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boat Brno
10.-13.11. 2011

International Boats and Water Sports Show

Czechs enjoy sports trade shows - Preliminary final report

The offer concerning sports and active spending of leisure time has been a great spectacle for the widest public once again. During the first three days, the quartet of trade show projects consisting of SPORT Life, Bike Brno, Caravaning Brno and boat Brno witnessed a 10% increase in number of visitors. By the end of the fourth day, 44,000 people are expected to have gone through the exhibition ground gates; at least 2,500 visitors will be coming from abroad.

The anniversary tenth year of sports trade shows welcomed 375 exhibitors from 16 countries, whose exhibitions took approximately 15,500 sq metres of exhibiting space. Sports took control over the entire fairground area, not excepting vacant spaces where running and snowboarding races took place. Stands of exhibitors and accompanying events filled ten exhibiting grounds including the largest one – P, which hosted solely Caravaning Brno show with its latest models of mobile homes and caravans.

Cycling – the Czech phenomenon – has been the dominant feature again. Bike Brno trade show was swarmed and raided by hobby cyclists, who took advantage of the unique opportunity to compare offers of various brands, learn about the latest progress and trends, and encounter Czech stars of cycling. And one can hardly say there were just a few of them. This year, there was an unprecedented number of autograph sessions, but by far the longest queues formed for autographs of Jaroslav Kulhavý, who was also crowned the “Král cyklistiky” (The King of Cycling) right there on the exhibiting grounds. In addition to him, visitors could meet Roman Kreuziger, František Raboň, Michal Prokop, Jiří Ježek, Tomáš Slavík and many other famous names of cycling. The best exhibits of Bike Brno have for the third time competed in the Bike Brno Prestige Award. E-bikes, a new phenomenon promoting bicycles as a means of transport, stuck out a mile among the exhibits, and were the topic of the fifth Bike Conference, which also presented a new Cycling Strategy of the Czech Republic.

The tenth year of SPORT Life trade show attracted predominantly fans of outdoor and winter sports who could check out many activities themselves. The entire B exhibiting hall – temporarily renamed “Easy SPORT Park” – was dedicated to indoor sports and fitness, which under the motto “pohyb – zábava – relax” (motion-fun-relaxation) allowed visitors to try both traditional and unconventional sports. The exhibition of Southmoravian Region welcomed sports stars such as Karel Abraham, Lukáš Konečný, Petr Koukal, Lukáš Krpálek and many others, who not only sat autograph sessions but showed their skills, too.

Fans of yachting and water sports got together in the Z exhibition hall. Here they could marvel new boats, consider offers of charter companies or get information on special equipment. As regards the accompanying programme, the greatest number of visitors found their way to talking with Jan Dvorský, coxswain of the historical sailing boat La Grace.

The ninth year of Caravaning Brno totally met expectations of visitors and introduced more than 200 mobile homes and trailers, most of which were 2012 models. Many of the exhibits were sold directly on-site. Czech Camping Association at its general meeting discussed new campsite classification; OSCAR Association prepared a set of lectures and expert consulting for caravan enthusiasts.

Tens of races and other sports events took place during the trade show; Brno exhibition grounds welcomed indoor European Championship in speed skating for the first time.

Traditionally a great number of people visited the KOLEM SVĚTA and BIKE TRAVEL accompanying festivals, whilst stages in the A1 and F exhibition halls hosted a four-day-long programme full of projections, discussions and fashion shows.

A few words about the trade shows

Stella Yu, owner of VELO ENTERPRISE, Taiwan:
As a company, we have been here at the Bike Brno trade show four times; I myself two times. We are producers, and we consider this show important for image promotion of our brand and for getting well-known among customers. It is substantial as far as search for new clients is concerned, even though we do have contacts in this region already. We have entered negotiations with representatives of the Czech association of bike and bicycle parts producers, with whom we discussed particularities of the local market, and the way end customers here think. In this respect, I see many similarities in behaviour of Czech and Taiwanese consumers.

Annick Roetynck, secretary general, European Twowheel Retailers’ Association ETRA:
Bike Brno is a very important trade show for Central and Eastern Europe. It is specific by focusing on bicycles as tools for practising sports, which is what makes it different from other bike trade shows in Europe, where bicycles for urban transport prevail. However, there has been really great effort at Bike Brno recently to present e-bikes, too, which I perceive as a very positive step. I hope that these efforts shall not cease for it is really difficult to push e-bike through in Eastern Europe.

Tomáš Bernard, sales manager, Specialized Eastern Europe:
Promotion of the brand and its presentation to final customers is the focussing of our presence at Bike Brno trade show. Those who visited our stand were most predominantly interested in products in the 29er category; apart from that, famous riders from our team, and mainly the results of racers such as Jaroslav Kulhavý, Michal Prokop, Roman Kreuziger and others, were a real spectacle, too.

Karel Abraham, MotoGP racer:
A have visited the SPORT Life trade show a few times before, and there have always been many interesting things for me here. I like boats and caravans, too, so I would very much like to have a look at these this year again. In my opinion, sports trade show is a superb event, where people get to learn about various kinds of sports and have the chance to see which of them they might like. Kids can choose a sport to take up – you know, I believe that every single child should do some sport. But even the more elderly can “get in touch” with sports a bit, and get necessary information before investing into the equipment.

Françoise and Claude Hervé, France, special guests at the BIKE TRAVEL festival:
We were invited to speak about our fourteen-year-long journey around the world. The Brno trade show is one of the largest meeting points of cycling enthusiast and experts in Europe, so we are very happy that we can be here.

Josef Dvorský, the coxswain of La Grace:
What a neat surprise! I had been told that it would be of no use to go to Brno. However, as I am here on Saturday, I am constantly coming across many people and friends from the “water sports” business, so I myself see the trade show very positively. And lots of people were interested in our presentation, too! It is obvious that Brno and boats have a great tradition and prospects to future.

Tomáš Kölbl, boat Master managing director:
As exhibitors, we are very much satisfied with the course of the trade show. We like the date that is set between two different boat shows, and the location which gives us the opportunity to meet not only people from Morava, but the customers from Slovakia we invited, and individual visitors for whom it is more convenient to come to Brno. From the perspective of business, Thursday and Friday were of a great interest to us as we acquired new business contacts.

Heinrich Vik, owner of Caravan Metropol:
We have been exhibiting at the Caravaning Brno trade show from its very beginning, and for we consider the show to be the best in the Czech Republic, we have been here every single year. I must admit that I was slightly nervous before the beginning of the show because I was anxious whether the current crisis, which has been spoken about since last year, affects the show in any way. But on behalf of our company I can say that we have nothing to complain about. Three potential buyers who were seriously interested came to see us, and what is more, we put a sign “SOLD” on three of our cars.

Jan Bordovský, editor in chief, Camping, Cars & Caravans:
Caravans have taken the whole of the P exhibiting hall, so the show now looks more spacious and easier to walk through and have a look at. One can certainly find great new things here, and I reckon that in comparison to the previous year, no company is absent. Quite the contrary – I actually found two or three new ones, which is great news in the current times!

Results of a preliminary statistics

In the first three days of the trade shows, Brno exhibition grounds welcomed visitors from 30 countries; approximately seven per cent of them were from abroad. The largest number of foreigners poured in from Slovakia; however, an increasing number of visitors came from Hungary and Austria. Sports trade shows are attractive mainly to people from European countries, nonetheless, individual visitors from a more distant countries, such as Afghanistan, Australia, China, Japan or Taiwan, flew in to Brno, too.

The interest among journalists has increased inter-annually, too. 267 representatives of the media from nine countries were accredited, among which 44 came from countries such as Belgium, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Greece, Slovakia, Tai-wan and Tunisia.

The next year of sports trade shows shall take place on October, 4 – 7, 2012.

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