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Eurobike tweaks format ahead of big changes looming for 2018

Published August 25, 2017

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — Given the turmoil swirling around new dates and locations for trade shows next year, Eurobike is looking like a beacon of calm — and doing the same old, same old never felt so good. Add to this a healthy European market and continued e-bike product innovation, and it’s not surprising that Eurobike head Stefan Reisinger expects a show a bit larger than last year.

“Fourteen hundred exhibitors from 50 nations will participate, and we expect more than 40,000 trade visitors and over 20,000 bike fans at the Eurobike Festival Day from more than 100 countries,” Reisinger said.

He noted that more than 100 companies will show at Eurobike for the first time this year, and he expects the return of some German retailers who missed last year’s show due to conflicts with in-house supplier and dealer association events. That’s not to say there won’t be changes at the show. Zeppelin Hall, traditionally home to many e-mobility companies, will be closed as it will be needed to service an actual zeppelin. The displaced companies will be rehoused in the expanded space of Halls A4 and A6, and into A1.

The layout of the demo area has been tweaked so a few exhibitors that were caught between the halls are now relocated to the long main road behind Hall B or in the open ground east of the main halls where e-bike demos were held in past years.
Also, host venue Messe Friedrichshafen made a 5.2 million euro ($6.1 million) investment in the air-conditioning system so attendees can demo outside and cool off inside now.

Though the show this year dodged the disruption coming next year when Eurobike moves to July 8 — and a three-day schedule without a consumer day — Reisinger expects next year’s show timing will be a big topic in the aisles this year. It’s no surprise in-house supplier shows have grown in popularity in Europe, cutting attendance and interest in Eurobike. Neither is it surprising the industry misses the one-tent get together of past Eurobikes. Moving the show almost two months earlier in 2018 was motivated in part to be more relevant to retailers’ and suppliers’ needs and discourage the addition of more in-house dealer events.

“There is still a great global interest in the Eurobike 2018 and, as a result, we look confidently into the future. However, we will only be certain of the impact of the new dates after the show ends since the registration procedure for the next year will start immediately after this year’s Eurobike,” Reisinger said.

E-bikes and related parts and apparel have ignited the European market and are so dominant at Eurobike that Reisinger says it’s difficult to divide the e-business away from the “traditional” bike business anymore.

“The vast majority of all bike companies have moved into e-bike and there are only very few very sport-oriented or niche-focused companies without electric bikes,” he noted. “On top of that, a lot of accessories, parts, components and even apparel brands are offering special products for this category. This is a really thriving the market here and for sure is a big difference between the U.S. and European market.”

This year’s consumer day, Eurobike Festival Day, marks the 25th Eurobike show organizers have opened the show to consumers. While there will be no consumer day next year, Reisinger does not think Festival Days are gone for good.

"Over the last 25 years we have had good experiences with an end-consumer day at the Eurobike, and we can understand the disappointment of businesses that also sell consumer direct in next year’s plans,” he said.
“Whether consumers should visit the Eurobike or not is more dependent on the scheduling of the exhibition than on where we are going with the show,” Reisinger added.

Another change from previous years is Eurobike’s The Writers’ Club, an attempt help bloggers, and other online journalists get better access to industry players — and vice versa. With bike-related websites seeming to pop up daily, Eurobike hopes to provide minimal vetting to media organizations or individuals signing up for The Writers’ Club so manufacturers can spend their limited time where they think it matters most.

“We are receiving a great response to The Writers’ Club initiative and right now we are compiling a specific program for Eurobike — as we do for print journalists. After examination, the influencers from all media types will get the same services we provide traditional media now,” Reisinger said.

Eurobike also expanded its business with Media Days, an event that brought the industry in contact with media companies and journalists. This year’s event was held in June in Kronplatz, Italy, in South Tirol.

“Media Days was so successful we are planning another event next year. Due to the early scheduling of the Eurobike, we plan to schedule Media Days as close as possible to the Eurobike, taking logistic aspects into account and maintaining the high-quality test conditions,” Reisinger said. Eurobike hope to announce the location and dates for Media Days 2018 at the end of this year’s show.
 

 

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