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Interview: EICA show director Piero Negrilli

Published April 2, 2012

VERONA, Italy (BRAIN) Monday April 2 2012 7:32 AM MT—After a few difficult years, organizers of the former Milan bicycle show are looking for a new start. The show, now called EICA, or Esposizione Internazionale Del Ciclo, moves to nearby Verona in mid-September in its second year as a stand-alone fair. For nearly seven decades, the Milan bicycle show was part of the larger EICMA, which showcased bicycles and motorcycles. But, bicycles were dropped from the program in 2008 and 2009 when the motorcycle business boomed. It returned to Milan last year, but struggled to attract exhibitors.

With the new time and venue, EICA will be going head to head with ExpoBici, the four-year-old show that gained momentum during EICA’s absence. ExpoBici is held Sept. 22 to 24 in Padua, about 55 miles away from Verona.

Piero Negrilli, director of the cycling sector for EICA organizer ANCMA, Italy’s national association for bicycles, motorcycles and accessories answered a few questions about the decision in an email to BRAIN:

Why did you decide to move the show to Verona?
Because companies during the past years stopped to exhibit in Milano. The reason why is very difficult to explain, probably this is a sum of many reasons. Location, prices, opinions, services, facilities, all of them, we think that in these recent years all fair events for the bicycle moved to more friendly location to the bicycle and, at the moment, Milano is not representing that. This is the largest opinion around companies.

And why the later dates?
July is too early at the moment. Many companies had to miss the fair if we decided to restart in July.

Is this to better compete with ExpoBici?
ExpoBici is a good example of bicycle fair and it had covered a big hole that ANCMA created in these recent years. We don’t think this is to compete to ExpoBici. September is the right period and we offer a revolutionary idea to make a fair. We offer to the market a very different event for the bicycle world. EICA Verona will be the first fair with a double demo day on Saturday and Sunday. Public will test the bikes on a real test par course covering the 2004 World Championship circuit regarding road bicycles and a very interesting permanent MTB track on the Torricelle Hill, located in the center of Verona. From the top of the hill you can admire a wonderful landscape of Verona, with Adige River flowing under your feet. This is located at a distance of two kilometers to the fairground. EICA Verona will be the first fair together to a Free Car Day scheduled for Sept. 16. More, for the public we’ll have a concert with Ennio Morricone music and many facilities to go to Fun Parks of Garda Lake as Gardaland.

Do you think exhibitors will plan to attend both shows since they are just one week apart?
No, very few exhibitors will attend to both shows. We are working to explain the new concept and to realize an event for the bicycles, like we make for the motorcycle.
Companies ask to ANCMA to support the market with advertising, communication, bicycle advocacy and so on. Thanks to the Municipality of Verona and the fairground of Verona this will be possible, because fairground has many facilities to realize this kind of event, only 2 kilometers to the track test and very easy to reach by car, train or plane. Also by bicycle thanks to a cycling paths arriving to the fair ground.

How have exhibitors reacted to the decision to move the show?
This new concept attracts many companies because it is a new idea that merges show and business, many cyclists spend a good budget to their bicycle activity during the year and they are very happy to have the possibility to see but also to test their dream bike. Also dealers are excited a lot because they can offer to their customers new support to buy the new bicycle. Italian dealers can offer a real service to the “gold” customers to organize their facilities to come to the event, for example booking hotels, organizing the travel, booking the bike test etc. More we have a wonderful place to start the new event and we have a big and active partner to share this innovation. Verona is probably the nicest town in Europe and all around the world and it is the perfect size for the bicycle.

More: The original story on EICA’s move including comments from exhibitors and the organizer of ExpoBici.

Nicole Formosa

Topics associated with this article: Tradeshows and conferences

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