Triathlon Business International 2016

I'm just back from the annual TBI Conference, it's the 6th US Conference I've attended since they originally began as Triathlon America. I toyed with writing up the conference for a web site, as I did back in 2012 for Tri247 but got embroiled in some topical discussions toward the end of the first day, and never got notes typed up and after that, there was no catching up.

TBI2016-SCS_0594.JPGThe good news is Dana Willet, Editor of 303 Triathlon and Cycling in Colorado expertly captured the essence of the conference in her twitter and blog coverage.

I'm not an insider at TBI, I'm just the guy that sits at the front and, often laughed at, for asking what I consider pretty straight forward questions that need to be asked. For example, over on TRS Triathlon in the article covering what the WTC CEO Andrew Messick said, I asked the questions about the Kona Lottery, and the rumors about the age group rolldown, which otherwise Andrew wouldn't have addressed.

I wasn't particularly positive about the Triathlon America organization when it was formed[in 2010), and I'm still not. They've not really become "international" in the true sense; yes they've had two meetings overseas, one I attended as best I could, while working on the ITU World Championships in London in 2014; the other in Roth, along with the Challenge Roth Race.

Yes, they have key industry participants from overseas attend, Zibby Szlufcik, the head of the Challenge Family, and Dag Oliver from the Norseman triathlon, although I'm guessing Dag came to accept three awards; overall the conference remains American, attended by Americans, discussing problems and opportunities for American businesses. Yes there are foreign retailers like Dean Jackson from Huub, but to be fair Dean has business in the US, and is an exception(in many ways!).

Overall though it remained an interesting conference, better to attend than miss out. There are a number of continuing themes, including bashing "professional triathletes" which continue to trouble me. I'll come back to that in a follow-up post.

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