The Health and Fitness Business Expo, a trade show for the home fitness retail market that opened in 1999, has closed.
Emerald Expositions, which operated the show, announced the closing Thursday afternoon, Justin Gottlieb, director of communications for the Health & Fitness Business Expo, told Club Industry today. This year's show was held Sept. 10-11 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
According to a report by SNEWS Fitness, exhibitors will be asked to join the co-branded Interbike show, which also was held last week at the Mandalay Bay, in a new "fitness neighborhood" on that show floor. From SNEWS:
“The nail in the coffin for HFB, after a 15-year run, was the absence at this year’s show of three of the largest brands, Life Fitness, Precor and Johnson Fitness, said show director of communications Justin Gottlieb. Add to that a shrinking specialty fitness retail base, which has seen its store-count figures cut by more than half since the recession.”
Gottlieb also told SNEWS that many manufacturers are on a five- to seven-year cycle of releasing new equipment and they are not seeking additional retail distribution.
SNEWS reported that last week's Health and Fitness Business Expo had a visibly smaller footprint, with rumors about the future of the show swirling. Gottlieb told Club Industry that attendance figures for the expo are not easily attainable, as registration is combined for Interbike and the expo. Gottlieb did share with Club Industry, however, that there were 72 exhibitors at this year's Health and Fitness Business Expo compared to 85 exhibitors in 2013 and 91 exhibitors in 2012.
Interbike claims it is the largest annual gathering of the bicycle industry in North America. On its website, Interbike says its show attracts more than 1,200 cycling-related brands and more than 25,000 total attendees annually.
Interbike was founded in 1982 by Steve Ready and Herb Wettenkamp. In addition to Las Vegas, the show has been held in various years in Reno, NV; Anaheim, CA; and Philadelphia.
Next year's Interbike show will be Sept. 16-18, 2015, at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The Outdoor Demo, which is part of Interbike, will be Sept. 14-15, 2015, at Bootleg Canyon in Las Vegas.