«The focus of BUS2BUS 2022 will be on alternative drives, new infrastructures, conversion options, digital services and innovations from the supply industry», explains Kerstin-Kube Erkens, Senior Product Manager BUS2BUS, an exhibition that sees Sustainable Bus among the media partners.
The BUS2BUS 2022, scheduled for 27 and 28 April in Berlin, will be the first on-site event for the bus industry since the Corona outbreak. Last year the exhibition was held in digital way (reaching 900 attendees from 19 countries). This year the event will be back live with a program that mixes together exhibition, congresses, workshop, special events.
We see design and bus interiors as playing a key role. These are areas where much has happened in recent years. Long-distance coaches have long become designer and styling objects. They can also be personalised in terms of size and equipment. I am convinced that the increasing use of alternative drives in buses will also help to attract new customers and change the image of bus travelKerstin-Kube Erkens, Senior Product Manager BUS2BUS
BUS2BUS 2022: focus on latest bus industry trends
This year the BUS2BUS comes back live. How will the event be organized?
«The combination of a trade fair and an informative programme of stage events, comprising the Future Forum, bdo congress, as well as BUS2Specials featuring workshops, startup pitches and exhibitors’ lectures, will cover the entire spectrum of future technologies and highlight the latest bus industry trends. BUS2BUS is the event for the German and European bus and supply industry. Its key themes are sustainability and innovation in the mobility sector. In terms of content, the focus of BUS2BUS 2022 will be on alternative drives, new infrastructures, conversion options, digital services and innovations from the supply industry, as well as trends and innovations in bus tourism under the heading ‘Fresh Travel’. After two years and lots of online activity, in April we are focusing completely on in-person formats. We will be doing everything to create trade fair highlights and a personal experience, augmented of course by virtual services for all those unable to attend in person».
The BUS2BUS 2022 will be the first on-site event for the bus industry since the beginning of the Corona pandemic. How will you be dealing with safety issues?
«We are very confident that BUS2BUS will take place in late April as an in-person event. The latest developments and easing of restrictions reinforce that belief. The bus industry is a people‘s business, just like the trade fair industry. There is a great desire to meet in person. The safety and health of all participants have the utmost priority. We have a detailed safety and hygiene concept which is regularly updated to meet the latest requirements. From the start we are planning sufficient space with the necessary distancing to ensure all our visitors feel comfortable and safe. Our current event planning allows for fully vaccinated and recovered persons to attend. Depending on how restrictions are phased out, this could also include persons with a negative test. Visitors can find the latest information on our website».
‘Lessons’ from the digital mode?
Last year BUS2BUS was held digitally. May you point out some figures from last year? Is there something you have learned from last year edition and are going to implement in the new live edition?
«Our virtual event last year underscored how important sustainable mobility is for the industry. Some 900 users from 19 countries participated online in the virtual edition of BUS2BUS. During the more than six-hour event the focus was on buses as a sustainable transport solution. Three separate formats gave over 30 industry experts an opportunity to have their say and communicate their visions on the topic. So what have we learnt? It is that virtual event formats are here to stay. Thus, with the BUS2BUS plus online platform we are introducing a new virtual tool, which besides exhibitor and product presentations offers wide-ranging networking opportunities with matchmaking functions, appointments, chats and video calls. Selected parts of the stage programme will also be streamed».
Among the news of this year we find the Fresh Travel Award. What is it about?
«Our Startup Area has its own stage which is open to startups founded on or after 01 January 2015. At the BUS2Pitch they are invited to present their ideas to a wide-ranging professional audience and convince the jury of their innovations. A new feature this year is the special Fresh Travel award for the best idea for innovative bus travel. Fresh Travel promotes discussions that deliver answers to the question “How do we want to travel by bus tomorrow?“ The desire for individualization and personal expression has increased dramatically in today’s age of digitalization. These trends influence all aspects of life – which includes mobility – of course. In addition an increasing desire for eco-sustainable transport systems already has an impact on modern urban planning and bus tourism. Considering the flexibility of the bus being available in many sizes this vehicle seems to be a perfect and fast answer to new mobility concepts. BUS2BUS summarizes this new image of the bus under the term – Fresh Travel».
Buses often ‘pay the price’ of a bad public perception. Do you think that the transition of e-mobility and digital services will be able to modify this situation in the short term future?
«We want to kick off a discussion about how digital services, design and styling can help buses become more attractive and create a greater awareness of them in public life. That is why we have created the Fresh Travel segment and for the first time, as mentioned, we are presenting the special Fresh Travel award. We see design and bus interiors as playing a key role. These are areas where much has happened in recent years. Long-distance coaches have long become designer and styling objects. They can also be personalised in terms of size and equipment. I am convinced that the increasing use of alternative drives in buses will also help to attract new customers and change the image of bus travel. For that reason the answer to the question is an emphatic “yes“, and as regards the time frame too».
BUS2BUS: a look at exhibitors
As of today, may you point out some of the companies that will be attending the BUS2BUS as exhibitors?
«I am happy to say we are able to present many new buses. Leading manufacturers including MAN, EvoBus, Daimler Buses, OTOKAR, Iveco Magirus, VDL, Ebusco, Skoda, Switch Mobility, Isuzu and Karsan will be there, to name but a few. The spectrum includes coaches and public transport buses. There will be many new market players offering modular mobility concepts. We are looking forward to technological innovations, including from ZF and mobileye».
Energy transition is bringing not only to a change in vehicles’ equipements but also to the entrance of new player in the bus market. Let’s mention utility and infrastructures providers, just to make an example. How are these new players going to be involved in BUS2BUS’ concept?
«Very much so. We will be talking about new infrastructures at the Future Forum. Exhibitors such as ABB and Kempower will also be there».