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Bike Week jumps into big league despite efforts to control show's size

Published November 4, 2014

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Walk into the Splendor Hotel, and it is hard to believe that Taichung Bike Week organizer Steve Fenton promised last year to cut the show back in size. The show is almost a third larger this year, yet the 430 exhibitors say the intimate feel of the event remains intact.

"The show has been successful, and I'm so happy to be involved with it. Ten years ago had you said it would be this big today, I'd have said you're joking," said Fenton, Pro-Lite owner and show founder.

But the show's size and growing political importance to the city of Taichung, which is building a convention center, as well as to the Taiwanese Bicycle Exporters Association, which puts on the Taipei Cycle Show, mean Bike Week may have grown beyond a fun little side project for Fenton.

Bike Week bills itself as an OEM show for component companies seeking spec on the following model year's bikes. The show moved forward a few weeks on the calendar this year to remain relevant to U.S. product managers who typically wrap up spec in October, a move that has paid off. Fenton says he is open to moving the show further forward if exhibitors feel the need, but next year's show dates have not been announced.

"Moving the show forward did bring a few more American product managers here, but it's definitely great timing for European product managers," said Henry Hinojosa, Novatec USA's director of operations. "Being able to have good time with product managers is what makes this such an important show."

Onza previously has exhibited out of a hotel room in the Evergreen Hotel, one of the three show hotels. This year the company took advantage of the larger exhibition space the Splendor had renovated in time for the show, making it the largest of the show's hotels.

"In a hotel room you have a great space for appointments, but between appointments it gets lonely," said Michel Manz, Onza CEO. "Being able to be here out on the floor makes it much easier for people to just stop by, and I've been impressed with how many people are here."

Much of Taiwan's bike industry is based in and around Taichung.

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