) displaying a limited range of bikes. Too many clothing stands selling poor quality rags knocked up in a Pakistan sweatshop for the loud t-shirt or black leather & tassles crowd. Stands selling poor quality workshop tools for which the bike show was a change of scene from the usual Sunday market for their owners. All pretty low-rent for a supposedly major bike show.
If I’m paying entry into a bike show, I’m doing it because I want to see all the mainstream bike manufacturers/importers - everyone from Zontes to Ducati, so that I can try bikes out for size and get a feel for what I like and don’t like. I want to see clothing & helmet stands selling decent branded products that I can try on and buy if I like them. I’m not necessarily expecting a bargain, although £5-10 off a helmet or jacket goes a little way to mitigating the entry cost. ‘Interest’ areas for classic enthusiasts, custom enthusiasts, trials, racing etc are always good to see, but my main point of going is to find ways in which I can spend money. Unfortunately low rent stands and everyone out to make as much money from the visiting punter just turns me off, and I couldn’t wait to get out last year. Yes I know that’s what business is ultimately all about, but it’s just too in your face at the shows these days.
every 2 years in march would do. gives the manufacturers a chance to bring out a new model instead of a colour change just in time for the summer. the people will see, talk and then promote to friends once they have seen new bikes.
But on the other hand, I am not in the least bit interested in that and certainly wouldn’t pay £16 to hear someone drone on about a TT lap or watch someone else having fun on a trail bike…not when you can watch both for free on Youtube.
if I am going to pay £16, I want traders selling stuff. No I don’t expect them to beat internet prices, but I do expect them to put on a deal, since I just paid £16 to enter the place.
For instance, I would ban Kriega from the event, since they decided that they were not going to offer any discounts. Then **** off, why are you taking up the space that a trader that understands that this is an opportunity to meet people that they may not meet elsewhere and who have paid a price for entry into the place.
There were deals to be had and I found most of the traders to be pretty nice people. There were also a couple of opportunities to sign up for charity events that I thought was interesting.