Sea Otter Europe and Euromobility: the road to becoming a benchmark
Just a few days before the start of the seventh edition of Sea Otter Europe, the head of the event, Albert Balcells, admits to “already getting the final preparations in and can’t wait to get going”.
In 2017 an adventure began, which “we started out with a bit of trepidation and fear,” says Albert “rather normal for these big events, but with the conviction that it could work, as we were aware that there was a demand from the business community, cyclists and fans to have a place to meet.”
A brand-new event that touches upon all areas of cycling: this is how Sea Otter Europe was born.
“Looking back, it was the right approach,” says Albert. He and his team were quick to make their move: “When we started talking to brands, we saw it was readily being accepted and that had us move ahead with consolidating an event that, seven years on, has become a benchmark. Little did we think at the time that we could achieve such figures.”
What figures exactly?
400 brands at more than 250 stands over three days of non-stop cycling from 22 to 24 September, drawing around 60,000 visitors and with more than 150 accredited journalists expected to attend.
A cross-cutting event
For Albert Balcells, “what pleases us most is that this event cuts across all facets. There is room for all types here; people who are bike fans to a greater or lesser degree come to see new products from well-known brands and to discover others just getting started. No matter what kind of sport you want to do, you can enjoy it here.”
“We have about 500 bicycles to test,” he says. That figure encompasses 40 brands, which include 3T, Abus, Andreanimhs (Ohlins), Basso Bikes, Beeq, Bergamont, Bewatt, BH, BMC, Campagnolo, Canyon, Cinelli, Classified, Colnago, Corratec, Cube, Ecobike, Factor bikes, Felt, Fulgur, Garmin, GASGAS, Guava bike, Husqvarna, Lee Cougan, Leoncycle, Megamo, Merida Bikes, MMR, Moustache bikes, Norco, Orbea, Riese & Muller, Rossignol bikes, Rotwild, Sram, Tenways, Valeo Cycle, Velo de Ville, Voltaway, Wahoo, What a bike.
So “we have the event we wanted, a place where everyone is welcome. The sector has understood this and they have the option of contacting the 60,000 visitors who come to the fair. It is not an exclusively professional event, nor is it an event solely for the general public; it is that mix which has given it a different touch compared to existing options”.
Euro Mobility Festival, for a better world
With a consolidated Sea Otter Europe, “the strongest commitment we can make is to increase the number of brands and space for the EMF (Euro Mobility Festival), which focuses on urban bicycle mobility. We have worked intensively on THIS AREA,” says Albert.
What is true is that the future lies in the EMF: “Although we have mobility brands scattered throughout the Sea Otter, such as Shimano and Canyon, a new space has emerged for those brands that want to convey themselves as urban bicycles, that they are making proposals to improve mobility in cities, in terms of sustainability”.
In this space, there will be a place for RACC and the Mobility Cluster, in short, important agents to push proposals forward that lead to better cities to live and move around in.
“It is a goal that we humbly make our own,” Albert adds.
All this in addition to the regular Sea Otter Europe programme, with a strong emphasis on sports: Continental Cup eliminator, short track, XC Marathon, gravel, cycle tourism… “everything to continue shaping the cycling culture that Girona, the city and the province appreciate so much”
A group of people who give their all
An important campaign that demands the best from the team: “We sleep soundly, I admit, as we drop straight into our beds. The nights are short, as you go to bed late and get up early. There are a lot of people behind it, a great deal of work, and we end up doing twenty kilometres just getting around the grounds of the fair.”
Each edition of the Sea Otter starts when the previous one finishes and even beforehand. We already have new products lined up for 2024, we work towards the future, we stay on top of what’s trending, we schedule product presentations with the brands… as you know, this requires staying one step ahead”.
“Even if the event itself is just a given weekend, you have to stay on it 365 days a year,” Albert concludes.