Our European contributor shares his thoughts on the recent Eurobike Media Days. He speaks to Frank Gauss, deputy head of communication, about this offshoot of the massive European show,
In 2016, when the Eurobike Media Days were launched for the first time, it wasn’t a ground breaking concept. These kind of events had been popping up globally for some time. I had assumed that the intention of the organisers had been to create a miniature version of the main Eurobike show, which takes place annually in Friedrichshafen.
However that hasn’t been the main purpose, as Frank Gauss told me during 2017’s Eurobike Media Days event; “It’s never been our goal to put on a truncated version of the Eurobike-show. We meant to create a press-only preview of what’s coming up next year. The dimension of the show was supposed to be manageable and convenient for both, the industry as well as the press.”
I immediately got the notion that there are so many things fundamentally different to the Eurobike-show. The laid-back and calm atmosphere as well as relaxed vibe is omnipresent. Frank said “That’s been one of our core targets from the get-go. It shouldn’t be another, 2.0-version, if you will, of the Eurobike-show. This kind of opportunity to exchange, come together and interact with exhibitors is a very unique one. And I guess, based on the positive feedback we receive year after year, underpins our goal.”
This tranquil vibe is even more supported by the breathtaking surroundings the Eurobike Media Days take place in. “Certainly we pay high attention to the venue and ambiance we opt for. Obviously the infrastructure is of high importance, but we also have to make sure that all those presented products can be tested thoroughly in their targeted habitat.” That has undoubtedly been the case thus far. Both the Kirchberg region as well the latest one in Kronplatz in Sudtyrol featured a perfect back drop and test ground for testing.
Based on the feedback from the press, the most striking difference between the Eurobike-show and the Media Days was the stress-free atmosphere and environment in which we were able to go about our business. Plenty of time to discuss matters, talking shop and test the latest technologies. This hassle free atmosphere is pretty much unknown, but very welcome. “I am actually thinking about skipping the Eurobike-show altogether, and attending the Eurobike Media Days only” said one magazine editor.
So I am wondering, would it be possible to extend the dimension of the Eurobike Media Days and invite more exhibitors, mostly components and apparel makers? “A definite no” Frank tells me; “that would completely miss our target, namely to keep it what it is: a press camp for a limited number of press people as well as brands. There must be a certain distinction between the two. Eurobike Media Days are a unique platform for the industry to showcase their newest iterations and allow the journalist to preview upcoming models.”
His rationale is understandable. “We are pleased to receive affirmative responses from both the industry and journalist. Success breeds success, sure, and one would automatically assume that to further this success, we automatically need to grow and balloon the event. But as I said, we would completely tweak the character and lessen the significance of this exclusive event”
We are keen to learn what the future holds for Eurobike-show in general and the Eurobike Media Days in particular. The industry has never been more fragmented than nowadays. There is no clear route or well worked out pattern established. Every party seeks its own most profitable interest, and the lack of unity in the industry has never been more obvious.
“It, admittedly, is a challenge” goes on Frank “not only for us organisers, but apparently for the industry as a whole too.” Clearly, the Eurobike team ought to get out of its comfort zone (if there is one), and be flexible enough to meet the changes and needs of all stakeholders. Looking at the numbers, the Eurobike team enjoy a very respectable success. The growth is evident, and every year there are still more and more companies in the queue.
“That’s correct, our track record shows it unmistakably, the upward trend is there” confirms Frank Gauss “and we are pleased with the never-ending interest.” But it is notable too that every organiser wants to welcome the major industry players to its exhibition. “No doubt, they are important for us, and not surprisingly, the interest is definitely there to welcome them back to our shows.” Thus, it is probably only a matter of time when that happens.
Frank Gauss’ confidence for the near future is a genuine one. The ideas and concepts he shares indicates his, and that of the Eurobike team’s flexibility to adopt to the current market and industry situation. The Eurobike Media Days as concept will keep its established path. The next event is scheduled for, July 4 2018 and will end on Friday, July 6 2018 in the picturesque Tyrolian region of Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis.
He says, “I am excited to present the new venue which features a stunning backdrop and unparalleled test ground. The region provides great infrastructure too.” This year the organisers enabled exhibitors, who want to showcase their products at the main Eurobike show too, to merge the two events. That comes in handy for journalists too. The two venues are close, making meeting with industry people much easier.
“It is new for everybody, and we are excited to see how that works out” says Frank Gauss, full of enthusiasm. “The expectations are high. That being said, this request, to predate the events, has mainly been wished by the industry. So we initiated it as soon as we could.”
The brand Eurobike show lives on and tries to live up to its reputation to meet the industry and market demands. I deem events like the Eurobike Media Days kind of sub-brands of the main show which contributes immensely to the whole concept. It has been accepted by all, and proves to be a winning formula.
It remains to be seen how the next edition of the Eurobike Media Days unfolds. But if the components – tranquil environment, relaxed atmosphere, cheerful vibe and impeccable test opportunities – stay as they are, chances are good that another successful event will follow.