St. Louis BWorks and Terrain Magazine, producers of the Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo, have selected St. Louis Union Station Hotel in downtown St. Louis as the site of the 2019 show, which will take place January 12-13, 2019. The Expo will be expanded from one day to two days, allowing more deals, features and special events than ever before.
“We surveyed our exhibitors and attendees from the past two years and asked them where they would like to see the show held. The overwhelming majority of those who responded said they wanted the Expo to be relocated to St. Louis,” said Brad Kovach, editor/publisher of Terrain. “St. Louis Union Station Hotel offers 56,000 square feet of space and a bright, inviting exhibition space that really fits our ethos. We look forward to building a future in our new home in downtown St. Louis.”
“The Expo was originally located in St. Louis at a couple of different venues and moved to Gateway Center in Collinsville, Illinois, about a dozen years ago,” Kovach continued. “Gateway Center has been great to work with all of these years, but the event has grown to the point that we need a larger space. The Expo will now also be easily accessible by public transportation, which was another request of many attendees.”
With more than 100 vendors selling outdoor gear, sharing information about upcoming adventures, and advocating for an improved recreation landscape, the 17-year-old show is the premier consumer event and cultural gathering for the regional outdoor community. In 2018, the Expo attracted nearly 2,500 exhibitors and attendees — a 25-percent increase of the previous year.
In 2019, a second day has been added to what was traditionally a one-day show. “We’ll have afternoon exhibit hours on Saturday, January 12, as well as a VIP party that evening with food, beverages and music,” said Kovach. “We want the expo to be more than a sales event. We want it to be an entertaining experience that people look forward to attending year after year.”
Among the features and events at the Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo 2019:
- VIP Party: Rub elbows with Expo vendors and enjoy select food and beverages at this mixer set to start immediately after exhibition hours end on Saturday, January 12.
- STL Outdoor Summit: New in 2019, this conference will be held consecutively with the Expo and include speakers discussing how (and why) to grow the local outdoor culture. Details to follow.
- Upper Limits Climbing Wall: Test your ability on several different routes of varying difficulty. The wall is 23 feet tall, with holds and features that simulate a real rock surface.
- Spoked Virtual Bike Races: Two bicycles affixed to stationary rollers connect to a computer, allowing you to race against an opponent while spectators cheer you on.
- Mobile Life Base Camp: Tour the latest overland vehicles, mini travel trailers and toy haulers and take your future outdoor adventures on the road.
Those interested in becoming an exhibitor or sponsor at the Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo can find more information online at http://bikeandoutdoorexpo.com/index.php/exhibit/ or contact Zac Metcalf at 314-561-4701.
The Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo started with a bicycle-only focus in the early 2000s, and ticket proceeds the past two years have benefitted St. Louis BWorks and its Earn-A-Bike program. In 2018, BWorks received $7,250 from the event.
“The Earn-A-Bike program aims to teach kids that they can set goals, and reach them,” said Patrick Van Der Tuin, executive director of BWorks. During the free program, kids attend a series of hands-on courses held once a week for six weeks. “They learn about bikes, including maintenance and safety, but the other lessons they learn are even more valuable. They learn to solve problems individually and as a group. They also learn a sense of responsibility, as students must attend every session to graduate,” Van Der Tuin said. Upon graduation, kids receive their own bike, helmet, light and lock and participate in a group safety ride with adults and peers.
BWorks celebrated its 30th anniversary in October 2018 and has given away tens of thousands of bikes since its beginning.
For more information about attending and exhibiting at the Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo, visit www.bikeandoutdoorexpo.com.