EBMA chief reckons plenty of industry folk attend cycle advocacy conferences

Brian Montgomery of the Paris-based European Bicycle Manufacturers Association has scolded BikeBiz.co.uk for suggesting that not enough trade bods get themselves along to major conferences such as Velo-city.
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"You have repeated the same canard as a past issue of Bike-Europe magazine," claims Montgomery.

"Let me put you right. The bicycle manufacturing industry has a very good history of support for Velo-City. COLIBI has voted funds to be part of the Velo-City site selection committee and we are very close to the organisers. [Many] industry colleagues have been to the last five and more Velo-City conferences and in addition I sat on the committee in Graz/Maribor (where I also chaired the final plenary session) and Barcelona to select the papers (from 530+ submitted) to be presented at the conferences.

"B.H./Vitoria made a major contribution to the organisation of the Barcelona conference in the supply of hundreds of magnificent city-bikes and the management of their distribution to the delegates. Bike advocacy is very well supported by the European industry associations on an ongoing basis: to mention just a few, the BAGB, ANCMA(Italy), ZIV(Germany), RAI(Netherlands), CNPC(France), etc.

"If your reporter was on the ball (and on site) in Scotland the paper on bicycle safety/security/standards given by Pietro Boselli(COLIBI/ANCMA) might have been commented on.

"I am with Gerard Jacques(CNPC) on the Velo-city 2003 Paris steering committee - and we shall not make the same error as Glasgow/Edinburgh in setting their dates to cross both the Cologne and Milan cycle exhibitions where industry executives are expected to be on duty to talk business to customers and suppliers. A good reason why we couldn't get to Scotland.

"You are wrong in your assumptions. Members of the trade do get involved with Velo-City and suppliers like us do attend bicycle advocacy conferences - and also lead the way in lobbying governments for more cycle facilities - but you must be aware of that?

"I cannot speak for IBDs - but it might be interesting to hear from any who were in Basel/Barcelona/Graz/Edinburgh and to do a count-up."

BikeBiz.co.uk stands by its original story, arguing that whilst some industry folk do attend it's not enough, especially considering some of the trade-specific presentations at Velo-city.

Perhaps one of the reasons for the poor trade attendance is the lack of advance notification of the trade presentations? If the European cycle trade papers were given timely information on the trade-specific talks, lots of pre-event coverage would result.

Bikebiz.co.uk has written to the organiser of the Paris Velo-city asking to be kept in touch with trade-specific issues.

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