The exhibit hall continues to be a highlight of the annual IPMBA Conference. It is the only event that offers bike personnel the opportunity to compare products side-by-side, test ride the various bikes on offer, and converse with the knowledgeable men and women who represent the various companies. Much information is exchanged in the exhibit hall – participants learn from the vendors and vice-versa, and the groundwork is laid for future business transactions. And, of course, “deals” can always be found!
The second annual Product Showcase and Silent Auction was deemed a success, again putting numerous products on display and raising nearly $3000 to benefit IPMBA’s training programs. The auction was coordinated by Bob Hatcher of Delaware (OH) PD, who personally procured most of the donated items.
Companies contributing product included: Alerte Systems, Boundtree Medical, Bratwear, Bushnell Outdoor Products, Bycycle, Cane Creek, Cannondale, Dero Racks, Desert Sun, ElecTrek, Fuji, Gatorz, Gould & Goodrich, IMBA, Iosso Products, John E. Reid, Kenda USA, Kryptonite, Leonard Consulting Group, Louka Tactical Training, Maxxis USA, Mocean, NiteRider, Olympic, Patrol Bike Systems, Polar Design, Police Bike Store, ProGold, R&B Fabrications, Rudy Project Eyewear, Stone Cold Outdoors, Swagman, United Uniform, Volcanic, and WTB. Members John Hanke (Joliet PD) and Tommy Hamelink (the Hague Police) donated an Illinois COPS jersey and a jersey worn by Dutch cycling champion Michael Boogerd, respectively, and the Albuquerque Police Department supplied a basket of New Mexico goodies.
The exhibit hall, which was adjacent to the bike check and offered a small cone course for bike testing, was a lively place, especially during the welcoming reception on Wednesday, sponsored by IPMBA, and the Thursday night reception, sponsored by Mocean and United Uniform.
IPMBA welcomed several first-time vendors to the event, including Bushnell Outdoor Products, Cannondale Bicycles, Cardiac Science, Dero Bike Racks, Electrik Motion, Leonard Consulting Group, and Rudy Project Eyewear. Returning after an absence were Bound Tree Medical, Marwi USA, and NiteRider Technical Lighting.
Bushnell recently acquired Uncle Mike’s and is now distributing the full line of Uncle Mike’s holsters and duty gear. Cannondale, which features Made-in-the-USA patrol bikes in various models, was encouraged to attend by IPMBA Instructor Brad Miller from Lewisburg (PA) PD. Cardiac Science develops and markets PowerHeart brand AEDs, compact AEDs suitable for law enforcement and BLS providers. Dero is known for their artistic bicycle racks and distributes Saris racks, but their focus was on introducing their bicycle storage systems, ideal for large bike fleets and property rooms. Electrik Motion offers a full line of electric scooters and bicycles, including a public safety model, while Leonard Consulting Group, also known as “4bike-police.com”, distributes such familar names as Alerte Systems, Smith & Wesson, Fuji, and a variety of accessories. Rudy Project Eyewear, a long-time participant in the IPMBA Product Purchase Program, displayed a wide array of technical eyewear. Bound Tree Medical offers a full line of supplies for pre-hospital care, and both Marwi USA and Nite Rider feature lighting systems suitable for public safety use.
Once again, Bratwear, Mocean, and United Uniform made certain that it was a sharp-dressed conference. In a welcome break with tradition, Bratwear outfitted the command staff in regal purple polo-style shirts, while Mocean toned it down a bit for the instructor shirts – last year’s high-viz gave way to a more conservative gray-over-black color scheme. The EMS support crew stood out in red-and-gray. United completed the ensemble with their popular black uniform shorts.
In addition to helping sponsor the Thursday night reception, Mocean provided a total of $2000 in grant funding to Officer Chris Bartolomei, New York State University Police, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY; Officer William Laramee, Town of Amherst Police, Amherst, MA; Corporal Nick Driscoll, Greenwood Police, Greenwood, AR; and Sergeant Jerry Bisek, City of Manassas Police, Manassas, VA, so they would be able to attend the conference.
Volcanic came on strong with a sponsorship that included sponsoring the three off-road workshops and the competition, providing mechanical support, and teaming up with NiteRider to sponsor the Instructor Course night ride. They also contributed a bike frame with a unique custom paint job for the silent auction, and everyone’s favorite – homemade chocolate lollipops (thanks, Eric’s mom!) for the welcome bags.
Speaking of welcome bags, the tote bags provided by All-Tuff were awesome! Royal purple in keeping with the Mardi Gras theme, they were constructed of the same heavy-duty material used for their panniers, so they should hold up from year-to-year. No chance of these handles breaking under the weight of all the goodies in those welcome bags!
And finally, thanks are due to Finish Line USA, which once again donated product to ensure that the bikes in the Maintenance Officer Certification Course and the various maintenance workshops were clean and running smoothly. And, of course, to Kryptonite, whose ever-popular lanyards enabled attendees to keep track of their namebadges, bike check cards, hotel keys, business cards, etc.
IPMBA appreciates the participation of industry members at every level – Product Purchase Program participant, advertiser, conference vendor, sponsor. When purchasing items for personal or on-duty use, please check out your IPMBA supporters first. They’re part of our community and care about your comfort and safety.
© 2007 IPMBA. This article appeared in the Summer 2007 issue of IPMBA News.