The show will be staged in September 2002 at Islington’s Business Design Centre.
This is the venue championed by Bob Chicken Snr for nearly ten years. He sunk his own cash into plans for IBEX, the international bicycle exhibition, but the UK cycle industry never played ball.
Chicken Snr – praised today for his tenacity by the exhibition director – is on the advisory board of Cycle but the show is owned by the Business Design Centre.
The BDC has been seeking sponsors and exhibitors for the show since late summer but preferred not to launch officially until a solid core of exhibitors could be wheeled out (these now include Raleigh, Falcon, Dawes, Yellow Ltd. and others).
However, the dates for the show (26-29th September 2002, Thursday through to
Sunday) were included in the diary section of the BikeBizBible and Cycle was briefly mentioned in the last issue of BicycleBusiness.
The exhibition director, employed by the Business Design Centre, is Mick
Bennett, formerly of Sport for Television.
"This show has the potential to raise the profile of the industry in this country to new heights," claimed Bennett at this morning’s official launch at
"With everyone pulling together we can create a vibrant event which captures the imagination of the public and the media. For too long the industry has failed to gain the positive media coverage and awareness that it deserves. Why should national shows for cars and boats be so successful and overshadow an industry which can justifiably claim to sell more units than either of them?"
By holding the show in late September, Bennett believes the trade and consumers will be able to see genuinely new products.
Traditionally, public UK cycle shows have opted for Spring in order to capitalise on the resurgence of cycling after the winter months. International trade shows are held in the Autumn because this is when the majority of new products are launched, especially bikes.
The Business Design Centre has 6000 sq m of exhibition space plus support services such as many seminar rooms, a conference centre, and an adjacent Hilton hotel. The centre is close to Kings Cross railway station.
The target is for 20 000 show visitors over four days. Future get nearly 40 000 at their three day Bike shows at the NEC in Birmingham.
As well as fashion shows, a cycle try-out area, roller racing, seminars, and celebrity appearances there are also plans to close adjacent streets on one or more days to stage road race criteriums.
At the launch – an extremely swish one for the bike trade, and extremely positive, too – Bennett said Cycle was endorsed by British Cycling, Cyclists Touring Club, London Cycling Campaign, Transport for London, National Byway and Sustrans.
"An industry such as cycling deserves a national show in the nation’s capital to demonstrate to both the trade and the general public just how central and dynamic a role it plays in our society. It will also give us the opportunity to attract the positive media coverage and awareness it deserves on a national scale and act as a catalyst for growth," said Bennett.
"We are confident that Cycle 2002 can achieve so many positive things for the cycle industry that, quite frankly, we are staggered that so many years have elapsed since a show like this has been staged in London.
"We feel that London is the right place and that September is the right time. Other European countries stage their cycle shows in this period to show off their new ranges for the coming season. Why are we different?
"We ask distributors to consider re-assessing the need for all of their own regional travelling road shows in the light of the opportunities that Cycle 2002 now offers them. Surely, it makes sense for suppliers to come together to exhibit their new products to the trade at one venue for a limited number of days rather than spend much more time in touring the country?"
At lunch at nearby Fredericks, an Islington dining institution since the 1960s, the BDC’s MD Dominic Jones told bikebiz.co.uk that the BDC’s business plan includes one show launch per year. Cycle is the focus for 2002, and cash and people will be thrown at it.
Jones said it was a long-term project and a year one profit was not expected.
"Cycling deserves a professional showcase," he said.
"For too long it was pulled apart in different directions. This is a chance to pull together."
The BDC is planning a marketing and PR campaign for the show, with trade promotions to begin with in order to stimulate exhibitior interest.
Consumer interest will be generated by a PR campaign, the first part of which was announced today.
Earlier this morning, London’s Evening Standard newspaper finally agreed to be a core supporter of the show. The paper will distribute a 16-page magazine about the show and there will be regular editorial mentions.
Tel: 020 7359 3535
At Fredericks a raffle has held. Many prizes were awarded (mostly from Phil Griffiths and Yellow Ltd) but it was Michael Bennett’s table which won the great majority of the prizes, including Bob Chicken who said he’d wear his replica race jersey on the next Centenary Club ride.
Dominic Jones, MD of the Business Design Centre, was presented with a pair of Rudy Project sunglasses.
Superintendent Andy Smith of the Islington Borough Division of the Metropolitan Police received six Raleigh bikes from Raleigh executive chairman Philip Darnton. Smith is a cyclist and had wanted to form a bike unit for some time. A cycle show on his doorstep was the impetus and Raleigh stepped in to provide the bikes.
Eurosport commentator and tricycle afficiando David Duffield said he would make just a short speech. And, for Duffield, it was surprisingly short. Still stream of consciousness stuff mind. He waved a newspaper and said cycling should get more mainstream media coverage, and then remembered the great London cycle shows of the 1950s…