The Dealer Expo is on the move, leaving its traditional home in Indianapolis for the Windy City, Chicago. Event organizer Advanstar Powersports Group announced the change, as well as the switch from an mid-February date to early December. The 2014 International Powersports Dealer Expo will take place Dec. 5-7, 2014, at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
The changes come as the Dealer Expo faces new competition in the AIMExpo which holds its inaugural event Oct. 16. The Dealer Expo hasn’t been as big a draw as it used to be when it outgrew the Indiana Convention Center and took up space in Lucas Oil Stadium. This year’s show reverted back to the convention center, with attendance down 30% from 2012.
Last December, Advanstar initially announced the show would stay at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis but would move from February to Sept. 26-28. At the time, Advanstar said the change was due to shifting dealer buying cycles, with many dealers indicating they needed to be fully inventoried by December or January.
But that was then. Advanstar says its research and polling of manufacturers, retailers and distributors found two-thirds of respondents support a move to a larger market and moving the date to later in the fourth quarter.
“Dealer Expo needs to be convenient as well as cost-effective for the most number of powersports buyers to attend,” says Tracy Harris, senior vice president of Advanstar’s Powersports Group. “We rescheduled so it would be held after the traditional riding season had concluded in most areas of the country, yet wouldn’t conflict with other events, like SEMA, Intermot or EICMA – or everyone’s holiday plans!”
Moving to Chicago places the show in the country’s third-largest city and a major international travel hub. Chicago is also the third-largest metropolitan market in the U.S. for streetbike registrations, according to a report by Polk Research.