The world’s leading bicycle lifestyle show expands to Vienna in 2016
With its contemporary curator-concept, its festival-atmosphere, trendy bycicles reaching from start-up brands to global players, its stylish fashion and accessoire selection and iconic events the BERLINER FAHRRADSCHAU is an independent and authentic hotspot of bycicle culture. In its seventh year this event expands to Vienna and will guarantee an intelligent mix of velophile passion on six exhibition areas in the Marx-Halle.
Meet us from 21. – 23. October and experience AMBITION!, URBAN LIFESTYLE, HANDMADE, VELO COUTURE®, TRAVEL & TOUR, and E-MOBILITY
An interview with Fares Gabriel Hadid, CEO of the Berliner Fahrradschau and the Berlin Bicycle Week, about the innovative trade show concept, the meaning of urban cycling and why B-2-C is the new B-2-B.
The Berliner Fahrradschau (BFS) along with its new offshoot the Wiener Fahrradschau (premiering 21. to 23.10.16 in Vienna, Austria) are the biggest bicycle-lifestyle trade shows on the international cycling scene. The man behind the trade shows is not short of international experience either: Fares Gabriel Hadid. Before graduating in law he made rock music as a teen and later ran an internationally successful music consulting business. As a fashion specialist, he then played a key role in the rise and success of the Berlin-based urban wear trade show Bread & Butter. Above all the success stands his passion that he pours into all his endeavors. But there is one passion that clearly stands out: cycling.
It was his vision and direction that made the BFS into what it is today. His credo became the show’s hashtag #cyclingunites. „Everyone has a personal story to tell when it comes to cycling“ according to Fares. What’s his story? He pauses and thinks. It all started with a Rixe kids bike, a present from his godfather. Later he competed in road races as part of the Bavarian racing team. Up until today he is a passionate road racer and all around bicycle enthusiast.
A few questions for the man who has transformed a trade show into an annual lifestyle festival:
1. Fares, what makes your events so special?
The people that attend our shows. From the investment banker to the bike courier, they all come together at the Fahrradschau. This mix creates an incredibly relaxed atmosphere. The Fahrradschau has felt like a family get-together for years now, and that is how it’s supposed to be. Everyone who is passionate about cycling meets at our shows. We have the mountain bikers, the fixie scene, the cargo bikers as well as the ambitious road racers. We all have one thing in common: the joy we feel when cycling. That’s why #cyclingunites.
Apart from that, we have high-quality standards. This starts with the exhibiting brands, the carefully curated products all the way to the catering at the shows. I think you can feel this when attending – our attention to detail is what makes our shows unique and special.
It’s also important for us to treat every brand equally when it comes to the booths. Big and small brands all receive the same expo space to present their products in the best way possible. There is no competition about who has the biggest and most gnarly booth. That is also why we have recently decided against a major expansion of our Berlin show. To keep the good vibes is our highest priority and to bring these vibes to Vienna and other cities is our big goal for the future.
2. What is a more suitable description – show or trade show?
The Berlin Bicycle Week is a week packed with experiences and events. The Fahrradschau, on the other hand, is definitely a trade show. However, a further development of what is usually conceived as a bike trade show. The Fahrradschau is a modern interpretation of a trade show focusing on the experience for the consumer while addressing the growing issues of brands and manufacturers.
3. Could you please explain this in more detail?
Well, two factors play a role here. For one, consumers today are very picky and demanding. They not only want the important information, the best quality, and the best service – they also want to be entertained. In the future brands will have to convince their customers with a different approach, especially when looking at the premium segment where quality differences are marginal. Consumers want to see products in an authentic context and they want to identify themselves with the products. To achieve this, you have to do more than to just display a bicycle on a bike rack along a few technical specs. To satisfy the consumer’s needs and to create an emotional attachment to a brand, you have to work with stories that can actively be experienced by the consumers.
Manufacturers with traditional distribution channels are often having difficulties adjusting to this new development. Aside from special concept stores, there is little to no room for branding messages in traditional retail stores. The media can only transport these experiences up to a certain point. So where do consumers and brands meet? That’s why we have created a trade show that allows manufacturers to emotionalize their brand and through this process get in direct contact with potential customers. This also takes some of the weight off of the retailer’s shoulders. On top of that, we will also actively help brands to develop their stories if they haven’t done so already.
It was always clear to me that our trade show wouldn’t be a business-to-business show, but a business-to-consumer trade show. We want to be close to the people. Close to the individual developments and disciplines such as mountain bike, BMX or the bike-punk scene. More importantly we want to attract the general public: For example, people who use cargo bikes instead of cars and who see cycling as a lifestyle but also as a functional mode of transport.
4. So it’s a pure B2C trade show?
No, not at all. B2C is the new B2B! While consumers interact with manufacturers, we are creating a communication platform for manufacturers and retailers from different cities. This platform becomes one with the B2C area when viewing it from the outside. In the background, however, contacts are being made, synergies tested and new partnerships are formed. The times when you had to choose between either B2B or B2C are long gone.