The Tire Cologne on why it moved to 2021
In light of the news that Koelnmesse took the decision to delay The Tire Cologne until 2021, Tyres & Accessories interviewed communications manager, Voelker de Cloedt in order to find out more about the thinking behind the move as well as the particular dates the company has chosen. The conversation began with a question about the nature of physical exhibitions in light of analysts reports suggesting we could be witnessing to transition of the sector to virtual shows.
Tyres & Accessories: What are the strengths of continuing to meet together for exhibitions as opposed to “virtual” options we saw at the Geneva Motor Show?
The Tire Cologne (TTC): Trade fairs as a communication exchange, as a networking platform, remain an important instrument. The direct exchange about products and topics, the contact from person to person is irreplaceable. Business life is relationship life, virtual platforms are no substitute for the physical, haptic trade fair experience. Product developments are becoming more and more complex, the cycles are becoming faster in some cases – this naturally increases the need for explanations. Our task is to meet the expectations of the respective industries. This means knowing the currently relevant players on the manufacturer and demand side, sensing and picking up on trends and networking everything.
T&A: What was the strategy regarding the new dates of The Tire Cologne?
TTC: When searching a new date for The Tire Cologne, we have to find a date that matches the rhythm of the industry in the interests of our exhibitors and visitors. Suspending The Tire Cologne now and only returning to it in June 2022 for rhythm reasons would mean a four-year interruption. But the industry needs a strong business platform, especially in phases of consolidation and major changes. And we want to offer this platform with The Tire Cologne. For scheduling there are of course numerous new dates of trade fairs worldwide which have to be taken into account and at the same time with the availability at our exhibition centre for holding an event of this size is limited. After all, a trade fair does not only consist of the actual duration of the fair, but also construction and dismantling times must be taken into account in the planning. After careful consideration of all options and feasibility, only a small time window remained in our 2021 trade fair calendar, which we then decided on.
T&A: Do you see the new dates as a clash with Autopromotec 2021 in Bologna?
TTC: We do not want to build up unnecessary competition, but there was no alternative time schedule for us. The current crisis hits us all and we believe that after a hopefully soon improvement we all need strong fairs to boost business again.
T&A: Will exhibitors invest in both shows or be forced to choose?
TTC: Two strong trade fairs in short succession are certainly burdensome for exhibitors at first glance. But from our point of view, after a crisis has been overcome, they are also the right and important impulse to bring the industry back to the forefront. And that helps everyone!
T&A: Autopromotec’s organisers and specifically Renzo Servadei have described the revised Tire Cologne dates as “playing survival of the fittest”, what is your response?
TTC: The particular challenges we all currently face leave little or no room for manoeuvre. For us, the newly set date is the only option for holding The Tire Cologne in 2021. We didn’t want to suspend The Tire Cologne for four years after its successful premiere in 2018, so we looked for an alternative date in 2021 and, after weighing up all the options, found one and set it.