Interbike 2012: Autograph Hounds + Wookie Runts...

Like any trade show Interbike is an opportunity for all the varied industry manufacturers and producers to introduce, explain and sell their products to the people who will, in turn, introduce, explain and sell those same products to the general public. It is face to face and first hand; it is serious business. But, you know the saying "all work and no play..." - it applies here as well. There are different ways that the various companies add fun into the mix, and when you get right to it, that fun is just another means of marketing.

Chewbacca? The Star Wars movies made you look so much taller.

Happy Hour. That is when the fun really got underway. From pro's signing autographs, company heads holding meet and greets (think Gary Erickson, Tom Ritchie, etc), tricycle races, gameshow-type competitions, free beer, dj's and live bands, and various give-aways, fun is another way of getting the job done. I thought it might be a little unfair to recognize some of the firms, and not all, who participated in the Happy Hours, but it would have been extremely difficult to get to them all. Some of those I did manage to visit are shown below; others include Yakima, who besides hosting a dj and free beer bar, laid out free swag, Chrome held a wild tricycle race competition with beer close at hand, Saris hosted a beer bar where a $5.00 donation to Bikes Belong got you a stainless steel pint glass (filled). Meanwhile, similar festivities, took place at numerable other booths.
More product reviews, including Best of Show to come....

The Pro-Tec guys, celebrating their 40th anniversary, rocked their area of the exhibition hall by busting out some good old rock-a-billy tunes.

Greg Minnaar signed autographs at O'Neal, while the ladies on either side hand-pressed the company logo onto caps

Catherine Pendrel and Troy Wells (Greg Minnaar in back) were just three of the pros signing posters at the Clif Bar booth.

the fi'zi:k Pope greeting a parishoner.

Big George greeting well-wishers at... well, the Hincapie clothing booth, of course.

Game-show contestants and appreciative audience at the Sram booth.

Guess who is ever-flamboyant, and quite tall - The Lion King. Ciao Mario.
Meet and greet, while promoting his Cipollini brand of bikes.

Posters, posters, everywhere. And usually people to sign them as well. Mario Cipollini signed a copy of Road Bike Action which has an article on his bikes, the "Giro d'Italia: Fight For Pink" is a hefty near-book, chock full of photos and info, and those large Clif Bar posters are amazing. I picked up two of the three available (Catherine Pendrel and Troy Wells) - retro styling, printed on heavy-weight matte paper. They had to have cost a pretty penny to produce. Incidentally, Troy Wells is one cool dude, he took the time to ask each person questions, and then wrote something on the poster based on the answers you gave. Not a lot of folks do that.