In the absence of the UK’s Winter trade gathering at Whittlebury Hall, Corebike’s organiser has gone online with a virtual platform built to showcase what we may have missed. Keith Jepson talks us through the content and future of Core’s digital offering…
What does Corebike online offer both the show’s exhibitor base and those who would have been a visitor to the event?
KJ: Corebike Online offers both the exhibitor and visitor an amazing resource to accessing the latest product news, launches, how-to videos and athlete news. The ethos of Corebike Online is to provide a website of excellent video content that reflects the values of the Corebike event.
It’s difficult to say what is going to happen with physical events going forward, but we certainly hope to be back at Whittlebury Hall in January 2022, hosting our personable and friendly event for the UK trade.
We have created Corebike Online to work alongside the event, but also to give dealers and consumers access to the latest product information throughout the year. Corebike Online is the 1st of the Corebike services to be available both to trade and consumers, which is a departure for the Corebike group. Our intention is to make a resource video website that is useful both to the store and their customers.
What content currently exists on the site?
KJ: We currently have over 70 videos displayed on the site with new content going live all the time.
The plan is to have new content regularly updated and then the site will become an amazing platform for fresh products and historical products. Launches, how-to videos, athlete news and lifestyle content are all encouraged to offer variety and content that is both useful and aspirational. We hope the site becomes a promotional and sales tool for both the brands involved, their dealer network and the end consumer. We have some excellent variety and quality in the videos that are live now, many of which are unique content, made specifically for the website.
What capability have you with the platform – is this as we are seeing elsewhere in the industry, an interactive platform that can offer live chats, or pre recorded video?
KJ: We wanted to “keep it simple” to start with, so, currently the platform is effectively a ‘shop window’ for displaying videos without any need for logging in. It means visitors can easily drop in and out as and when they choose.
The videos themselves are hosted on the exhibitors’ website, YouTube channel or brand pages. We don’t have any current plans for further interactivity, but that said, as the website grows we will be looking at other possibilities. So far we have been delighted by the amount of work and effort that the exhibitors have taken to create new and unique content, the variety and quality of the content is excellent. We hope to build the content and the websites presence, making it an amazing resource for the both the trade and the end rider! A website that reflects the Corebike values and works alongside the show.
There is a portion of the trade who are not yet buying into the virtual event concept – what can you say to convince them to log on and engage?
KJ: We love hosting a physical event and believe Corebike is the perfect balance of expo, conference and friendly/personable gathering; that said in the current environment we find ourselves in with the pandemic, it’s important to have a digital platform that echoes the shows values and works seamlessly with the event.
We wanted to bring the Corebike brands in front of dealers and consumers throughout the year and we believe this website is a great way of doing so. I would encourage everyone in the UK trade and all their customers to regularly visit the site for the latest launch news, product information and cycling lifestyle content. We have created a site that is easy to navigate, with selections/filters for brand, product, genre and type of video and hope that the growing site will become a great resource; the go to place for brand videos.
What’s the ambition for the digital element – will it eventually get to the point where it matches up to a physical experience, perhaps with the ability to place orders to a product attached to a digital demo?
KJ: The current ambitions for the site are for it to work alongside the event, but as we move forward into an increasingly technical age for the cycling market, greater interactivity, digital experiences and remote options may be necessary…watch this space!
Once the physical show returns will corebike online run alongside for those in the trade unable to make the trip?
KJ: The Corebike Online website, will run alongside the show for the time being. Corebike Online cannot realistically replace the physical event, but, it could be a helping hand for those who either cannot attend, or simply serve as a reminder for visitors about some of the exhibits they’ve experienced.
At the end of the day, we don’t know what will happen with events. We hope they will return as before as the Corebike event has a great deal of heritage and is enjoyed by the trade… but we have to be realistic and provide a digital offering to complement the event and give visitors options.
If you are a Corebike Exhibitor and have not been involved in the website so far, please drop Keith Jepson a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to the Corebike Group, Si Watts from SiWIS the creator of the website and to all the Corebike Exhibitors who have supported the website with amazing videos. To log on head to Corebikeonline.co.uk.