The largest motorcycle fair in Colombia — and one of the biggest in Latin America — once again came to Medellín this month.
From May 4-7, the 11th edition of the Feria de las 2 Ruedas brought together some 60,000 people, according to the show’s organizers, for four days of business dealings, sales meetings, educational sessions, bike exhibitions, and riding displays.
The fair is divided into two parts, with the first two days dedicated to industry insiders and the following weekend days open to the general public that just want to see some cool motorcycles.
Guillermo Pabón is the founder and leader of Prisma Events, the organizer of Feria de las 2 Ruedas and he took the time to speak more about his experience and the industry with Loren Moss, executive editor of Finance Colombia.
The following is a video of their conversation in Spanish with an English transcription below.
Loren Moss: I’m Loren Moss, here with Guillermo Pabón, the organizer of the Feria de los 2 Ruedas, in its 12th year. Thanks for inviting us of all the members of the media and press. This is my third year here at this event and what I see that is very impressive is that each year is bigger and is better organized. I don’t mean it was not well organized before. But, always, each year is better and better. So, I want to ask you, what is the key of the success that you have had with this wonderful event here in Medellín?
Guillermo Pabón: OK, a very special greeting to our followers, for all that are watching us. Medellín has become consolidated as the capital of motorcycles in Latin America because it’s a city that has developed the industry strongly.
Today, in Colombia, there are about eight million motorcycles rolling. They represent 57% of the vehicles of this country. All this experience in all these years, logically, has helped the Feria to continue growing along with the industry and become a required point of entry for Latin America, for Colombia, and of course, now for Europe, which has its eyes set in Latin America.
The success, the advances, what we find each year, is the result of a dynamic industry that has been improved step by step. We have worked with discipline — with aim, with concentration, with lots of effort and responsibility — to deliver each year for the exhibitors, the motorcyclist community, and international audience.
Today, we have the presence of 400 exhibitors from 32 countries and an international press of 11 countries. And, as you have seen, a major public influence. Attendance has increased almost 20% compared to last year. We have almost reached 70,000 people. This is the most visited fair of all that take place in Medellín. So, in Medellín — a business city — a city of business tourism has opened the doors to this fair, and today we present it pridefully.
Loren Moss: It’s fascinating. This fair has about 70,000 participants! I imagine that there are much more than residents of Medellín among all the people that are moving around. I imagine the hotels must be fully occupied.
Guillermo Pabón: Yes, we have an occupation rate that almost reaches the 80% to 85%. Many motorcyclists from other cities have chosen Medellín this weekend to check the brands, the latest models, and to see what Is there in terms of clothing, equipment, and security products.
There are many enterprisers from Central and South America seeking to make businesses with the brands that are here, which are not all Colombian. There are brands from abroad and obviously Colombia being in the center of the Americas, it’s an equidistant point for doing business in all of Latin America.
Loren Moss: Right. I have met other journalists from Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Italy. It’s impressive. You have businessmen who have products from China, India, from United States being introduced here in Colombia. So, one more question is: How can you keep on growing? Because it seems to me that you have the entire Plaza Mayor here in Medellín. What are you going to do to bring more brands and attendees next year?
Guillermo Pabón: Ok, as I told you before behind the scenes, you are going to keep me up at night with that question. It’s true, we must begin to expand the project within the spaces that Plaza Mayor has. We will have to adapt some of the areas that this space has. But, OK,, now you won’t let me sleep with that question.
We must think how we are going to develop this project, but for sure we will continue expanding. We will keep on being very strong, supporting the social economy and the region’s economy. Because the fair generates more than 6,000 jobs, between the direct and the indirect. There’s a very important economic activity around the fair — including restaurants, transportation, stand design. So, the faire represents an important contribution not only economically — but socially as well — since it includes entertainment, sports, culture, and entertainment..
Loren Moss: I like the “I Don’t Buy Stolen” campaign. And, For example, I like that this year more and more electric motorcycles are being presented, which has a very positive impact in the environment and in culture.
Guillermo Pabón: That’s right! We’ve also wanted to generate those spaces for the sustainable mobility. Electric motorcycles and bicycles are becoming more important each day. I just arrived from an Italian fair, and I saw a very strong development of the electronic bicycles and motorcycles. The brands have the gas motorcycle, the electric motorcycle and the electric bicycle.
Some 60% of all the important brands of motorcycles worldwide already have these three: gas, electric motorcycle, and bicycle. That’s a reality, I believe, that Latin America will realize in maybe eight years. Because the taxes for those electric bicycles are very expensive, at least in Colombia and in most of the countries. If the governments want to have a sustainable mobility, they must lower the taxes for the electric mobility.