Letter to the Editor – Melbourne Bike Show Concerns

Bentleigh, Vic

To the Editor,

Any news on the onslaught of people asking for refunds for the Melbourne Bike Show over the weekend?

They didn’t engage directly with industry players (the ones I talked to), super short planning period, BIG talk online and advertising, but they delivered bunk. They turned off comments to their posts online, and when I asked for an exhibitor list they avoided, smoke & mirrors. I advised people to get an exhibitor list before buying tickets, they threatened me in return with litigation.

I just felt sorry for people (the public) that when they see an event advertised, they expect delivery – like any concert, play, museum exhibition, 4×4 show, etc. These guys, whoever they are, aren’t bike industry people, and they thought they could advertise a big event with no big players on board and that everyone would come to them – which obviously didn’t happen. And God knows how many tickets they sold on what was promised in promotion compared to what was actually delivered. There are a lot of disappointed people out there this week after last weekend’s flop. And what’s to stop someone from doing it again?

The negative comments are relegated to bike and enthusiast community posts, like Melbourne Gravel Grinders, my shop’s page, club pages. No one is officially collating them for a story on these jokers.

Gabe Sullens
Owner, Urban Pedaler
Bentleigh, Victoria


  1. John Psalidas on 22nd September 2022 at 8:03 am

    As a former Organiser of some 15 years, having run prominent industry exhibitions including the Australian Fitness Expo, I am appalled to read the comments made by Gabe Sullens. Here is a young guy putting himself out there to launch an industry event and giving it his all only to be assassinated by someone who runs a bike shop in Bentleigh.
    Talking about tall poppy syndrome! I personally went to the event and must say was very impressed at what I not only saw but also what visitors and exhibitors had to say.
    Yes, not everyone was happy but can anyone ever make everyone happy….No.
    The feedback I got was that it was tremendous that someone had put their money where their mouth is and given it a crack. Most of those I spoke to were happy with the result and advised they would support the organiser in coming back in next year. One can only wonder what might be the motive behind the comments made by Mr Sullens. Time will tell.

  2. Nigel Letty on 20th September 2022 at 5:19 pm

    We were on board as an exhibitor to celebrate the return of a Bike Show, irrespective of who ran it and whether the big players attended or not. The editor used to run a fantastic yearly show, but I think Phil Latz would admit that his last show was substantially better than his first. It seems like you’re damned if you give it a crack and aren’t perfect from the start. I hope that the organiser get’s a chance and has the will to have a second crack at it. Our Alchemy stand was a huge success with so much positive feedback that it was gold for us, but I also acknowledge that we spoke to people who were disappointed with the number of suppliers and the size of the show. We invited a number of brands to join us and their support was given as they couldn’t attend individually due to commitments at the World Championships in Woollongong. They have already committed to us to do it bigger and better for next year and isn’t that all we can hope for?

  3. Robert on 16th September 2022 at 10:42 am

    Good on the young bloke for having a go. However, in this era of anti social media, you had best deliver excellence in whatever it is that you do, or you will be howled down and poo-pooed from all directions. The worst part of this is that a bad first impression has now been made, and the likelihood of being able to stage the event for a second chance is not good.

  4. Kevin Barr on 16th September 2022 at 9:32 am

    As an exhibitor – we went in with low expectations and finished the show extremely happy. (the customer base was our demographic – over 35). The opening hours on Saturday were highly confusing brought mainly about by the work place health and safety guy from the venue and lack of experience in dealing with them from the organizer. (It was all happening in front of our booth.) We spoke to many customers who were unhappy as they had come to the show to purchase product – one in particular was there to purchase a Canyon bike and numerous were after road bikes and accessories like Garmin computers. As we explained to many a punter it was the first show by someone not connected with the industry and it has not been supported by the industry. Shows generally are in decline around the world (We just exhibited at Eurobike and it was the worst industry show (of the cycle, marine, optical, motorcycle and outdoor industries) that I have exhibited at anywhere in the world – exhibiting eyewear in the last 28 years. We would definatley support the guy again next year.

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