Who’s going? There are a few of us here in Australia trying to get there but the cost and logistics is frightening? I’ve just tried to book a booth but the website is proving difficult. Anybody with any extra info that would help us out of towners would be awesome.
I am thinking about going. It is on the other side of the USA for me.
How is this different than NAHBS, PBE, etc, etc?
The model here, as far as I can tell, only works financially for the show organizers. For builders it’s a huge expense/hassle that (from everything I’ve ever heard) does not usually result in any sales.
Or do people go mostly to meet other industry folks?
I go to and meet other builders even though I don’t consider myself a builder yet.
I think the “point” of this one is that it’s small/medium framebuilder forward as many shows are overall general industry that happen to have framebuilders. Not knocking any other shows, that’s just the perception from the press releases.
Shows can be a money pit and return is hard to quantify and honestly very subjective. Is a successful show only getting immediate sales that negate the cost of going? To me especially as an international (read not based in USA) builder it is a great opportunity to meet and develop relationships with a lot of folks I otherwise would likely never cross paths with. At last year PBE I met some European builders I would probably never meet otherwise and that was exciting and cool to me.
I think that’s especially beneficial as a very segmented niche industry where most folks are self or small business employed and maybe don’t get to talk shop in person as much as those in larger or more generalized industries. Social media has made those general interactions easier but it’s definitely a plus to meet folks irl and hang out, talk shop, problem solve, see everyone’s work up close, relationship build. Etc etc.
Also re financial return, there’s also long term consideration. I still “get business” from media from shows I went to 5+ years ago. I don’t spend any money on “marketing” otherwise, so to me that feels like good return on something that was paid for many years ago.
Overall, it depends how you want to look at it. If it’s a purely short term financial expenditure it might not be worth it unless you pinch every penny and get immediate work to justify the spend. If it’s a cool bike vacation where you get to see some amazing art and meet industry folks and develop lasting business relationships, maybe it’s easier to justify those costs long term.
I don’t think general booking opens til next week, so the site might be up as just the floor plan but not reservation functionality just yet.
Booking international can be hard especially with no context of the city. I’m driving down but have never actually stayed more than a day in Portland before so just guessed on what neighborhood to book a place based on show location and prices.
Best advice is stay close by the show, smash four people into a hotel room to reduce the cost, fly in a few days early to get settled, and if you’re coming from that far tack some extra days on the end to make a vacation out of it too, visit other nearby shops or builders, bike rides to enjoy the area, art visits, whatever you’re into.
I haven’t been to any shows yet but am hoping to visit PBE this year. Maybe as an exhibitor, I don’t know yet. I think it would be really cool to meet other builders face to face and to talk shop. There are some amazing bikes I’d like to see in person, and it would be really cool to have other builders see what I’m doing too.
I like Schon’s comments about older media still driving business. I’ve had people reach out to me because of Reddit comments made about my bikes (and I’ve accepted work from them, too). Popping up in a google search for Canadian builders would be helpful as we’re pretty localized.
I’d bet that after attending 10 shows or whatever amount, I’ll have a different opinion. But as a newcomer, attending at least one is basically a bucket list item.
PBE is so worth the drive from Ontario/Quebec/east coast. Even if you’re not exhibiting it’s such a fun weekend, great crowd, theres lots of socials/group rides, and NYC is right there too if you want to extend the trip. Great little fall time bike oriented long weekend vacay.
I love PBE. I go every year. Its 3 hours from me so its an easy drive.
Philly is such a great city, so much to do and see.
So true, the cost of a booth is practically nothing compared to travel, food and lodging.
We go to shows where we can expect a lot of our customers, the builders, to attend. PBE is great for this. Events like Sea Otter are well attended, but not by our direct customers. We’re going because this is a new show, and we feel it may be a good replacement for NAHBS. We’ll see. I’ll agree with @Schonstudio , try to get there early and stay late if possible. Builders are generally a friendly group, and there are a lot of them around Portland. Most of them will be happy to show you around. The bigger question is if American riders will pay the freight on a bike from far, far away. You can have a great product, but you’re at a competitive disadvantage compared to domestic builders because of shipping costs. But don’t let that discourage you! Americans have tons of money, and they love exotic bikes. Hope to see you in Portland!
I was planning on getting there two weeks before the show and road tripping from say SoCal up to Portland and do a bunch of riding and sight seeing. then spend another week ending up in BC, maybe. That’s in an ideal scenario.
I’ve been to every show we’ve had here in Melbourne and the exposure to different people has been good. Probably only sold a couple bikes directly from contact at the show though. The media attention we get is nice but it only has limited reach as a lot of the websites/magazines that cover Northern America and Euro shows hardly touch if at all the Australian scene.
The otehr problem we have here is we have a limited market in Australia so expanding into other parts of the world is neccessary. The builders that are successful here sell to a lot of overseas customers and that customer pathway seems to have come off the back of turning up at NAHBS, Philly and Bristol.
I’m still umming and ahhing about committing to teh trip. It’s easily a $10k minimum trip for me.
Sounds great, do it if you can! Between LA and BC there are a gazillion builders and manufacturers. Pick the ones you want to visit ahead of time and get in touch. I’ll bet all of them will welcome you. We’re in the SF Bay Area, and are happy to show you (or any visitor) around the shop and our local rides (and beer stops). We can even provide a bed and a shower. Keep us posted, and stay off the Interstate highways. Drive state highways and local roads for a true American experience.
I am pretty sure I will be flying out for this. When I was working in Cali in Oct the King open house was going on so a lot of the builder were there but @mark_pmw gave me a tour of PMW that was great.
It seems like Portland shows come and go. I’m sure there’s a demand, but it seems like it’s too much money and effort for organizers. It’s fun to have a small show where you can socialize, like the early NAHBS and PBE
I am still waiting to see the final goal/details of MADE before I commit my hard-earned severance pay .
It seems to me like the scope of the event creeping/still being figured out. I thought it was going to be smaller, but their venue makes it seem more like an expo:
At first, it was free to new builders, but now it’s $200-1000 for booth? To Mark’s point, the logistics are way more expensive, but I still want to have some certainty about what I am planning for.
Also, I mirror the sentiments of some comments here that I would prefer the event to be more lowkey, have rides, and be fun. I don’t want to be babysitting a bike and talking to the public for 8hrs.
I don’t want this to come across as harsh criticism of this event, I know how hard it is to get to plan and get these things online and respect what they are trying to do . I will reach out to them about this thread to see if they want to engage.
I’ve only displayed at the 2017 Nahbs but attended a couple others. It’s where the customers and builders you chat with on Instagram can talk to you in person, which even though I try to avoid big social scenes like this at all costs, it is valuable and quite fun. I had a lot of people at the least well-attended show in SLC come up and talk to me saying they saw my bikes on Instagram and just wanted to say hi and see the bikes in person. I had no idea Instagram had such an effect at the time. Maybe they contact me later on to buy a frame, but the media you get by just attending is still wider reaching than expected. It’s very hard to quantify the benefit, but having come from another job where conferences were part of the deal… it’s well worth going and provides more than you’ll expect going in. Just don’t go into debt making it happen, bike building is so hard to make money at already it’s unlikely you will suddenly have a ton of orders after attending the show to replace the time and $ you put into it.
For this show specifically, it’ll be cool and will be quite different from nahbs. I don’t think they’re having awards which I like personally since everyone gets the same amount of attention that way. You can ride the bikes on display, at least that’s the goal of having it be outside with an area to ride. Held outside in a city built with bikes in mind with a higher framebuilder per capita than any other city in the US. Shop tours, day trip up to Mt Hood perhaps, can’t go wrong. You have to like being part of the custom bike world and want to see what others are doing and are wanting to get your name out there. As a groups we’re pretty hermity though, and I personally struggle with imposter syndrome and social anxiety so these types of events are very overwhelming.
Actually, at the Australian show we stand around all day, for three days straight. Sore feet and a fading voice is usually the result. The lead up to it getting bikes ready is a hole that gets very deep by teh time you head for it. The 1600km drive to get there is in sufferable but it’s an incredible changing landscape. The money it costs and the time off from the day job is considerable…but…I wouldn’t miss it for the world though. catching up with builder mates and immersing oneself in a saturated bike environment just makes me giggle.
Yep, PMW is going. We’re trying to figure out where our booth is going to be.
If we are enough from Sac-SF, we could organize a van and a road-trip, hitting Phil, PWM and Paul on the way up
Just registered today! See y’all there