2015 NAHBS – March 6-8 - The Kentucky International Convention Center
Letter from Don Walker – NAHBS 2015 and Beyond

Hello fellow builders,

While over the past few months I’ve called and spoken with many of you, I want to take this opportunity to reach out to all of you who have exhibited at NAHBS in the past but who are on the fence or who have decided to forgo this year. My goal is to speak to each of you personally about NAHBS – its current iteration as well as its future – and discuss the value in exhibiting at NAHBS in 2015. I may be reached at 502.424.2225 or by email at don@handmadebicycleshow.com – please contact me at your convenience!

As the Founder and President of NAHBS, my goal is crystal clear: to create a meaningful event for builders to come together, meet other industry professionals, generate significant buzz from the media, cultivate interest from the general public, and to ultimately help drive your business forward.

Now more than ever, I think it’s important for you to understand the guiding principals behind NAHBS and how I plan to make the 2015 show the best one yet.

INCREASED FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS

In order to give NAHBS the time and dedication it deserves, I have temporarily closed the order book for Don Walker Cycles. This decision to scale back has allowed me to dedicate more of my energy towards NAHBS – improving the show, growing my relationships within the NAHBS community, and ensuring that you see value in exhibiting at NAHBS this year – and every year going forward. (Note, I am not shutting down my bike building business, it’s simply taking a backseat to NAHBS). Don Walker Cycles will still have a booth at the 2015 show, however my team will be managing the booth while I manage the show floor and support other NAHBS exhibitors.

A GREAT SHOW IN A GREAT CITY

Louisville is a wonderful Midwest city.  It is only 90 miles south of Indianapolis, where in 2009 we had one of the best attended, most energetic shows in the history of NAHBS. It has one of the best food scenes in America and a vibrant downtown area including live music, shopping, and plenty of attractions for your family while you are on the show floor. Thirsty? Louisville is home to the Bourbon Trail –  a tour of the many distilleries that produce the “brown water” that Kentucky is famous for. Louisville also has several award-winning microbreweries, all very close to the convention center and host hotel.

When it comes to bicycles, Louisville truly shines. Louisville Bicycle Club has over 1500 active members and is one of the longest continually active clubs in the U.S.  Louisville has hosted Cyclocross Worlds, Singlespeed Cross World Championships, and is a finalist for 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. The community is thrilled for NAHBS, and the opportunity to see you and all of your amazing bikes. Most importantly, this crowd is coming with their checkbooks.

MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA

NAHBS offers the single best opportunity to advertise your brand on a national and global scale. We have recently stepped up our game and hired SMAK Strategies, a public relations and marketing firm located in Boulder, CO, to handle the show’s PR and communications with the media. SMAK is working hard on getting more media to the 2015 show and to generate interest in all of the builders and exhibitors in attendance. In addition to cycling-specific media, SMAK has solid and longstanding relationships with non-endemic press contacts too.

And speaking of media, Bicycling Magazine is on board as a 2015 Media Partner and will be sending a team of writers to NAHBS.  Zack Grice, Publisher of Bicycling stated, “we’re turning them loose with our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, all of which have about 100,000 subscribers, just for NAHBS.” Several other magazines and media outlets are committing to doing pre-show coverage and promotions as well.

What does this mean for builders and exhibitors? In the three days at NAHBS, your brand will be exposed not just to the thousands of eyes in the Convention Center, but to millions of eyes worldwide. Whether you’re a “one-man” band, an up and comer looking to generate sales, or a more developed builder seeking to increase distribution, NAHBS is an opportunity to increase demand and fuel your company’s growth. Come to NAHBS and you’ll see for yourself.

NAHBS FUTURE: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak with many of you over the last several months, and to hear your wishes, concerns, and priorities. Please know that I am dedicated to addressing the issues that have been expressed. My staff and I are currently reviewing and implementing new strategies and business models to make it more convenient and more beneficial for you, my customer, to be a part of NAHBS. This includes looking for new, exciting locations and markets that we haven’t yet hit. Among our top priorities is offering the best customer service; know that I will be available to help you with all your needs prior to and at the show. Have faith that the improvements underway will directly benefit you and the Custom Framebuilding industry as a whole.

I encourage you to reach out to me directly – by phone at 502.424.2225 or by email at don@handmadebicycleshow.com – and let me know how I can improve your experience at NAHBS in 2015, and in all shows moving forward. To view 2015 show information and registration details, please visit the website here.

 

In closing, I’d like to sincerely thank all of you that have supported NAHBS over the years. I hope to see you in Louisville!

Sincerely,

Don Walker

NAHBS, Founder and President