Take Note, Indie Bike Makers: MADE Show Opens Registration

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If you’ve got a handmade bicycle you want to show off, the 2023 MADE bike show is now accepting applications.

The new trade show for handmade bikes debuts in Portland, Oregon this August, and offers 40 “subsidized spaces” for framebuilders. They’re reserved for new builders and “those traveling from a distance that would make exhibiting cost prohibitive,” organizers said in a news release. These spaces support a single handmade bike with signage and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Registration opens today, Jan. 25 — but only for framebuilders. The full floor plan will open up to exhibiting brands on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Application instructions are on the MADE website.

With pricey venue, no free spaces for builders

Last summer, MADE said spaces for framebuilders would come free of charge. However, that was before organizers booked The Rose Quarter in Portland. It’s an expensive venue, especially because of the increased cost of security spurred by the city’s rising homeless population, Billy Sinkford, co-founder of MADE, said in an interview.

“Free spaces was initially the intention, but we now have to ask small builders to offset the cost by paying $200,” Sinkford said. “For builders that are capable of paying for these spaces, they’re purchasing at a lower rate than most trade shows. The subsidized spaces are meant for framebuilders who need some help.”

Organizers suggest that interested framebuilders register quickly before spaces run out. While spaces aren’t free, MADE sponsor BikeFlights will still help offset the cost of shipping for builders.

MADE was announced last summer after three years without the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, which returns to Denver in December. The latter show canceled its 2022 event after organizer Don Walker cited “an unexpectedly low number of commitments.”

With many vendors already signed on, MADE doesn’t seem to have that problem.

“There is clearly an appetite for a new handmade show, and we are humbled and excited about the 170+ builders and 80+ brands that have expressed a desire to exhibit, and as of today we have more interest than space,” Sinkford said in the news release.

MADE taps veteran of North American Handmade Bicycle Show as director

MADE also announced the appointment of Steven Elmes as the event’s Show Director. A longtime manager in the bike industry, Elmes is the co-founder of the brand Independent Fabrication. He also served as Director of Sponsorships and Partnerships for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show from 2016 to 2020. His event experience includes work with Adidas, Ford, Nissan, The NBA, Clif Bar, Progressive Insurance, and many others.

“I am thrilled to be part of MADE and to continue supporting the handmade community, which will always hold a special place in my heart,” said Elmes. “I am confident that this event will set a new standard, highlighting the builders and brands that collectively create a force of creativity, community and craftsmanship. In year one we are focused on creating stability in this space and earning the trust of the industry as a new home for showcasing the art that is handmade bicycles.”

The inaugural MADE event will run from August 24-27 at the iconic Rose Quarter in Portland. The first two days will offer exclusive entry to industry and media. The latter two days, August 26-27, MADE opens to the public, allowing anyone to meet the builders and companies making handmade bikes.

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