Some of you may wish to relive the past, argues Cycle and Leisure Show organiser, David Hyde, but the majority will want to share in the positive future of the cycle and leisure industry, and exhibit at a show thay has already proved its sucess.
No doubt the BA will respond in kind soon and a battle royal will ensue. This, no doubt, will be entertaining for bystanders but its not very productive for the trade and it is to be hoped that a resolution to the conflict comes sooner rather than later.
However, whoever wins, it cant be escaped that precious resources and time will be expended on this war of words between the rival show organisers.
Hydes riposte to the announcement of the BA Harrogate show to be organised in-house by John Carrington Beard, the BA bod given the task of co-ordinating the BAs involvement with the York Rally, an event where the BA lost their shirt is cutting:
We launched Cycle and Leisure after the Bicycle Association failed in its attempt to move its own show from successful spring dates to the autumn. Now it seems a few people want to disrupt the industry yet again by attempting a re-launch of the old Harrogate show, with dates that have already proved unsatisfactory to the vast majority of suppliers and buyers.
Hyde is understandably bitter. He used to be the show organiser for the BA and only launched his own show when the BA wouldnt do one of their own. He warns against industry leaders losing their entrepreneurial flair when trying to act collectively and in the industrys best interests:
It will be said by some that this latest attempt will bring the show back under industry…control but those of you who know the past history will be aware that such control has not led to a stable exhibition. In fact, indecision and confusion within the BA caused them to abandon their show in 1998.
Harrogate in June is neither the venue nor the time for a national exhibition. The BA itself knew this when it moved the industry show in 1996. Stagnant attendance levels immediately rose from 3416 visitors at Harrogate to 4757 visitors at the NEC, a 39 percent increase. It is very difficult to see why any forward thinking company would prefer nostalgia to selling products.
Hard hitting stuff.
The BA may counter with the fact the Harrogate venue is not the disjointed exhibition venue of old. A major refurb has recently been unveiled. Hall M (1500sq m) was built on the site of the Royal Hall car park. It has a permanent link to the western end of Hall C, uniting all seven halls.