pri ends orlando run with successful show in sunshine
December’s 25th annual Performance Racing Industry trade show was the first under new owner Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) and recorded a solid three-day run of attendees in search of merchandise.
Just before show open, SEMA announced the purchase of PRI rival International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS), which has hosted a December trade only show in Indianapolis since forming nine years ago. Beginning in 2013, SEMA will combine both shows and move the event to the new convention facilities in Indy. continue reading here
pri announces sale of event to motorsports giant sema
The Performance Racing Industry racing aftermarket manufacturers event announced the sale of their popular mid-winter event, held in recent years in Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, to event competitor Specialty Equipment Market Association, known internationally for their hugely entertaining Las Vegas mega-show.
According to the press release, PRI staff will remain in Laguna Beach, while the long-running event will remain in Orlando.
Both venues are extremely popular with their respective audiences, and enjoy a fair amount of crossover attendance from other segments, including powersports. SEMA’s profile skews more towards automotive and, by extension, motorcycle customizing, with emphasis on paint, accessories, and electronics.
PRI, on the other hand, is a big tent. This cross channel, hard core racing and performance venue aters to racing organizations, their fans and members. Representing everything from entry level karting to NASCAR Cup competition to ALMS to NHRA, if it uses an engine – whether tractor pulling, boat racing, a road circuit or speedway event – PRI is the marketplace for manufacturers. Notably absent: powersports, although this is prime territory for exploitation and well worth the investment.
What this might mean in the long run is unknown. At the very least, I’d expect SEMA to leverage the PRI venue as some kind of enhanced exhibitor bonus. Having attended SEMA seminars at PRI in the past, they’re no strangers to the racing market profile specific to PRI.
PRI has found a permanent home at the Orange County Convention Center. Though exhibitors and attendance was somewhat smaller than in years past, the net result was an event that was easier to navigate and absorb. The 2011 event featured live, knockout kart racing and a list of vendors that represented every sector of automotive related performance. Read the complete article here.
Motorsports has another performance oriented venue for dealers to put on the go – no go list: upstart International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS) now goes head to head with the well established Performance Racing Industry (PRI) event, both held the first week in December: IMIS in Indianapolis, the former home of PRI, which was successfully transplanted to usually sunny Orlando and a much larger exhibit facility a few years back.
And both of those shows compete for many of the same dealers normally attending the granddaddy of all automotive events, the Specialty Equipment Market Association’s (SEMA) Las Vegas spectacle traditionally held less than a month earlier in November.
SEMA, meanwhile, padded their portfolio with a newly created Powersports and Utility Vehicles channel which, according to their March press release, “…will feature manufacturers of power-driven equipment, such as personal transporters; motorcycles; motor scooters; two-, three- and four-wheel ATVs; pocket bikes; specialty golf carts; mini-bikes; dirt bikes; and accessories and services that support these vehicles.”
Good news – not – for long established powersports event leader Advanstar who this week conceded more collateral damage to their brand when they announced the Lucas Oil Stadium venue would not be part of their mid-February 2010’s Dealer Expo, also held in Indy after vacating Cincinnati for larger digs in 1998.
And it was that relocation decision that opened the door for EasyridersV-Twin Dealer Expo to move back in with a v-twin centric show of their own in 2000, held a week before Dealer Expo and next year celebrating their 10th anniversary as a trade show producer.
Five major shows covering powersports and motorsports between November and February. If you’re a powersports or motorsports or, worse, a cross channel dealer, be prepared to spend a lot more time on the road wearing out shoe leather and traversing TSA inspections.
You never know who you’ll see at PRI. Ex-MX Champ and current truck racer/event promoter Ricky Johnson, left, was at the Alpinestars booth talking strategy with team owner Steve Barlow, center. Steve owns 2 Red Bull/KMC/Bosch sponsored CORR trucks, drives Pro 4 while RJ handles the Pro 2 truck.
It’s no secret that marketing budgets have been slashed and with them the lifeblood of direct sponsored motor and powersports rides. Broadcast and print budgets have also been hung out to dry. What happens next is anyone’s guess: much will hinge on how quickly new from the ground up marketing models are created.
I visited the 2008 edition of Performance Racing Industry’s efficient and very well produced trade show this week, not knowing what to expect from the trio formerly known as the Big Three, or how all the rescue plans would or would not impact the show.
Fair to say the mood wasn’t jubilant. On the other hand it wasn’t funerial, either. Impact: aisles were easier to navigate than in previous years and overall the vibes were lukewarm positive.
Between Honda’s pullout from F1 and AMA Superbike, along with rumored large scale corporate cancellations in NASCAR the broader implications of marketing to a mass audience will shock more than a few. We’ll have a web feature up soon and more commenting on the blog.