The 16th Annual IPMBA Conference was attended by police, EMS, and security personnel from 34 states and six countries. They came to Dayton in order to gain essential information and skills and improve themselves as public safety cyclists. One of their favorite activities is browsing in the exhibit hall, meeting the people behind the products they already use and learning about new and emerging technologies. The vendors who attend the IPMBA conference are not just there to sell product; they are there to educate their customers and in turn be educated by them. They gain valuable insight into how their products perform in the field, which helps them continue to improve their products.
This year the conference featured something new – a Product Purchase Program (PPP) Showcase & Silent Auction. Many of the participants in IPMBA’s members-only discount contributed items for the Showcase & Auction. These items were displayed in the registration area throughout the pre-conference and conference. Attendees were thereby afforded the opportunity to familiarize themselves with many of the products available through the PPP. They could also bid on the items in hopes of going home with some new “toys.” The Showcase & Auction was a great success, raising awareness about the PPP and generating more than $3000 to support IPMBA’s programs. Many thanks to the contributors and the bidders for their support. Special thanks to Ron Burkitt and Ruth Bowell, who transformed the Showcase & Auction from an idea into reality. Plans are already in place to repeat the event as part of the 2007 IPMBA Conference.
We were pleased to welcome a few new exhibitors to the floor – ALLTUFF Products, David’s Uniforms, Essex PB&R, Eye Safety Systems, Jones & Bartlett, Kuji Sports, Lin Manufacturing, and Timex. ALL-Tuff offers a wide array of bags, cases, packs, and gear for emergency personnel. They now offer panniers designed with the help of Anthony Mowery of TRAA/AMR of Fort Wayne. David’s Uniforms, owned by the always-cheerful David Duberstein, distributes uniforms and related equipment, including product from Mocean and United. Essex PB&R, also known as The Respiratory Group, offers ultra-light protective breathing hoods and compact (bike-sized!), reusable oxygen tanks.
It was exciting to have an eyewear supplier in the house, as Willy Breen from Eye Safety Systems brought a selection of eyewear designed for military, LE, and fire/rescue professionals. Jones & Bartlett, the publishers of the second edition of the Complete Guide, currently under development, were on-hand to gain insight into the nature of this niche market. Spenco Ironman Gloves rep Bill Paine recruited two new vendors – Kuji Helmets, maker of the Reflectek helmet, and Timex (do they still “take a licking and keep on ticking”?) Both Kuji and Timex have recently enrolled in the IPMBA Product Purchase Program. Last but not least, Lin Manufacturing was on-site with the famous “Got Donuts?” socks, cleverly disguised as ordinary black Police cycling socks. The final vendor on this list is not new but has been absent these past few years – IPMBA welcomes the return of Fuji Bikes.
Bratwear, Mocean, and United Uniform teamed up to make this a “best-dressed” conference. Sally Swanson outfitted the host with red shirts yet again (rumor hath that the color tradition will soon be broken…), while Bill Levitt supplied eye-popping high-viz-over-black instructor shirts. Not to be outdone, Kami Zinati and Bill Doyle provided their new zip-off trousers to all instructors, garnering excellent reviews. Mocean and United partnered to sponsor a lively reception on Thursday evening – a good time was had by all!
Mocean also awarded $3000 in grants to enable attendees from Taneytown, Md., Madison, Wi., Lancaster, Penn., Ocean City, Md., Quakertown, Penn., and Cincinnati, OH, to attend the festivities.
Finally, many thanks to Finish Line USA for keeping the bikes in the Maintenance Officers Course and workshops clean and running smoothly; to R&B Fabrications for donating safety vests for the competition workers, and to Jelly Belly for contributing both bags and the popular Jelly Belly Sport Beans.
IPMBA appreciates the participation of industry members at every level - Product Purchase Program participant, advertiser, conference vendor, or sponsor. They are an important part of the IPMBA community. When you have the opportunity to buy something for personal or duty use, consider the companies who support IPMBA first. They’re working every day to serve you.
(c) 2006 IPMBA. This article appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of IPMBA News.