One of the most anticipated aspects of the annual IPMBA Conference is the exhibit hall. IPMBA has the only bike patrol-oriented expo in the United States (and perhaps the world), so it tends to attract businesses that are dedicated to serving police, EMS, and security cyclists. These companies enjoy a double benefit because so many IPMBA conference attendees are recreational and/or racing cyclists as well.
IPMBA was pleased to welcome several first-timers to the 22nd Annual IPMBA Conference. Bern Unlimited displayed their innovative helmet designs while Detours continued conducting market research to determine what officers and EMS personnel really want in bike bags. G-Form wearable impact protection and impact protection for portable electronics (distributed by new corporate member Convergent Cycling), were visible in the exhibit hall AND on the competition course. ISM Saddles, founded by former Tampa police officer Steve Toll, introduced their line of comfort and performance saddles designed to reduce pressure while riding. IPMBA’s parent organization, the League of American Bicyclists, was on hand with education and advocacy materials, and Education Director Alissa Simcox conducted a workshop called “How to Become an LCI” (League Certified Instructor). The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) was available to offer information to those bike officers who also serve as school resource officers and encourage the use of bikes in the schools. Corporate member Safariland launched the newly released Safariland-Kona patrol bicycle with great fanfare. Yakima highlighted a sturdy hitch-mount carrier designed to stand up to what Bob Hatcher once termed the “exuberant” driving of police officers.
After an absence of several years, local manufacturers Dero Bike Racks and Lift and Storage returned to the conference to offer solutions for organizing bike fleets and property rooms. R&B Fabrications likewise had a presence at the conference to supplement their annual contribution of conference welcome bags.
Veteran exhibitors like iFORCE Patrol Bicycles, Mocean, Patrol Bike Systems, United Uniform, and Volcanic Bicycles maximized their opportunities to visit with regular customers and build new client relationships.
IPMBA is fortunate that the support of the exhibitors reaches beyond the exhibit hall. Mocean and United co-sponsored the Thursday night reception. IPMBA conference instructors sported high-visibility, custom-embroidered shirts, courtesy of Mocean. Though not able to attend the conference, Bratwear made sure the Command Staff looked sharp in forest green, limited edition polo shirts.
The messenger bag-inspired welcome bags from R&B were filled with goodies such as eyeglass wipes from Jones & Bartlett Learning, water bottles from both both Police Bike Store and Fezzari Bicycles, candies from Visit Tampa Bay (site of the 2014 conference!), and infection control products from SAFETEC. Practical and versatile “neck wallets” were supplied by Safariland. Reading material included From A to Z By Bike, courtesy of AMC Media, EMS World, Law Enforcement Product News and Law Enforcement Technology, JEMS, Law Officer and Police magazines, as well as Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times.
The maintenance sessions were well-lubricated by Bike Medicine’s Purple Extreme. SIMUNITION® generously supplied marking cartridges for use in scenario-based training and loaned protective equipment as well. Eric Kackley from Volcanic provided bike mechanical support in the bike check, sharing shifts with mechanics from Boehm’s Cycles. 4Bike-Police.com and ISM contributed to the t-shirts, while Lift and Storage sponsored Dude, Where’s My Bike?, a workshop conducted by Erik Pearce.
The silent auction raised more than $2500 in support of IPMBA’s programs, thanks to the generosity of the donors: Azonic, Bern Unlimited, Bratwear, Bud Cavanaugh, Cane Creek Cycling Components, Cateye, Charlie Summers, Chris Cerino Training Group, Ergon, Kurt Feavel, Fox Racing Shox, Genuine Innovations, Hans Erdman, ISM Saddles, Kenda, Marin Cycles, Oneal USA, Park Tool, Patrol Cycle, Pekin Gun, People Making Good, Prestacycle, R&B Fabrications, Spenco Ironman (Bill Paine), Street Crimes Seminar, TwoFish, United Uniform, and Yakima Products. Once again, the Fox Racing Shock was the most sought after item.
IPMBA was thrilled to be able to offer conference attendees the chance to enter a gun raffle. Through the generous support of Smith & Wesson and Springfield Armory, attendees could enter to win a drawing for a Smith & Wesson AR-15 Upper or a Springfield Armory XDM. Attendees purchased tickets and placed them in the drawing box of their choice. The drawing was held during the competition awards ceremony and dinner sponsored by Quality Bicycle Products. QPB owner Steve Flagg did the honors of drawing the winning tickets. Winners Joe Gagliardi of University of Mary Washington Police and Tom Harris of East Baton Rouge EMS could scarcely contain their excitement. The raffle raised more than $2000 in support of IPMBA’s programs.
Quality Bicycle Products generously provided their newly renovated café and a barbecue feast for the competition awards ceremony and dinner. Much to the delight of attendees, up close and personal tours of the distributor’s LEED Gold facility were conducted by Steve Flagg and other members of the Quality staff.
Without the support of the industry, IPMBA would face even greater challenges supporting you with resources and programs. So please, patronize our exhibitors, sponsors, and advertisers at every possible opportunity.
© 2012 IPMBA. This article appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of IPMBA News.