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Tuesday 16th June 2020

INTERMOT and AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building 2020 Canceled

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Koelnmesse, the international exhibition center at Cologne, Germany (that organizes the biennial INTERMOT expo for the German motorcycle trade association/IVM), has announced that it has had to cancel this year's planned October INTERMOT.

Therefore, AMD will not be able to stage this year's much-anticipated World Championship of Custom Bike Building at the venue and time planned. With nearly 100 custom bikes already slated to compete, and builders expected to travel to the event from some 30 or so countries, this is obviously a blow for the custom bike market.

However, there are bigger issues at play here. Koelnmesse stated that it "took this decision not least in the interest of the health of exhibitors and visitors. In contrast to trade fairs with a B2B orientation, major events such as INTERMOT draw tens of thousands of private visitors on all days of the trade fair; the hall space is limited and the time available is short.

"Spatial proximity and the shared experience of the trade fair form an integral part of the character of this event. At this point in time, the specifications currently in effect that have been issued by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI - the German government health institute), policy makers and the public authorities cannot be met at major events. This is compounded by uncertainties on the part of numerous customers and the complicated travel situation.

The next INTERMOT will be from 5-9 October 2022 in Cologne. "We regret that the overall situation leaves us no other choice."

'uncertainty is the only certainty'

Like all exhibition organizers throughout the world, Koelnmesse is aware that 2020 is clearly going to prove to be a watershed year in terms of how consumer and B2B trade fairs and exhibitions are operated. They went on to say that in future, such events "will incorporate more hybrid elements to supplement the on-site experience with added digital reach. All stakeholders involved now have enough time to prepare accordingly for the next INTERMOT in Cologne, and to make it, once again, the meeting place of the international motorcycle community.

"We have hosted digital formats, in planning, that will present vehicle manufacturers' world premières for the 2021 season, together with innovations and industry news from the parts, accessories and apparel segments. There are also plans for a B2B talk format that will discuss 'opportunities after the coronavirus crisis.'

"All of the digital INTERMOT events are scheduled for the end of 2020 and will be broadcast as news streams to the global motorcycle community."

However, there are now a difficult series of decisions ahead for the AMD World Championship. Owner and AMD Publisher Robin Bradley says: "We unequivocally back the organizer's decision - it has been a tough call, but regardless of how the next few months look in public health terms, the safety of all concerned is not helped by taking risks that cannot be fully mitigated.

"If INTERMOT still wishes to host the 'AMD' as part of its INTERMOT Customized involvement in the custom motorcycle market in October 2022, then great, that is certainly something that we would look at.

"But that is more than two years ahead and much could change and evolve in that time. In the meantime therefore, and with nearly 100 bikes already slated to compete in October this year, we will use the next few months to explore all possible alternate options and opportunities to stage an AMD World Championship in 2021 once it is apparent that the public health issues are fully under control.

"Whether or not that would be in the spring, summer or the autumn - or whether or not it would prove to be practical at all - remains to be seen. At this stage uncertainty is the only thing we can be sure of!"

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