EVENT: TAIPEI CYCLE 2015
(President Ma Yng-jeou at the opening ceremony of Taipei Cycle 2015)
The recent Taipei Cycle 2015 is what we would like to call "An Information Avalanche". With more than a thousand booths and hundreds of brand names to visit, we were constantly in a state of distraction. Distracted because it happened so often during the exhibition that we were barely into a booth and starting a short chat with the exhibitors when we notice something interesting or a mini press conference starting a few booths away. And on top of these hustle and bustle, there are the forums and award ceremonies. We braved through the jungle of information and arrived at these essence of the show. Read on for the gist!
(Taiwan Excellence Pavilion)
TAIPEI CYCLE 2015
Taipei Cycle is one of the more important bicycle trade events that the world watches over every year (next to Interbike and Eurobike). In Asia, this is probably the most established bicycle trade exhibition. Taipei Cycle 2015 continued this tradition.
Organized by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) with co-organizers Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA), Taiwan Transportation Vehicle Manufacturers Association (TTVMA) and Taiwan Rubber & Elastromer Industries Association (TREIA) in conjunction with Taipei International Sporting Goods Show (42nd Edition), the exhibition opened to trade visitors from 18th – 20th March 2015 and subsequently to the public on 21st March 2015 at TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall. The exhibition featured 1,104 exhibitors (local and overseas) comprising 3,307 booth spaces.
In a nutshell, Taipei Cycle 2015 is an exhibition for complete bicycles, bicycle components and accessories and Light Electric Vehicles (LEV) with themed sections like Taiwan Excellence Pavilion, EU Pavilion, France Pavilion, Japan Pavilion and Light Electric Pavilion.
From a trade point of view, Taipei Cycle exhibitions are one of the most powerful platforms in Asia for sporting goods professionals to interact, and to promote industrial development through innovation. Besides the business to visitors interactions, 2 high profile competitions were also organized to promote innovation in the bicycle industry and sporting good industry – Taipei Cycle d&i Awards and TaiSPO All-Stars Awards.
To assist the industry in seizing international business opportunities, TAITRA has also organized several forums. The 2015 Bicycle trend Forum, with the theme "Vision of Taiwan Cycling Industry" saw the invited speakers discussed about the development of cycling culture, building cycling-friendly environment and connecting cycling with health promotion. (Ed: Bikezilla was pleasantly surprised at these mentioned topics as these seem like the issues the world is still finding an optimal solution to. We are glad to be a media that is concerned with these topics since our inception.)
Besides the above mentioned competitions and forums, there were also other competitions. The International Bicycle Design Competition (IBDC) aims to promote bicycle product design worldwide by uniting different design concepts and design cultures and saw original entries from IBDC members. Entries were made into prototypes and judged based on innovation, manufacturability, marketability and others (ergonomics, appearance and other originality criteria) with awards supported by big names like Giant and Merida.
( IBDC Awards Ceremony)
(Team Kuota Press Conference)
EXTRACTING THE GOODNESS OF TAIPEI CYCLE 2015
So what are we so hyped about the Taipei Cycle Exhibitions?
We visit the exhibition with a few things in mind:
(1) Trend Spotting
A quick look around the exhibition and it is apparent that the trend is going towards digital integration, green movement, pedal-assist designs and product improvements – the usual lighter, stronger, faster bits. The exhibition also shows us which country is leading in which cycling culture/trend. The European community seems like they are still the undisputed leader in urban and commuter bicycles culture while the Americans are still the leader in the more fun-loving adrenalin-pumped segments of cycling. At least, that's the impression one gets thus far.
(2) New product lines in the flesh
The exhibition also gives visitors a first-hand sneak peek at what's making their way to the stores soon. But, do not have too high an expectation in this department as exhibitions are places where product owners look out for prospective distributors, retailers and business-to-business working partners. Most brands that are already well distributed may not see a further need to have too big a booth or even a need to have a booth at all. That doesn't mean they do not have new products to showcase, they just do not see a need to send a team for a said event. Of course, mega brands like SRAM and Shimano would have their mega booths at the exhibition as always to establish their strong presence and take the chance to meet their regional distributors and retailers. That said, we saw stuff that made us drool.
This is perhaps the most important aspect of the exhibition. All the emails and phone calls between working partners cannot compare to a good face-to-face meet. A chance to put a face to the name, re-kindle bonds, tie-up loose ends, start new deals … that's what makes exhibitions like these such a powerful platform for trade and innovation.
Taipei Cycle is not a consumer event per se. But, it is, like all other bike exhibitions, the place where consumers look towards for news of what's to come for the months or years ahead. So here's a photo recap of what was at the exhibition. We will be providing updates on the new products and innovations that we sneak-peeked once we get our hands on more details! Meanwhile enjoy the RIDE!
For more photos of Taipei Cycle, visit our gallery now!
Special thanks to Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) for making this coverage possible.
(Group photo session at Taipei Cycle Opening Ceremony)
(Jeff Kendall-Weed, WTB International Sales and also a professional rider)
(President Ma Yng-jeou and the rest of the VIPs giving the thumbs-up for the exhibition at the opening ceremony of Taipei Cycle 2015)
(Many exhibitors display brands they manufactured as a benchmark of their workmanship quality)
(All you need to know when shopping for gloves)
(36" Hybrid MTB! Don't worry, this is just a proto-type for novelty's sake)
(The eco-friendly sandwich bike)
(Outdoor LEV Demo area)