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Organizers expect strong turnout at sold-out 2017 Taipei Cycle Show

Published March 21, 2017

TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Despite some challenges facing Taiwan's bicycle market, including a nearly 30 percent drop in exports reported in 2016, the outlook for the 2017 Taipei International Cycle Show, which starts Wednesday and runs through Saturday at Nangang Exhibition Center, remains relatively positive.

According to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), which organizes the show, vendor registration is on par with the past couple of years and is sold out with 1,115 exhibitors occupying 3,340 booths, plus a wait list.

Still, TAITRA is taking steps to ensure the show's vitality and relevance in the face of an uncertain future.

“We sense it already that the industry is struggling. Companies are tightening budgets. You can tell by the sponsorship of the show this year,” said Jasmine Wu, who handles PR for Taipei Cycle. “We're not seeing as much interest from brands wanting additional exposure during the show. But having said that, we are full this year with a wait list, so the show is still healthy.”

TAITRA announced last fall that it would shift Taipei Cycle to late October in 2018, a decision in the making for several years. The organization surveyed more than 600 Taiwanese companies and foreign exhibitors and buyers to determine industry need.

“We interviewed companies and fall dates were what people wanted, so that's what we did,” Wu said. “Once the 2017 show is complete, we'll run campaigns including much more overseas promotion and tours in in Asia next year to make sure the industry knows about the date change.”

But there are several new additions to this year's show as it celebrates its 30th anniversary, including a first-ever dedicated demo day. The show has also added a full day of forums on Thursday, March 23.

The forum will include speakers from the U.S., the U.K., Europe and Taiwan addressing changes in the industry, focusing on e-bikes and urban mobility. With more than 10 years' experience in battery development, Mohua Yang, general manager of Taiwan's TD Hitech Energy, will speak about how e-bikes could help revive urban transportation, and Kenneth J. Podziba, president and CEO of Bike New York, will talk about urban cycling in general during the first session.

During the afternoon session, Norbert Haller, managing director of Germany's IDberlin, will deliver a keynote about challenges and opportunities and e-bike design, and Mark Bickerton, director of the Bicycle Association UK, will discuss the cycling industry in the United Kingdom. A panel discussion will follow each session.

With an eye toward the future, TAITRA also carved out space for an Italian pavilion at this year's show. Wu said the show would like to recruit more country-specific pavilions in the future, but due to limited space TAITRA is experimenting this year with six Italian companies exhibiting together in 14 booths.

Once construction on a new hall across the street from Taipei's Nangang Exhibition Center is complete, TAITRA hopes to bring together brands from more countries to exhibit together. The hall is slated to open early 2019.

Look for more Taipei Cycle coverage online this week and in the April 15 print issue of Bicycle Retailer.

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