It’s a fair bet that at the start of the year there is one key date that 90 per cent of the world’s cycle industry makes sure it has got in the diary. And it’s also fair to say that the remaining ten per cent are going to have a hard time booking a hotel on the right side of Lake Constance, should they change their minds about the September trade meet.
From humble-ish beginnings in 1991 – as a trade show solely for the mountain bike scene – Eurobike has grown to rival, and even surpass, its global trade show competitors.
Naturally, it’s not a claim that the show organiser would refute: “In the last few years, Eurobike has developed into the leading trade fair for the international bicycle industry,” Stefan Reisinger tells BikeBiz.
The show stats back Eurobike’s worldwide credentials, says Reisinger: “Eurobike is registering a high degree of acceptance among both international visitors and exhibitors. In 2009, we had 39,000 trade visitors from a total of 75 countries and 1,500 journalists from 36 countries on hand. In fact, of our more than 1,000 exhibitors, 68 per cent are from outside of Germany.”
But how does the UK fit into that? Reisinger explains: “In recent years, British participation in terms of exhibitors increased from 26 companies in 2008 to 30 in 2009. And this year we will have 41.”
It’s not just on that side of the podium either: “We’re also seeing a positive trend in terms of visitors. At Eurobike 2009, the portion of trade visitors who were from the UK was 3.5 per cent, a sixth place ranking after Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France and Austria.”
And if UK exhibitors aren’t compelling enough reason to appear, Reisinger spells out the show’s true appeal. “All of the industry’s latest products and innovations are shown here, and all of the key players – the manufacturers, the retailers and the media – come together here in Friedrichshafen. In this sense, it’s particularly important for the UK bicycle industry to
But let’s face it, Eurobike really doesn’t need to convince us about its popularity. So far the 2010 show has roughly 1,090 registered exhibitors, so the Germany-set event is already able to report a new participation record. Visitor numbers are also set to comfortably hit the same level as 2009. “With more than 1,000 exhibitors in 14 exhibition halls, Eurobike has the complete spectrum of the world’s entire bike industry covered.”
And while the show is open to the public, that industry-specific focus is very much the key focus, as Reisinger explains: “The Eurobike concept is primarily tailored to the cycle industry. This is why the first three trade fair days are exclusively reserved for trade visitors. Meanwhile, on Public Day, the last day of the fair, roughly 21,000 cycling fans will be in attendance on the trade fair grounds.”
With that increasing level of demand, the nuts and bolts of a successful show – getting to, from and around the complex – is absolutely vital. With this in mind, the organisers are sticking with last year’s extended opening hours, after being well received. Access is set to be vastly improved too, says Reisinger.
“We have some good news about traffic conditions at Messe Friedrichshafen. Due to the new north and south access roads, which will be operating in time for Eurobike, the trade fair grounds are now well connected to the inter-regional road network in both directions. We recommend to our clients in the UK that they either reach us by flying to Zurich Airport or by flying with Ryanair from London, Dublin or Edinburgh to Memmingen Airport. They can then use our free shuttle bus service to Eurobike, from both airports.”
Space dedicated to the show has been increased too: “We have added an annex to one of our exhibition halls, Hall A3, ahead of Eurobike, and thereby further expanded available exhibition space. So, 1,090 exhibitors will be presenting their wares in a total of 14 exhibition halls with a combined floor of 100,000 square meters or ten hectares.”
As ever, this year will see Eurobike respond to new trends and fashions.
“We’re naturally excited about the many new products, trends and innovations that our exhibitors will be presenting at Eurobike. Certainly, e-bikes and pedelecs will be particularly in the spotlight this year, as well as the overall theme of the bicycle as an intelligent means of transportation over short distances. Another new thing this year is having Cyprus as a partner country.”
Reisinger is supremely confident that the importance of the show is set in stone: “Due to the very strong international participation and the immense effect of media coverage, we can confidently claim that Eurobike is now the world’s largest bicycle trade fair.”
Demo Day steps up a gear
Trade shows have a habit of being, in principle at least, fairly similar whichever industry they serve. Eurobike has taken a stand against such a ‘me-too’ mediocrity with its Demo Day, now in its fourth year. Set the day before the show officially opens, this year on August 31st, the Demo Day actually allows the willing to try out new bikes and accessories, instead of just looking at them on stands.
Stefan Reisinger explains more about the concept: “This year’s Eurobike Demo Day will be the fourth, and it’s already very well established. As a day for the media and product testing ahead of the trade fair itself, it is very well attended and, due to its festive atmosphere, also highly appreciated. The demo day concept is perfectly suited to the product, to the industry and to us as the organisers of Eurobike. This year, even more companies will be presenting their products, and we’re hoping for the good weather that we had last year.”