Every year at the beginning of September, all eyes of media and industry professionals are focused on the fairgrounds of Eurobike at Lake Constance. Although thousands of exhibitors and visitors appeared in Friedrichshafen, Germany, this year, some important subjects were missing. We did our best to find out why.
Everything related to bicycles and bike accessories, fashion, and an abundance of expert information about bikes, was spread across more than 100,000 square meters in 13 exhibition halls of the greatest bike exhibition in the world. All in all, 42,720 visitors came to Lake Constance and the number was three thousand lesser than last year, in fact, and more than 1,350 exhibitors showed up at this year’s Eurobike. All the numbers are enormous, however, there are more and more big players reluctant renting their spacious booths here. While it’s still vitally important to be visible at the trade show for some companies, there were others who made the decision to do business their own way and get away.
Some major brands, such as Specialized and Trek bicycles, were already absent last year. After walking through the cramped halls we were missing stands of the Spanish mountain bike producer Mondraker, or the local Cube Bikes company. What has actually happened?
The prices of the booths at Eurobike are very high and all the exhibitors consider the costs and the benefits. According to Pablo Villa, export manager of Mondraker, there were more reasons leading their company to not taking part at Eurobike 2016. Mr. Villa arrived only to have a couple of private meetings and we caught him for five minutes just between two of them.
“It’s not only about the prices of the exhibitors’ areas and accommodation in busy Friedrichshafen. For us, it’s much easier and more reasonable to meet our partners and big distributors at our own facilities close to our headquarters in Spain. First of all, we can arrange the event exactly as we desire, including test rides in a beautiful landscape of Alicante, which is much more suitable for learning all the details of the bikes than at the short demon circuit in Friedrichshafen,” Mondraker export manager explained.
An unsuitable timing is frequently named as another reason for quitting the bike show. The Eurobike Fair Trade takes places at the end of summer when it’s rather too late to make orders for the upcoming year. “That’s why we prefer to meet our sellers and distributors earlier in the seasons – let’s say in the March, around the date of the Taipei Show in Taiwan,” Pablo Villa said.