For manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, accessories and apparel, the Progressive Insurance International Motorcycle Shows (IMS) are where new models and products are unveiled to the press and the motorcycle consumer. It’s a market that has been dominated by one player, Advanstar Communications.
But that all changed yesterday when Marketplace Events announced it had hired former long-time publisher of Cycle World magazine, Larry Little, and was expanding into the motorcycle events business with the American International Motorcycle Expo, set to open sometime in the fall of 2013.
Marketplace Events is well positioned to go head to head with Advanstar. The company produces 21 home shows in major markets across the US and has the infrastructure and experience in running successful consumer trade shows.
Little said AIME will be” timed to align with the annual reveal of new motorcycles…and is intended to create a greater efficiency for the industry to conduct business with retailers, promote new product to the press and consumers, while creating a heightened interest for motorcycling as both sport and as a viable, green transportation alternative.”
Little said his vision for the show is more in line with week long shows like ICMA in Milan and Intermot in Cologne, Germany where the first two days are set aside for the manufacturers to reveal their new models to the press which fuels the fire for thousands of motorcycle consumers (and dealers) which flood the show floor on the third, fourth and fifth day.
It’s an ambitious goal and to reach it, Marketplace Events must find a way to coalesce the fragmented trade show circuit in the US. Besides the (mostly) consumer IMS show, there is the (dealer only) Expos in Cincinnati and Indianapolis produced by Easyriders and Advanstar, and the (consumer) shows like Easyrider Bike shows, Cyclefest in Indiana, Great American Motorcyle Show in Atlanta and the Donnie Smith Bike Show in St. Paul Minnesota.
How Larry Little and Marketplace Events plans to do that is anybody’s guess at this point, but it will be interesting to find out in which major market the inaugural show will be held, and the date it will be held.
Traditionally the New York IMS show is where the major motorcycle manufacturers have released new models to the press and consumers. This year Victory and Zero debuted new bikes. To steal the thunder from IMS, Marketplace Events must pick a location and a date that will ensure a larger audience for manufacturers. Little says he hopes to announce dates and locations by the end of February.
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