A Trade Show for BMX by BMX
Binghamton, New York is not a place youd visit by choice. It has a decent bike scene, but for the most part, if not for that, it would be one of those towns you pass through quickly on a road trip or see the name of on a sign and wonder why you would ever want to go there. IҒd actually be bold enough to call it a hellhole, unless, of course, there was something of significance going on there.
On May 27-29, 2004, FBM Bikes gave many BMX riders, companies and their retailers a significant reason. For the second consecutive year, a gathering went down in the dark dingy depths below the now infamous East Coast Terminal skatepark, right down there next to where the FBM Bike company is based. So, this was the venue for Subdivision, a BMX-only trade show that has been long overdue. Every BMX company knew a trade show was necessary, but up until last year, when FBM Bikes co-owner Steve Crandall took it into his own hands, nothing had ever happened.
The rest of the core BMX industry was sick of paying the outrageous booth space prices at other bike trade shows, with very little to show for it when all was said and done. It probably costs more to attend a weekend bike show in Vegas than some of these companies make in a year. Steves idea was to create an environment that reflected the current state and trends of the market of core BMX parts, shoes and clothes, and also hint at where BMX should be going in the future. One of the main ideas is to save BMX companies money so they can put it back into the sport that we love and get all these cool products out there for retailers and kids to see.
I guess from SteveҒs perspective, this was a scary thing to take on. The first year, he was going in blind, not really knowing what the response would be. But after thirty-plus companies turned out, there must have been an air of reassurance. This year, forty-plus companies signed-up for booth space, the majority of them turned out, and it was a rocking atmosphere: very kicked back and relaxed, yet nice and dirtyjust how BMX should be. Plenty of BMX retailers showed up to check out all the newest product lines from companies like etnies, Terrible 1, S&M, FBM, Little Devil, MacNeil, Primo, Profile, Coalition and many more.
etnies had the Mike Escamilla Rooftop 3 shoe, which is now available in stores, on display. This shoe has turned out to be quite popular with the NASCAR fans. Coincidently, samples of Taj MihelichŒs third etnies shoe were on display. Tentatively called the Roscoe, this shoe created quite a buzz, and was popular with the vegetarian crowd, seeing as how its made from all synthetic materials. The etnies Roscoe should be available in 2005.
With the La Revolution comp going on in the same building and on the same weekend as Subdivision, huge crowds of kids riding the park in preparation for the comp also checked out the show and scrounged for free handouts from all the companies. Some walked away with stuff, some didnҒt. At times, the show maybe seemed a little too relaxed with impromptu projectile fights between booths, pogoing bunny rabbits, bike customizing, loud music and a little nudity here and there, but the good thing was that there were no beefcake security guards to shut things down, yell at kids or kick anyone outjust the way we like it!
All in all, in the grand scheme of things, the show was a success. A following has started, and with a few tweaks here and there, this Subdivision thing will be dialed. Now the only thing that remains is to get the show out of that hellhole they call Binghamton.