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Eurobike eyes consumers in its 25th edition

Published August 30, 2016
Courtesy photo from this week's press preview at Eurobike.

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — For the first time in its 25-year history, consumers will be able to demo bikes at Eurobike. The show expects to offer roughly 3,500 bikes for demo over the weekend following the trade-only days, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2.

“We’re not giving up our strong focus on all the trade business. That’s still taking place. It will be as busy and have a strong focus on dealers and OEM business on the first three days. But, of course, we added another consumer day and now we have a full consumer festival weekend and we’ve put a lot of energy on events and different areas to experience biking in all dimensions for the weekend,” Stefan Reisinger, head of Eurobike, told BRAIN. 

The trade show, which kicks off Wednesday, will have 10 areas for demo rides, repair tips, skills demos, live music, a dedicated women’s area with product and seminars, and a travel/touring area for riders interested in bike touring. “There is now a wide range of activities and action taking place all over the show grounds,” Reisinger said.

For 2016, the Eurobike show has undergone a major face-lift as it looks to stay relevant in a changing global marketplace where more brands are holding their own private events or turning to consumer festivals and races to introduce new products.

“We’ve made a lot of changes here in the last months with regards to conception and overall layout of the show,” Reisinger said. “A lot of brands were in favor of the changes, and some have not been happy about the new plans. But that’s life. So far we managed to get more than 1,300 exhibitors located here on-site. The size of the show is the same. We’ve really rented out every square meter again. We’re fully booked. We replaced the companies leaving the show and added a lot of new companies for 2016.”

Among those exiting this year are Pinarello, Orbea and Derby Cycle, who have followed in the footsteps of Trek, Specialized, Kona and Felt in the past, opting to hold private dealer or distributor meetings in various countries instead of booking space at one international show.

Smaller startup brands are happily taking up vacated exhibit space such as Pole Bicycle from Finland, Swiss brand Bold Cycles, Monochrome Bikes from Argentina, and component maker Kappstein from Germany. Some brands, like Biomega, are returning after many years’ absence. Reisinger said he expects exhibitor numbers to exceed last year’s, “mainly because if you lose some big companies with bigger spaces, you can accommodate smaller ones and more of them. So the number will be slightly up,” he said.

For show veterans, getting around may become a bit challenging as the hall layouts were changed. Hall A1 and Zeppelin Hall now will accommodate brands exhibiting at the trade-only days, while halls B2 (accessories) and B5 (apparel) switch over to A4 and A7. “There will be more complete bike brands in the B halls with the opportunity to make use of the new testing facilities all five days close by,” Reisinger said. “Two halls are running only three days, and the rest of the fairground will be busy all five days.”

While 2016 has been a tough year for suppliers and dealers, Reisinger noted that in Europe, the e-bike business has kept the industry afloat.

“The e-bike business is really driving the market here right now,” he said. “We see a lot of e-mountain bikes around, and that’s for sure the best-selling category now in the German-speaking market. My expectation is that most of our customers showing complete bikes will have a large footprint for e-bikes, especially e-mountain bikes.”

While there’s heightened security awareness throughout Europe due to recent terrorist attacks and violence in public areas, Reisinger said that has not been a cause for concern as they prepare to host more than 40,000 trade attendees and 20,000 consumers over five days.

He said the show contracts with security guards every year and this time that number will be larger because of the additional consumer day and because, from a logistical standpoint, with an enclosed demo area more oversight is required.  

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