Editorial comment: Its show time
Those in Scotland and particularly Aberdeenshire may not agree, but normally April marks the end of winter and the coming of spring. In tyre markets across Europe this often means the re-introduction and re-fitting of summer tyres that have been nestled in “hotels” during the cold months. In fact those running Goodyear Dunlop’s HiQ retail franchise twitter account began prompting consumers to change back to summer tyres on 26 March. There’s not room to get into a discussion on the whys and wherefores of this particular approach here. Instead let’s highlight something else the seasonal change brings with it – trade shows.
True, 2012 has already witnessed a few in various further flung parts of the world than the UK and Europe, but April signifies the start of show season proper as far as this region’s tyre business is concerned. Three shows that that are of particular to significance to tyre aficionados during the next sixth months are the Commercial Vehicle show held 24-26 April at the NEC in Birmingham; Reifen 2012 (5-8 June) in Essen, Germany and Brityrex 2012 (9-11 October) at Event City, Manchester here in the UK. Tyres & Accessories has already previewed some of the announcements to come at the CV Show which is running as this magazine is distributed across is readership, but amongst the most notable features are the free industry seminars being run by Bridgestone and its Truck Point retail network, GT Radial’s presentation of its first commercially distributed retread and Bandvulc’s unveiling of its own bespoke labelling format.
In addition to features on tyre pressure monitoring systems and our annual foray into the world of wheels, this month’s magazine contains 20 pages of coverage of the forthcoming Essen Show. This begins on page 64 of this issue and concludes in next month’s May edition, where we will be showcasing all the late breaking news that immediately precedes the event itself. The other two events may start and finish chronologically sooner, but with just six months to go before Brityrex 2012 is upon us, it is worth looking forward to what the UK’s only dedicated tyre exhibition has in store.
First off you have to recognise the development that has taken place with this show. When I started working in this industry Brityrex was spread across a number of small halls in the mid-size Harrogate, Yorkshire exhibition venue. Despite the quality of businesses in attendance and of exhibits on show, this led to some criticism (particularly from international visitors) that not only did this go some way towards fragmenting the strength of this unique show, but also that the geographical position of the expo centre meant that those situated in some of the largest British population centres (not to mention those coming from further afield) had to travel further than they would expect to attend and support the show initiative.
In retrospect it was clear that the event had outgrown this venue and the next event (Brityrex 2007) saw exhibition organisers ECI International take the bold step of moving to a much larger single hall arrangement at the well-known GMEX centre, partnering the increasingly popular event with the also well-attended NTDA annual dinner and TAFF Awards.
Two shows later, ECI have opted to take another step forward, again putting the logistical concerns of exhibitors and visitors alike centre stage, moving October’s Brityrex to the brand new purpose designed Media City venue. Still in close proximity to Manchester and the motorways and airports that connect it with the rest of Britain and the world, Media City offers a larger, more high-tech space than ever before.
All of this allows Brityrex 2012 to offer the industry further opportunities such as a series of technical seminars and demonstrations by industry experts. Organised by the NTDA and TIF seminar topics will include: tyre pressure monitoring systems, tyre labelling legislation and the new tyre repair standard BSAU159G. So between 9 and 11 October it will be “show time” for Brityrex 2012. But as we can see, the exhibition season starts now.