Remember Bike2000, the one-day cycle trade seminars organised in the UK in the late 90s? Imagine the same sort of thing but held over two days, and in Germany. The seven year old Fahrrad.Markt.Zukunft congress has now changed into Bike.Market.Future and aims to attract IBDs from across Europe. A high-quality seminar programme is being lined up for the February 04 event.

German trade congress gets Euro-wide makeover

Bike.Market.Future 2004 is organised by ETRA, the European two-wheeler trade association, and Velo:Konzept, a German bike expo and marketing company.

ETRA’s Annick Roetynck of Belgium – who attended a number of Bike2000’s in the UK – is co-organiser and asks the following questions:

"The overhead costs of a bicycle shop increase every year, but which bicycle retailer knows for certain that his income will grow directly proportional? How many bicycle dealers join forces with colleagues with a view to stimulating cycle usage in their area, thus creating jointly a growth market? How many dealers and suppliers work together in order to improve profit margins? Who confers on innovative marketing ideas or on improving the efficiency of management? Who investigates and knows consumers’ needs and requirements? Who discusses how to develop those consumer demands into new products? Who knows the technical ins and outs of new products before being confronted with them at the workshop? Who feels he has enough staff and is perfectly in control of human resources management? Who knows the national and European legislation that has a direct impact on his business? Who is just running his business and who is building a business with the foresight of transferring it to a competent successor?"

Er, those IBDs who attend Bike.Market.Future 2004, perchance?

ETRA committee members attended Fahrrad.Markt.Zukunft earlier this year and asked congress promoter Velo:Konzept to make the event pan-European, not just Germany-focussed.

"Any bicycle dealer who wants to stop running his business and start building a future for his business instead cannot be absent from Bike.Market.Future 2004," promises Roetynck.

The congress will be held on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th February 2004 in the Bremen Exhibition Centre, Germany.

Alongside the congress there will be a modest expo area, "which is not so much about product presentation but all about the promotion and the improvement of the contact between retailers and their suppliers," said Roetynck.

Trade mag Bike Europe "will attend to the international communication on the event and provide logistical support."

Seminar topics will include talks from Professor Birgit Mager from Koln University. She will explain “service design” or how to improve the quality of service thus offering consumers added value. A manager from "a leading European bike brand" will explain his views on the future of European IBDs compared to mass-distribution.

ETRA’s Roetynck will expound on European legislation that impacts IBDs. Hans van Vliet, planning director at Shimano Europe, will propose new financial partnerships between suppliers and dealer. Bike Europe’s Jack Oortwijn will talk about just-in-time production of bicycles and bike components.

The event’s website is in German, with a clickable option on the left hand side to switch to English.


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