“It’s really emerging on the global stage, I think it’s going to be the new Eurobike.” Those were the words of one trade visitor heading to last week’s Berlin Fahrradschau. A bold claim, but one that we couldn’t refuse taking a closer look at. Here we speak to Bregan Koenigseker who handles the PR for the exhibition:
Now the dust has settled, how was this years’ show?
Fantastic. We doubled attendance for the second year in a row, and the feedback was so overwhelmingly positive from exhibitors we can hardly believe it.
Do you personally have any highlights?
So many events, parties, races, exhibitors, shows. It’s more than the just the Fahrradschau, it’s also Berlin Bicycle Week!
I guess for me personally the highlight was the atmosphere at Berliner Fahrradschau. The Fahrradschau is like a big “cycle culture” party, full of interesting people and cool things to see for two and a half days. And I am not a fan of trade fairs.
How many exhibitors did you draw and how much scope is there for expansion again in 2017?
375 brands this year, up from just over 300 last year. The feeling at the show was that is was very full but not too full. Furthermore, over 300 press passes were distributed this year.
It seems you had all of the key big name market brands in attendance – an increasingly rare achievement. How much of a draw is that for others to attend?
Of course, influential and famous brands are coming to the show, and that has a great pull, but I think the word of mouth in the industry is consistently positive and that has a big impact as well. Exhibitors simply find the show enjoyable and worth the investment. It’s full of passionate and interesting people, and they make valuable connections. And coming to Berlin is a big draw, too!
It was put to us recently by an exhibitor of yours that this show is emerging as an alternative to Eurobike – what are your thoughts on this?
We hear this all the time, but we generally don’t like to make that comparison. Our show is about brand communication and marketing activation and has a high relevance to brands who for one reason or another have lost interest in the bigger, more traditional, shows.
Some brands have established solid dealer networks so that Eurobike is unnecessary, others cannot afford to go because the cost is too high. For many others there is just too much mass market at Eurobike and feel it’s not worth the hassle to fight the crowd to find kind of brands they consider interesting. At Fahrradschau, they are all interesting. We actually do not allow all brands to exhibit who apply to keep away this mass market feel.
But of course for many others Eurobike is still an entirely relevant and necessary platform for business, so we try to maintain a separate identity.
Further to Berlin, I can also mention that the organisers are working together with the city of Vienna on the Wiener Fahrradschau in October.
As far as exhibitor type, in which segments have you seen the greatest growth and which is taking up the most floorspace in recent times?
The show began with more of an urban orientation, but the two areas which seem to experience the most growth are “Ambition”, the area for performance bikes, and Handmade, which is now the largest exhibition of its kind in mainland Europe. This year we were proud that Campagnolo sponsored a handmade award and had a great installation at the heart of this area, and we are very thankful for the enthusiastic participation of the performance brands.
“Our handmade area is now the largest exhibition of its kind in mainland Europe.”
Given the time of year, what typically are brands using the show for? To drive consumer demand, or show early prototypes?
Well, both really. More and more brands do not operate on the “Eurobike clock”, so there are many opportunities to support various strategies by coming to the show.
With the industry gathering in greater numbers – what scope is there in future for industry conferences, seminars and any other social or business meets to occur?
So far we do not have plans for this. We want the industry to gather in more of a social context at Berliner Fahrradschau. To share ideas, make connections, and stay inspired.