There’s a new motorcycle show coming to the States that promises to deliver the excitement and pageantry of Europe’s ultra-cool EICMA and Intermot shows. Scheduled for the fall of 2013, the American International Motorcycle Expo looks to create an annual event where consumers, OEMs, dealers and the aftermarket can converge in a single location for a week-long motorcycle extravaganza.
EICMA in Milan, Italy, and Intermot in Cologne, Germany, are Meccas for motorcycle enthusiasts worldwide. The first day both shows host the world media where journalists endure a marathon of press conferences detailing new models, the future direction of our sport and the state of the global motorcycle industry. When the doors open to the general public attendees are immersed in a Vegas atmosphere of intermittent stage shows featuring dancing girls exposing the newest in two-wheel machinery. EICMA and Intermot are also where OEMs display their most innovative concept models. There’s MotoGP technology under glass cases and a seemingly endless smorgasbord of performance equipment over which to drool. This is the type show AIME intends to recreate here in the U.S.
A location for the event has yet to be announced, but according to AIME’s GM, Larry Little, they’ve narrowed the choice to four locations and will make a final decision within 30 days. Southern California — ground zero for the powersports industry — is certainly a possibility, but strong evidence exists to suggest venues in Orlando, Dallas, Denver and Salt Lake City are possibilities. Little also assured us that he is in contact with the organizers of EICMA so the similar fall dates of the two shows don’t conflict.
What AIME is up against are the established U.S. powersports shows, Dealer Expo and the multi-city International Motorcycle Show. Dealer Expo is the annual trade show held each February in Indianapolis where motorcycle dealership owners come to taste new products and hobnob with aftermarket companies and distributors. There’s also the cruiser-centric EasyRiders V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati, catering to American V-Twin manufacturers and dealers. For consumers there’s the International Motorcycle Show series that travels to 12 cities across the United States.
Motorcycle dealership owners are also obligated to attend OEM dealer shows. For multi-line dealers the time and expense of traveling to multiple dealer shows as well as attending Dealer Expo or the V-Twin show can be overwhelming.
A crucial aspect of AIME is the inclusion of OEM dealer shows, meaning dealers will need only travel to one location to attend all dealer shows, as well as experience the some of the same aftermarket and distributor exposure Dealer Expo offers.
The success of producing such an all-encompassing show resides with the cooperation of the OEMs, which AIME says have expressed their willingness to support the AIME concept. AIME also claims to have the support of the Italian Trade Commission, which is responsible for the promotion of business opportunities between Italian and foreign companies.
Driving AIME’s plans forward is the aforementioned Little, the former publisher Cycle World who began his career at Cycle News in 1978. Mike Webster, AIME’s VP, spent 25 years at Advanstar, the company that owns both Dealer Expo and the International Motorcycle Shows. Both men are not only familiar with the powersports market but are enthusiasts of the industry in which they’ve dedicated their careers.
“It’s time to put the North American marketplace on the world’s stage,” Little told journalists at a media presentation last night.
AIME is owned by Marketplace Events, a company that produces 31 events (mostly home and garden shows) in 21 North American markets. The company is launching a consumer technology event in Washington, D. C., with WIRED magazine in November of this year.
As announcements are made and more information becomes available we’ll be sure to report it here on MO.