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Exhibitors Weigh in On New Bike Expo Dates

Published July 24, 2011

MUNICH, Germany (BRAIN)—Bike Expo wrapped for the final year in its original form on Sunday as the three-year-old Munich tradeshow looks ahead to a fresh start with a different date and name next year.

The show finished with two consumer days over the weekend, proceeded by two trade days and an inaugural dealer and media demo day at a nearby bike park. That event was hampered by a summer rainstorm that soaked the few riders brave enough venture out in the weather, but will return for a second year, organizers said.

In 2012, Bike Expo becomes ISPO Bike as part of owner Messe München’s rebranding effort to bring all three of its shows under the ISPO name including ISPO Munich and ISPO Beijing. ISPO Bike will be held Aug. 16 to 19, putting it two weeks before Eurobike’s scheduled Aug. 29 start date.

That announcement, made the day before this year’s Bike Expo began, spurred plenty of chatter around the show’s four halls as exhibitors considered how or if they could attend both German shows next year.

“We hope so,” Gernot Moser, head of sales for Vaude’s bike division, said when asked if he would return to ISPO Bike with its new timing. “It’ll be a challenge to be at both.”

This year was Vaude’s first on the show floor and Moser said after the first trade day that it had been a good success with more traffic than expected.

Mathias Seidler, CEO of Derby Cycle, and one of the show’s largest exhibitors with its Kalkhoff, Focus and Rixe brands, said he would support ISPO Bike despite the fact that the new dates fall on top of Derby’s most important dealer event of the year, its annual house show in Cloppenburg. Next year, Seidler said, Derby would hold its private event earlier, followed by ISPO Bike, then Eurobike.

“Very simply we have to be where the customers are,” Seidler said. ZEG, the German buying group of about 1,000 dealers that backs the Munich show, is Derby’s largest customer.

Aside from the date change, some question whether a second German bike show can sustain. Bike Expo scored a few more well-known exhibitors this year such as Haibike, Winora, Hercules, Eddy Merckx and Castelli, but the show fills just four of Messe München’s 16 halls, and lacks a bustling tradeshow atmosphere.

And nobody seemed prepared just yet to leave Eurobike behind even with Munich’s international airport and ample hotel space, both amenities lacked by Eurobike’s more remote Friedrichshafen venue.

“Eurobike, we see everybody. All the world is at Eurobike so we must be there,” said Gloria Radaelli, marketing manager for FSA in Italy.

Vincent Lamourex, global sales and marketing director for BionX e-bike systems, believes Bike Expo can secure its place in the industry by focusing squarely on the e-bike category.

“If this show specializes itself, then I think there’s a chance to something pretty big,” he said, as riders whizzed by on the e-bike test track nearby.

Right now, e-bike related companies make up about 30 percent of all exhibitors, and the category shows the most promise for future growth, according to show director Markus Hefter.

Attendance figures for this year’s show have not yet been released, but the number of exhibitors—301—was up 17 percent from last year.

—Nicole Formosa

Topics associated with this article: Tradeshows and conferences

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