COLOGNE, Germany — The organizers of the Tire Cologne trade show are describing the inaugural event as a success despite the visitor count falling short of their expectations.
Tire Cologne, which ran May 30 through June 2 at the Cologne Trade Fair, drew 16,000 visitors over the show's four day-run, short of the expo organizers' goal of 20,000.
Nonetheless, the organizers — the KoelnMesse G.m.b.H. and Bundes Reifen Verband — were satisfied with how the show turned out, saying the majority of the 533 exhibitors expressed satisfaction at the quality of those attending the show.
KoelnMesse noted that roughly 60 percent of the visitors came from outside of Germany, with as many as 113 countries of origin identified, including the U.S.
Surveys carried out during the show revealed that more than 80 percent of the visitors said they were "very satifisfied" with show's range of exhibitors and would recommend the event to colleagues.
"These positive assessments encourage us to develop further conceptual ideas that will strengthen the industry for future challenges," according to Katharina Hama, managing director of KoelnMesse.
Among the 533 exhibitors were 130-plus tire producers, including representatives of the 25 largest companies worldwide. Two-thirds of the exhibitors are based outside of Germany, with the strongest representation from Italy, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Turkey.
This was the first year for a major tire industry trade show in Cologne, after decades of an industry trade show, Reifen, in Germany taking place in Essen. Four years ago the BRV — the German tire and retreaders' association — disclosed it was breaking ranks with Reifen organizer Messe Essen G.m.b.H. and instead allying with KoelnMesse to establish a competing event in Cologne.
That prompted Messe Essen in 2016 to form an alliance with Messe Frankfurt and meld the Reifen show with the Automechanika aftermarket industry trade show held biennially in Frankfurt.
BRV Chairman Stephan Helm noted that the inaugural Tire Cologne also incorporated other tire industry events, including a Global Retreading Conference organized by BIPAVER, "Future Tire Conference," organized by European Rubber Journal, a Tire Business sister publication, and a tire/rubber recycling conference.
The organizers have scheduled the next Tire Cologne for June 9-12, 2020.
As for the Reifen event, that will be part of this year's Automechanika in Frankfurt, running Sept. 11-15 at the Frankfurt Trade Fair. A scan of the early exhibitors' list shows only a handful of tire companies signed up to exhibit as yet.