BEIJING (BRAIN) Thursday March 29 2012 3:30 PM MT—Beijing Bike Week will return for a second year in 2013 in a new venue with greater exposure to middle class shoppers.
The exclusive first-year event was held March 15 to 18 in Jinbao Place, high-end seven-story Beijing mall with booths from BMC, Cervélo, Avanti, UCC, Swift Carbon and a small display from Pearl Izumi. The idea was to expose a limited number of premium brands to Beijing consumers so they could understand the spending power and the market dynamics, said organizer Shannon Bufton, of Serk Cycling, a marketing, distribution, events and market intelligence firm.
Noting that the location at Jinbao Place Bufton may have been too high end than what the market is ready for, Bufton said he plans to move Beijing Bike Week next year to a famous Beijing shopping street heavy with foot traffic in hopes of making the show more appealing to a greater number of people. In its first year, exhibitors saw about 1,000 consumers over four days.
The Chinese market for premium bikes is emerging, but it’s still small, and challenged by the perception that bikes are for transportation, not recreation.
“Beijing Bike Week is a tool to build consumer interest in bikes. It’s a long process that’s why we started small with five brands,” Bufton said.
Bufton said the event needs to grow to attract more media attention, exhibitors, and ultimately consumers, but he has no aspirations of turning Beijing Bike Week into a large exhibition like Shanghai’s China Cycle.
The interest for consumer goods is thriving in China, but the industry needs to figure out how to reposition the image of the bicycle so it’s part of the buying equation, by playing up the high technology and materials used in manufacturing, Bufton said.
“The spending power is absolutely here. The problem is there isn’t a connection with the modern consumer. It’s seen as a transportation device. Once that connection is made, things will move quickly, I’m very sure of that,” he said.