PowerSports Business

Powersports Business - May 25, 2015

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/511164

Contents of this Issue


Page 18 of 39

www.PowersportsBusiness.com INDUSTRY LEADERS Powersports Business • May 25, 2015 • 19 INDUSTRY LEADER — LARRY LITTLE that America needs the kind of platform that AIMExpo offers. In Europe, it's a much easier proposition because the individual markets are so much smaller. So instead of those individual dealer meetings, they use EICMA and Intermot to meet with their dealers. What can you say to dealers who haven't attended yet, and think of AIMExpo as "just a repeat of shows past?" AIMExpo at its core offers so much more busi- ness efficiency. It gets everybody in one place at one time to do business. And the big differentia- tor was not only that the February time frame was not the right time frame anymore, but there were really no OEMs to speak of [there]. Now, with the OEMs in attendance, it's a whole differ- ent show floor and a whole different reason for dealers to attend. And what about the aftermarket companies? What were they looking for in AIMExpo that they weren't getting previously in the industry? During that discovery process of interviewing OEMs and key aftermarket people, combined with the dealer research Mike had done, it was very clear that the industry did not want just a "Me, too" replacement show. They wanted something that was better timed, that reflected the timing that could allow an aftermarket manufacturer to have some control over find- ing out what's going to work and what's not for the next year. You can't do it any earlier than October from an OEM perspective, which is really what drives a lot of the media attendance with the new model reveals. The market was still reeling and staggering in 2010-11 as I was doing the research for AIMExpo, not yet in the recovery side of the global financial crisis. So we knew if we could create something that was energizing and exciting, and effective from a business standpoint, then the market could have one place to come together. EICMA was the model we emulated from a press perspective, where the media was just as important as the dealer or consumer. In doing that, we learned a lot of things. The U.S. is a separate market, but it didn't have a platform to do industry business across the board. We believed that if we could energize the market by bringing everybody from the industry per- spective — exhibitors, dealers — together in one place and layer on consumers and get them excited because that would be the first time in the U.S. they could see all this new product, we could create some energy and excitement. As I told people all along, one of the things that drove me crazy at Cycle World — as an industry guy in the U.S. — was that the No. 1 web traffic stories all year long were introduc- tions from EICMA. Those numbers would continue to roll on through the year, and those stories would stay at the top. It was obvious that when you can create a platform to create excitement for the media, the consumers will respond. We didn't have anything like that in the U.S., and that used to drive me crazy because we're the biggest market in the world in most cases from a recreational perspective. In some respects, if we didn't do it, somebody else probably would have. We're the right people do it, and AIMExpo exists for all the right reasons — to bring the industry together, to do signifi- cant B2B commerce, as well as the opportunity to do business-to-consumer as well, but more than anything, to energize and excite. We've been successful in doing that the first couple of years. Have we got a ways to go? Absolutely. There's a lot of growing yet to happen. But I believe the foundation that we've established over the first two years, and looking at the growth especially on the OEM side for this year, we're going to have increased consumer turnout for sure, and our almost singular focus this year is increasing dealer turnout. We've got to get more dealers to turn out simply to make it be the happening that it has to be. What can you tell dealers that would be an enticement to get them to consider attend- ing AIMExpo if they haven't yet? We've seen at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo that after they come once, they're in. That's right. If dealers could take a look at the investment that it takes to go down there — what [are they] going to have to incrementally sell next year to justify it, if they invest $2,000 for a plane ticket and hotel and meals to go to AIMExpo for two days and get all the educa- tion. What's the normal dealer margin on after- market products? So they have to sell $6,500 more stuff at retail to justify that $2,000 invest- ment. It's a lot of money, yes, but if you look at the big picture of what it can mean for their dealership, it's not a gigantic expense consider- ing the return they're going to get. Marketplace Events talks about creating dynamic face-to- face environments, and that's what AIMExpo is. It's an opportunity to learn, network, see new products and see where my profits are coming from next year — what new products are out there that are going to contribute to my bottom line? That's what we hope dealers will start to look at and think, "Gosh, I'm missing out by not being there." PSB "So we knew if we could create something that was energizing and exciting, and effective from a business standpoint, then the market could have one place to come together. "

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of PowerSports Business - Powersports Business - May 25, 2015