Editor's note: Download: BRAIN's Taipei Cycle Show Day 1 newsletter (pdf).
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Organizers are anticipating another packed house this year at Taipei Cycle, which kicked off Wednesday.
The 26th edition should draw nearly 1,100 companies to the Nangang Exhibition Hall for the four-day trade show, March 20-23. Exhibitors will come from 36 countries to show their wares. A total of 7,000 buyers are expected to walk the halls where some 3,300 booths will be sprawled over 624,000 square feet of expo space.
Taipei Cycle remains an important venue for sourcing talks and for aftermarket distributors to see current and next model year product. For many brands, it’s also a place to start preliminary spec discussions with their vendors for 2015 lines.
The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), which puts on the annual trade show, has had to contend with a growing waiting list of exhibitors for years. Last year, to accommodate more booths, they opened up an additional exhibit area at the show’s old venue—the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1.
This year, they will once again squeeze more exhibit space by expanding into the TWTC Exhibition Hall 1, which will accommodate new exhibitors and highlight sportswear and bicycle accessories. This expansion area will house the Taiwan Textile Federation’s Sports and Accessories Expo, and free buses will shuttle attendees between both venues.
While Taipei Cycle is a big domestic show with more than 800 local exhibitors, it continues to attract a large international contingent as both exhibitors and buyers. TAITRA expects nearly 300 overseas companies to set up booths.
Last year the number of international visitors, hailing from 89 nations, rose 13 percent to total 6,448. China, Japan, and the U.S. were the top three countries in visitor attendance, followed by South Korea, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, France, Australia and the U.K.
A testament to its growing international importance: the European parts and accessories trade association COLIPED will be the biggest exhibitor with 93 booths spread over 9,000 square feet. The EU Pavilion will showcase 34 brands from Belgium, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Portugal, including seven newcomers—Ambrosio wheelsets, rims and tires, Fondriest, Duel Press cycling pads, Gist wheelsets, Lake Cycling shoes, Miranda & Irmao brakes, chainwheels and cranks, and Rodi rims and wheels.
And the French Pavilion, hosted by the French Agency for International Business Development, will return for the fourth year with 12 exhibiting companies including Corima, Cyfac International, Hilltecks, Look Cycle, Michelin, Spanninga, Stronglight, Time Sport, Velox, Victoire Cycles and Zefal.
Other themed sections at the show include the China Pavilion and the Light Electrical Vehicle Pavilion.
After a successful launch last year, TAITRA is bringing back the Design and Innovation (D&I) Awards competition for bicycles, components, clothing equipment and accessories. But this year, it’s adding light electrical vehicles as a category, a nod to the growing importance of the electric bike market.
A panel of judges selected 44 winners among the 184 product entries. Four of the 44 will receive a Gold Award at a ceremony kicking off the show March 20. All of the honorees will be on display at the Nangang hall.
Signaling the rise of electric bikes, the show will also feature several seminars on e-bikes as part of its Taipei Power Forum. The seminars will discuss the electric two-wheeler global market, motor and battery development trends, European and American certification requirements as well as lithium battery market applications, battery materials development trends and storage battery certification requirements in Japan.
Taipei Cycle will also host the International Bicycle Design Competition, the International Bicycle Trend Forum, Taiwan Cycle Night, and Bicycle Color & Graphic Applied Research Seminar.
In addition to the Taiwan Textile Federation’s Sports and Accessories expo, Taipei Cycle will again be held in conjunction with the Taipei International Sporting Goods Show and the Taiwan International Diving and Water Sports Show, seizing on the overlapping interest across the related trade shows.
According to TAITRA, of the 1,964 international visitors that attended the sporting goods show, 1,141 also visited Taipei Cycle last year.
BRAIN's Lynette Carpiet, Marc Sani and Steve Frothingham are in Taipei. Watch for their coverage here, on Facebook and in daily email newsletters.