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The tire cologne ends its first edition with 16.000 visitors



Positive debut for the new German tire exhibition. Total figures slightly below expectations, but venue, organization and city showed great potential. However, a few months are needed to let the dust settle and see how it will affect the trade fair sector.

Guido Gambassi

The Tire Cologne, which took place at the Cologne Fair Grounds from May 29 to June 1, released its final figures: 533 exhibiting companies and 70 other brands from 40 countries participated in the event, with over 16,000 visitors, almost 60% of which came from 113 different countries. Not bad for a first edition, even if the inevitable comparison with the previous edition of Reifen Essen (The Tire now being its direct competitor) showed a slight  decline in turnout, noted also by several exhibitors. However, when one takes into account the obstacles the organizers had to overcome (launching an unprecedented event, the competition with Reifen - recently acquired by Automechanika), it seems justified to celebrate the success of this first edition, with its new, functional, well organized and easily accessible facility. Furthermore, great efforts went into the contents of the show, with a number of events, meeting and opportunities for in-depth analysis. "The Tire Cologne draws its strength from international conferences such as the 'Global Retreading Conference' and 'Future Tire Conference' not to mention hot topics such as digitization, recycling and fleet management, all providing a new and lasting impetus to the show confirming that our decision in favour of Cologne as a new industrial platform was the best. Remarkable, as a first event ", comments Stephan Helm, President of BRV, the German Tire Retail and Vulcanisation Trades Association.

According to a survey, more than 80 percent of specialized visitors were very satisfied with The Tire Cologne exhibition and over 90 percent would recommend visiting the event to business partners "These positive reviews go a long way in encouraging new ideas aimed at strengthening the sector in view of future challenges," explains Katharina C. Hamma, Koelnmesse's Chief Operating Officer.

In addition to tires, wheels, services and workshop equipment, tire retreading and the use and disposal of used tires, The Tire Cologne turned the spot light on other “futuristic” themes such as digitization, recycling or fleet management, all the more important for the development of the sector. Events and meetings dedicated to these topics and the round tables with experts in special areas such as Digital Reality, Recycling Forum and Tire Fleet Lounge enjoyed large audiences.

Promoted and managed by BIPAVER, the European Retread Industry’s Trade Association, in partnership with Koelnmesse, the Global Retreading Conference was held on opening day, enriched by several speakers from around the world who supplied a complete overview of main trends and developments in the sector. The range of topics addressed by the conference ranged from market reports to best case scenarios, without neglecting technological innovations and political conditions. Likewise, during the two day "Future Tire Conference" top experts presented the most relevant future trends and developments, and discussed tomorrow’s opportunities and challenges for the tire industry. Here too, great importance was given to the implications of digital technology applied to tire design, production and supply, as well as progress on materials and production technologies.

While Koelnmesse celebrates the successful debut of the new brand, the market is waiting to see how Reifen’s long expected move to Frankfurt, scheduled for September, will take place, as well as how the next edition of Automechanika will be managed; only then, according to several operators, we will begin to see what the future balance of power between the main German trade shows will be.

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