Having been confidently telling the market that fall/autumn timing is best for an industry expo and that combined public and dealer attendance is 'the new black' where such events are concerned, the MIC's AIMExpo management team has 'gone back to the future' to the old Advanstar 'Indy' Dealer Expo playbook to try to succeed where that and similar shows failed.
Under the pay-off line "The Show, the People, the Experience, the Education - Building the Future of Powersports", Irvine, California based MIC Events has announced that its American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) is moving to January 21-23, 2021 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio (it having been slated to be held there in September this year) as a three day dealer only expo.
"North America's largest powersports show is changing more than timing; the show will become a trade-only event and emerge as an integral part of the buying season."
"Timing is everything," said Cinnamon Kernes, a former Advanstar show executive and currently Vice President and General Manager at the MIC's events division. "Transitioning to the first quarter has been part of a long-term strategic plan for AIMExpo, along with providing more focus on our core audience - dealers.
|(Photo courtesy: brandcolumbus.com)
"These changes not only align the show with the ideal buying time for dealers and retailers, but also provide the perfect opportunity for brands to reconnect with dealers, kicking off what will be a pivotal year for the industry."
In remarks that are widely open to interpretation, Kernes went on to state that "Additionally, this move to January opens the door to partner with a major distributor in a much more strategic and meaningful way."
The void opened up by the closure of 'Indy' and 'Cinci' has been filled by three distributor events at that time - Tucker Powersports at Fort Worth in January, the WPS/HardDrive Vendor/Rep sales meeting in their Boise, Idaho hometown convention center (also January) and Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties impressive and wildly successful spring NVP and Dealer Expo and Louisville, Kentucky in February.
The AIMExpo release appears to suggest that show management is hoping to persuade one of the three to fold their event in with AIMExpo in Columbus - something that could create strategic complexities.
|(Photo: Greater Columbus Convention Center)
When asked the question, Kernes said that "adding a third show in Q1, especially with all that's happening, would be a might big ask for our industry - not something we would do.
"So yes, we are planning and hoping to host distributors that recognize the opportunity presented by hosting their annual dealer show at AIMExpo.
"A trade-only show allows AIMExpo to concentrate on industry needs and education at a time when powersports needs it most. Quality over quantity is necessary in the new trade show landscape. With this new focus on retailers, the show will now take place over three days instead of four, saving exhibitors and attendees time and money.
"COVID-19 has forced retailers and manufacturers to change the way they do business – at warp speed. AIMExpo's education, developed in partnership with PSB will focus on these ideas and innovations to help retailers improve efficiency, stay competitive and improve bottom lines. AIMExpo will provide tools and solutions for retailers as we start the new year."