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Taipei show to jump to fall dates, setting up clash with Bike Week

Published October 20, 2016

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Just  a week after Eurobike announced plans to move its show from late August to early July in 2018 the organizers of Taipei's Cycle Show announced an even larger calendar shift: from its current dates in March to late October. 

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At Taichung Bike Week, organizers of the Taipei show announced that it will hold its 2017 show as planned, March 22-25. In 2018, the show will be October 31 to November 3. The show organizers, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, also announced that next year's show will be preceded by a demo day held nearby in the nation's capital. 

TAITRA has been surveying exhibitors this fall about the possible move

At its current position on the calendar, the Taipei show has become less important in the industry's OE ordering cycle, and in recent years the show has evolved into an event most useful for suppliers to meet with Southern Hemisphere distributors, regional retailers, and the media.

But the desire to regain relevance in the OE cycle and the date shift put the Taipei show in direct competition with Taichung Bike Week, a low-key, no-glitz meeting that nevertheless draws more than 4,000 industry visitors and generates millions of dollars for local hotels, restaurants and even taxi drivers, who are kept busy shuttling visitors between the five hotels that host the event.

TBW is put on by a non-profit, led by a volunteer group of suppliers.

TBW organizer Steve Fenton, who is also the CEO of Pro-Lite, said TAITRA did not consult with him before or after the date change announcement to discuss any type of cooperation. He was outraged by a statement by Tony Lo, Giant's CEO and chairman of the Taiwan Bicycle Association. Lo was quoted in Bike EU saying "that Taichung Bike Week is not an international show. It's more like a series of workshops."

"I was personally offended," Fenton told BRAIN on Thursday. "Taichung Bike Week is a trade show and it is international."

Fenton likes to say that TBW is an event "for the industry, by the industry." It began when a handful of suppliers, most of them owned by Europeans or Americans, began holding meetings in Taichung hotel rooms while SRAM was holding a major meeting in the city with product managers.

TBW will announce its 2017 dates on Friday as the show closes. It is likely that TBW will move a week earlier than it was this year, in part to get in line with U.S. bike brands whose model year releases are about a month earlier than Europe's.

As for 2018, when TBW and the Taipei show will be held the same month, Fenton said he's confident that TBW will remain strong because it will continue to fill industry needs.

"We are not going to change unless our exhibitors ask for it. We are not merging with Taipei Cycle Show and we are not being bought out by Eurobike, I can put down those rumors," he said. TBW has an agreement with the owners of Eurobike, which Fenton described as an "information-sharing arrangement."

Fenton also dismissed talk that Taichung Bike Week would move to a city convention center that is expected to be completed in two years.

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