MILAN, Italy (BRAIN) Mar 1, 11:40 MT— The Milan bicycle show will become the Verona bicycle show this year as organizers seek a new strategy to re-energize the flagging tradefair.
The show, called EICA, will be held from Sept. 15 to 17 at the Veronafiere in its 70th edition. The later date—it was held in late July last year—and new location put it one week before and 100 miles closer to its biggest competitor, the ExpoBici show held in Padova.
Organizers of ExpoBici, now in its fourth year, are less than pleased about the move.
“This competition is surely confusing for the market, but it is a situation we can see in Germany as well, with the München exhibition center trying to jeopardize the leader position of Eurobike in Friedrichschafen,” Denise Muraro, project manager for ExpoBici organizer PadovaFiere wrote in an e-mail, referring to ISPO Bike’s date change from late July to mid-August, less than two weeks before Eurobike, the industry’s dominant global show.
“In any case it’s been four years since ANCMA is trying to ‘kill’ ExpoBici. The result has been the organization of small and incomplete events that did not meet the exhibitors’ and even less the visitors’ expectations.”
For decades, the Milan bicycle show was part of the larger EICMA, which showcased motorcycles and bicycles. In 2008, bicycles were dropped as the motorcycle business boomed. But, last year, organizer ANCMA—Associazone Nazionale Ciclo Motociclo Accessori—resurrected the Milan bicycle event from July 23-25. It came together late in the year, however, and only brought in about 60 exhibitors.
During Milan’s two-year absence, ExpoBici built a solid show with more 500 exhibitors last year and 42,000 visitors in a 30,000 square meter exhibition area. Exhibitors sent out 5,000 test bikes during the demo day. ExpoBici has already signed up 217 exhibitors for the 2012 show.
EICA is answering back this year with its own demo day that’s open to the public.
“We continue on the path taken by the new management,” said Corrado Capelli, president of Confindustria ANCMA, in a press release announcing the change posted on EICA’s Facebook page. “Passion and mobility are the two souls that give life to the area of the bike. Growing interest in the product and stimulate the market today is to be protagonists of a cultural shift that places a priority on sustainable mobility.”
FSA Europe, based in nearby Busnago, Italy, will exhibit at both EICA and ExpoBici, but FSA’s Gloria Radaelli believes most exhibitors will have to choose between the two.
“Probably it’s not good to have two shows so close, but we are quite sure that Verona location will attract a lot of people and many tourists; and also because they plan to organize in the same week end one important Gran Fondo, in order to attract more end users. We think that the best solution is to have only one show, probably earlier in the year in a good location. ExpoBici Padova has an excellent organization and EICA Verona has a wonderful location,” Radaelli said.