During these last years, the Advanstar Dealer Expo in Indianapolis, like the Easyriders V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati (to be held 2 weeks sooner on Feb 2-3, 2013) have been severely challenged by the bad economy and also by internet, a very cheap and efficient media for the industry to instantly announce its new products to the world and to keep in permanent contact with its retailers and clients.
It’s no secret that both trade shows have faced dwindling participation from exhibitors and attendance from dealers. Rivalry between the 2 competing events culminated in 2012 with the Cincinnati V-Twin Expo being qualified by some as being only a get-together between friends of the custom motorcycle industry, and others describing the Indianapolis Dealer Expo as mainly an “agri-asian-scooter” exhibition where the US motorcycle industry is badly represented to a non-qualified audience of buyers. Both shows are challenged on their ability to generate profitable new business.
During these last years and until now, the 2 troubled trade events, the V-Twin Expo by Easyriders and Dealer Expo by Advanstar, have rejected the many suggestions they received to host separate consumer access to the same exhibit. Both swore they would remain strictly B2B events. But both trade shows face now a new competitor, a 3rd show named “American International Motorcycle Expo” (AIME) to be launched and held in Orlando Oct 16-20, 2013. AIME will be at the same time a business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) event at a favorable time of the year when OEM manufacturers need venues to show their new models, and in a city considered much more appealing in any season for business and pleasure than Cincinnati or Indianapolis in winter. AIME clearly stated its philosophy: “A show format bringing together all constituents of the motorcycle industry in one place, at one time, with one show, to be efficient.”
Feeling danger, the Dealer Expo organizers have changed their mind and count on the popular International Motorcycle Show and the vast resources of its backer, Progressive Insurance, to re-activate interest of exhibitors. Now, the question is about what the Cincinnati Dealer Expo By Easyriders will do to retain its exhibitors who may be very tempted to flee to 2 shows arguing that they are much more profitable in offering access to both professional and consumers. To save its show, Advanstar had no choice but to follow AIME’s marketing approach. And Easyriders? Will the V-Twin Expo remain a B2B only show? There are many risks in not adjusting to a new economy and to new efficient ways available to the V-Twin industry to market its products worldwide on a short notice and at a very low cost.