2013 marks the first year of the American International Motorcycle Expo which took place in Orlando, Florida, October 15-19. Vital was there to check it out. Initially the show seemed small, but with many brands and exhibitors opting for 10X10 or 10X20 booths, the number of exhibitors that attended the show seemed pretty good.
This is what welcomed everyone when they entered the convention center.
The new show on the block spanned 5 days, with 2.5 days set aside for retailers, distributors, and industry types, and the other 2.5 days for consumers. Some exhibitors expressed mixed feelings about having a mixed consumer and industry show. Several brands enjoyed the one-on-one time with the public, allowing them the opportunity to educate the end-consumer about their product line. The industry-centered part of the show didn’t seem heavily attended but one comment I kept hearing was how well the show catered to exhibitors. While it would have been nice to see more retailers, brands looking for international distribution seemed overwhelmingly positive with the show. According to information provided by the show, 49 countries were represented. I also heard support for the location of the show, although timing it the same week as a major off-season race and annual bike rally was one of the few negatives I heard from exhibitors. Finally, in an effort to make the show better, show representatives consistently circulated among exhibitors asking for feedback. Here are some additional show statistics:
Total Show Square Feet: 732,644
Exhibiting Companies: 392
Total Attendance: 13,219
Dealer/ Industry Professionals: 2,417
Exhibitor Attendance: 2,798
Countries Represented: 49
Credentialed Media: 223
Öhlins took full advantage of the 10x10 booth size with this super clean layout.
After the retailer’s show ended midday on Friday, the consumer show started. This break in the action allowed exhibitors time to switch their booths in preparation for the masses. Friday night was pretty tame but attendance Saturday and Sunday seemed much busier. Exhibitors were ready with giveaways, games, autograph signings, and product literature. While some didn’t like dealing with consumers, others realized its value. Too often, many of the key decision makers are removed from the end consumer and this format allowed that interaction to happen.
FMF had a larger footprint than most which helped them stand out from a majority of the brands that opted for a 10x10 or a 10x20 booth.
Weighing all the factors, I’d say the AIMExpo was a success. Catering to exhibitors and media, having the trade show in a warm climate just before winter, while allowing the consumers to participate, sounds to me like the AIMExpo got more right than they did wrong. In fact, many of the current exhibitors reserved their spot for next year which is always a good sign. As for site traffic on Vital MX, the AIMExpo feature ran on the homepage and generated 79,964 pageviews with the average pageview per photo hovering around 1000. Not bad considering this was a new show. From square footage alone, this show was much smaller than the more established Dealer Expo. Additionally, the new AIMExpo hosted a little over 390 companies this year while the 2013 Dealer Expo hosted over 500. Looks like there’s room to grow. While success is subjective for such a young show, over the next few years, we’ll see if all the hard work pays off. If you’re interested in more of Vital’s show coverage, check it out here: Vital MX AIMExpo Coverage.
VonZipper had one of the best booths at the show and even invited Wil Hahn along to sign autographs during the consumer show.