Andrew Brabazon, Cycle Show Event Manager said: “The move to ExCeL in 2005 was very successful for the show with stand space growing by over a third in two years, but tenancies at Earls Court rarely become available so when they approached us with dates in October we jumped at the chance.”
“The location should make it easier for visitors from outside the capital and larger numbers of Londoners to get to the show. With the congestion charge moving westwards next month, another huge boom in commuting by bike is expected this year. There’s also no doubt that West London will also offer exhibitors and visitors more places to stay and enjoy themselves than docklands could.”
Upper Street Events, owner of the show, has secured a three year deal with the venue.
“Earls Court 1 provides 23,000m² of floorspace compared to 9,000m² for Cycle 2006, so there’s plenty of space for new exhibitors and feature areas.
"The outdoor mountain bike test track was at full capacity last year, but was obviously subject to the vagaries of the October weather. With the extra space we can now move it indoors and build new tracks for commuter users and children. The ever popular fashion show and trials competition will return, along with a cycling film festival and guest speaker sessions. A BMX demo is also something we’re looking into for 2007.”
Upper Street Events are currently in discussions for an awards ceremony to be hosted at Earls Court during the show.
“A move to Earls Court will change the face of this show," said Fisher Outdoor marketing manager Matt Ward.
"Although modern and airy I felt that ExCel lacked in atmosphere, and some of the associated costs were prohibitive. Earls Court has heritage, and will be instantly recognisable when used in marketing and pre-Show advertising.
"Ultimately this move will make the Cycle Show more accessible, to more people, and hopefully re-introduce the soul of the BDC. I also hope that it will entice a greater representation from our biggest competitors, offering
Ian Hughes, general manager of Scott, also welcomed the switch:
"The date is still good, it gives us time to prepare for the show after a very busy new product launch. By this time in October, we have our trade business booked, and in-the-can for the next season, so we are not actively looking for more trade business at this time. For the consumer, they get a chance to see the latest product for the up-coming season. Some people would prefer a Spring date, but that’s two-thirds of the season gone for us, so we would have nothing new and hot to show at that time.
"I had no complaint with Excl. There was plenty of space, a good atmosphere and it was well organised. I guess there’s one argument that the venue is too far from the city, but I felt the people who made the effort to come to ExCel were real cycling enthusiasst. I’m confident with the Cycle Show organisers will deliver the goods at Earls Court.
"The show had grown out of the BDC and needs a bigger platform. It’s really now down to the trade, how distributors manage their business through the season to allocate enough funds for this show, and not cancel at the last minute."
More news on the show will be released on BikeBiz.com over the coming days and there's also many more trade comments in the print mag, which has just gone to press.