MUNICH, Germany (BRAIN) — It appears that ISPO, the Munich trade show organizer, is pulling the plug on Bike ISPO and instead is encouraging suppliers to participate in its annual Travel and Leisure expo held in February.
Klaus Dittrich, management chairman for Messe Munchen, said in a press release issued Thursday that the Messe is taking a new direction. “We decided not to continue with ISPO Bike. We are, however, extremely grateful for the trust afforded us, and the positive feedback by our customers and partners Z.E.G. and Extra Energy,” he said.
With that statement, Dittrich has brought to an end a five-year effort to unseat or grab a share of the bicycle market from Eurobike’s traditional venue at Messe Friedrichshafen.
ISPO Bike, held in late July, has failed to resonate with the industry and, in particular, with many major Taiwanese companies pressured by Germany’s largest retail cooperative, Z.E.G., to exhibit at Munich. The buying group controls more than $2 billion in purchases and is a powerhouse among German retailers with more than 1,000 members.
The Travel and Leisure trade fair, scheduled for Feb. 19-23, 2014, was first held in 1970. It is the largest travel and recreation event in Bavaria with more than 110,000 visitors attending the show last February.
Dittrich did leave the door open for a future attempt at another expo for the industry in Munich. “Messe Munchen’s ISPO team welcomes any future dialogue should the majority of the industry wish to collectively pursue a change to an international venue,” he said.
Executives at ISPO have long touted the convenience of Munich as a venue for the industry, citing the city’s abundant hotels, expansive expo facilities, a major airport and convenient train, subway and bus connections to the city and the Messe.
Nonetheless, the industry has continued to support Eurobike despite the logistical issues that bedevil the show — insufficient hotel rooms near the convention center, lengthy commutes from nearby towns and villages, limited air connections to Friedrichshafen and a lack of nighttime entertainment.