With the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) just around the corner – and for more than 40 percent of us, it’s literally around the corner within 500 miles or so – it is time to make a plan to do some business.
If you just walk around to collect some catalogs and chit-chat with your buddies, you can’t really judge how the show went because you really weren’t there. That may sound harsh, but the reality is you have to have a plan and you have to be ready to get down to business.
To be sure, there will be some lighter moments and time to socialize…like at the HAPPY! Happy Hour where NPA will be hosting a charity auction for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF). Auction organizers are still looking for donations as of press time, so if you have anything that may be of value to bid on, give Sara Spohr at NPA a call or email [email protected]
I’ve been to many tradeshows over the years, even before I worked in publishing from the other side of the booth, I used to attend shows to try to make new connections and build my shop. It didn’t always go as planned, but the point was that I had a plan in the first place. What I used to do was to make a list of the companies I needed to speak to, whether it was the sales rep or someone else, I made the list of “must see” people and exhibitors. Is there a new product you want to get a close-up look at or try out? This is the time to do it.
There are hundreds of aftermarket companies with products and services to help you build your business. There will also be more OEMs exhibiting than ever, with a full slate of outdoor street riding demos that may seem like a waste of time if you’re a dealer, but it is also a chance to try out a competitor’s machine and get a comparison, some talking points for your sales pitches, etc.
Don’t discount these opportunities, because during the consumer days, you will wait in a line around the block to go for a test ride. In total there will be 24 OEMs taking advantage of AIMExpo’s unique, all-in-one platform. There will also be plenty of new product announcements at the media hub and in the Show Daily for which we are the official publisher.
Another suggestion to help prepare for the show is to make sure you look at the exhibitor list at aimexpousa.com well ahead of time to make notes for the booths you would like to see after the “must see” appointments you have scheduled. And also the seminars you want to attend, and the time of the presentations. If you work a tradeshow properly, you should come home with more business and be able to transfer it to the bottom line for 2018.
On a final note, we got word that Vice President Pence will not be able to attend after all. He probably has some of his own planning to do. See you in Columbus Sept. 21-24!