Despite the ongoing slump in demand and high inventory levels, the mood at Taipei Cycle Show 2023 was surprisingly upbeat. Counting more than 4200 overseas visitors from 81 countries, Asia’s leading bicycle show successfully rebounded from its pandemic-induced hiatus.
At what was its first full-format edition after a three-year break enforced by the Covid pandemic, this year’s Taipei Cycle Show didn’t quite reach pre-pandemic attendance levels. Booth bookings of overseas exhibitors stood at roughly 80 percent of 2019’s numbers, with many of the smaller suppliers from China and Hong Kong that usually exhibited on the fifth floor absent, some due to visa issues. In the end the list of exhibitors ran to 881 lines, and while some domestic companies were missing, notable newcomers such as electronics heavyweights Acer and Delta and robotic specialist Da Shiang Automation Industrial filled the floor space.
By moving the TaiSpo event from the World Trade Center to the Nangang Exhibition Center, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (Taitra) as the show organizer further added to the value of the show. After a first postponed show in 2020, an online-only edition in 2021 and a show half the usual size with no overseas visitors in 2022, the 2023 edition can be considered a large step back to pre-pandemic size and relevance. This was underlined by the presence of Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen at the opening press conference. President Tsai stressed the government’s readiness to support small to medium enterprises and get Taiwan’s bicycle industry through the current slump in demand.
Despite some tough negotiations regarding delayed shipments and pending payments, the mood at the show was surprisingly upbeat. This year’s Taipei Cycle Show resembled a long-delayed class reunion, with suppliers and buyers all enjoying in-person meetings again after countless hours spent in online chats over the last three years. Moreover, with the ongoing trend towards sustainable mobility the mid- to long-term perspective is still very promising for the bicycle industry. Unsurprisingly, sustainability issues took center stage throughout the show, as did questions on supply chain resilience and the opportunities arising from connecting e-bikes to the cloud not only for consumers, but for manufacturers, distributors and bicycle dealers as well.
When the dust settled on Saturday afternoon, the tally of domestic trade visitors stood at 14,800, with another 4200 visitors coming from overseas and 2800 consumers. This accounts for roughly 70 percent of 2019’s visitor numbers. Taipei Cycle Show Director Ethan Liu was confident that the show had taken a big step back to pre-pandemic levels. Facing first the pandemic with all its complications for global supply chains and then the current slump in demand, the bicycle industry has shown its tenacity and willingness to push through hardships, proving that what does not kill you only makes you stronger.
DigitalGo, the online format of the show is set to continue through to April 7th. As for 2024, the Taipei Cycle Show will move two weeks earlier in the calendar, taking place from March 6th to 9th.