Eurobike: It was a very vibrant show

Eurobike Stefan Reisinger in conversation with Bicle at Eurobike 2017, about trends and future shifts.

How do you look back at this Eurobike?

For us it was really a positive show. We were positively surprised how well it all went. There was a good vibe and the show was well attended. We were sold out before. That is what you know beforehand because the visitor side is less calculable as well as the media output.  Below the line it was extremely positive. Of course, there is also some uncertainty in the market, but in general it was a very vibrant show. We matched the visitor numbers from the year before. We had more end consumers on the last day, compared to the years before and most important the feedback from companies I spoke to was quite positive. There is some talking about the future of the show, but the overall feedback was very promising. I think the only downside we saw was kind of the weather. It was raining a lot and that makes it challenging, especially for the ones outside as well as the whole testing. It’s also an additional challenge for our traffic and parking situation around the fairground. We have lots of parking spots, which are places on some acres around and if it gets wet, you can’t use it which puts additional pressure on our infrastructure.

What are the key trends you have detected?

I think that’s an easy one to answer. It is for sure electrification. It is for sure connectivity. And it is for sure digitalization. To make it very short, I think there is nothing more to add.

You mentioned three trends, how does this translate into the type of exhibitors. Do they really represent these three trends? Are there more exhibitors in these three fields than in the other years?

Yes, for sure. We see really a growing number of companies from other industries or fields coming into the bike market. Especially in these three areas, digital companies, electric companies as well as the automotive industry. There are players already established in some other industries and now targeting the bicycle market. On the other hand side we also see a lot of startup companies, young entrepreneurs and companies who try to step into the new business and market. That is for sure something that is accelerating.

Which opportunities and challenges faces the industry in general within the next three years?

The first one to mention is for sure consolidation. Brands as well as retail, there will be less players in the market in the future and that will change the whole market. That’s the  biggest one and I think the others are kind of related to what I said before. It is all about electrification, digitalization and new business models coming into the field. I think there are huge opportunities for companies but on the other hand also a lot of challenges.

Looking at those key trends, how do you think the industry should anticipate on these? Are they doing that right now or is there still a big road to go there?

That is difficult to tell in general, because every company is standing somewhere else on that road forward. Of course, there are companies that already started moving into that direction and there are others that might be seen a bit left behind. Anyway, and that`s for sure, there are big changes upfront. There are companies that really started their business in using these new trends and they are already somewhere up front and there are more traditional companies that don’t have the need to adapt that much or that quick. There are very different business models in the industry and not every business model is comparable to each other. But in general, these trends are really driving the market.

Looking at the development of the segments LEV and personal e-mobility. These are two main categories which have been picked up by Bicle, we are really focusing on those because we believe this will really set the market in the future and we believe there will be some shifts from traditional biking into LEV and e-mobility. How do you look at these developments in perspective to the global market and what it means to your business concept?

I agree and believe that the whole bike business and the bike as a mean of transportation is getting more important in the future. There are plenty of good reasons why a bike is the perfect mobility solution in the future. It is sustainable, it is quicker than a car on short distances, it helps to reduce traffic and pollution and its healthy. And yes, there will be new categories of vehicles evolving, which we do not know yet. The big opportunity for the bike industry is that they can play a major role in that micro mobility development in the future.

Going back to the tradeshow as a concept, as a business model, as MFH you organize a big tradeshow every month in a lot of different industries. When you look at the other shows that are in your portfolio, how could Eurobike learn from them or the other way around? Do you see any connection there?

The two shows that are closest to each other in terms of the way they are organized and the way they impact the business or industries are Eurobike and OutDoor. Both shows are organized by the same people and of course we use these opportunities and insights in both industries, sports and bike, and often leads to the fact that we really challenge each other. We start working on business cases for OutDoor, and if we see that it is successful we transfer it to the bike business and the other way around. Most of the other shows we run in Friedrichshafen are either more special interest shows like Tuning World or Interboot or focusing on end consumers..  As a B to C platform they just have a different scope than OutDoor and Eurobike with mainly B to B approach. Anyway, one of our USPs and key drivers for success is for sure that all our shows are events and gatherings build around experience, inspiration and emotion. Our fairground and our location and landscape around form a perfect match for this kind of emotional setting..

How does digitization as a trend in B2B affects your bike business going forward and how could you benefit from that?

We are convinced that the digital movement will also affect our business model and we , have to adapt and reflect on how we can also transfer our services, knowledge, data and connection into the digital world. A year ago, we already set up the first company-  Bidex - together with strong partners from the bike industry, to offer new additional services and solutions for our industry in the digital sector. We are studying the sector and we are interested to collaborate with other players, offering additional benefits for our business model..

What are the major changes of Eurobike next year and how do you expect them to improve the show?

 That has been discussed a lot over the last weeks and months. For sure, the new timing will bring some challenges to the industry, because it means a lot of products have to be ready sooner than in the past. The big opportunity of these early dates in July is to get more of the relevant players involved again to help, especially the dealers, to get a broad and wide market overview of what is coming in the future. Of course, we will miss the consumer part of the show, which has always been a lively and important part of the show, but together with the industry we decided that we have to skip that part because of these early dates. It would be too early to get the consumers involved at that stage. There is that  positive momentum right now and it has been an important move for the show. We are really looking forward into 2018! .