View Full Version : Show Tunes
09-03-2012, 06:44 PM
How many of you attended a motorcycle this past winter? And if you did, what was your overall impression of it, especially in comparison to any show you might have attended in the past? Is there anything you would like to see changed in future shows?
The MMIC recently announced (http://www.motorcyclemojo.com/2012/03/the-show-must-go-on/) that effective immediately their shows would be produced in-house instead of contracting them out to the Canadian National Sportsmen's Shows.
It will be very interesting to see what kind of an impact this decision will have. Although the rest of Canada wasn't affected, the Toronto Motorcycle Show lost Kawasaki this year, ironically the manufacturer is a member of the MMIC. Clearly something is going on - dissent in the ranks and all that - so the question that will remain hanging in the air for the coming year is whether or not this recent change was a smart move by the MMIC. I know that some manufacturers no longer see these annual shows as a worthwhile expenditure of their resources. You probably know who they are. They're the ones that have local dealers representing their products instead of an all encompassing corporate booth.
09-03-2012, 07:31 PM
some manufacturers no longer see these annual shows as a worthwhile expenditure of their resources
just by way of dollars and cents, and on a purely fiscal level. What do they know or care about motorcycling? Do they have any sense of belonging? Do they know the ebb and flow of enthusiasm that real bike freaks feel as winter in Canada warms slowly into spring?
Last year for the first time in I'm not sure how many year, Red Deer's show didn't happen. Rumour had it that the price of the venue had risen too high. (Red Deer is a city which has grown from 24,000 people in 1975, to nearly a hundred thousand right now. There are four motorcycle dealerships in Red Deer.) The show was always well attended. "See you at the show", was commonly heard.
Everone except these dumb yuppies knows that shows are a chance for motorcyclists to see each other, to mix and to talk and to firm up the sense of being a part of something. Of having something in common. All of them share a savvy about bikes and what goes on with bikes. Kill that, and you kill motorcycling as a way of living.
When we outlaw the word 'corporate', motorcycling will be the better for it. (In my arrogant opinion...)
09-03-2012, 11:23 PM
Part of the thing with motorcycles is that a disparate bunch of square pegs can associate and have something in common. I suppose someone with a degree in philosophy might call that camaraderie or some other such big word but the chance to meet and mingle is certainly part of the attraction. Since I moved to the Cariboo I am not really close to anyplace that has a motorcycle show. The Vancouver one requires an over-niter in the lower mainland in the middle of winter which, given the choices of highway can be a dodgy proposition. Still, It would be too bad if the motorcycle show went away because a bunch of suits who couldn't conjugate the verb, 'to ride' decided it didn't fit their corporate profile. Or am I getting political?
10-03-2012, 06:54 AM
I attend the January Supershow in TO every year. This used to be the only motorcycle show in the Toronto area where the manufacturers displayed their new products and has always been well attended. Some years ago I believe there was a falling out between that show organizer and the manufacturers who then decided they needed a fancy place downtown to show off their new models, just like the automakers. By the way, I have never attended the car show in TO.
Two years ago we decided to give the "newer" show downtown a try, but did not enjoy it nearly as much as the original one at the International Centre. The Convention Centre downtown is too spread out and on too many levels, which makes it difficult to find your way around. In addition, it is located downtown so it takes longer for me to get to and the parking anywhere in the area is very expensive. Yeah, I am aware of the transit system in TO; however, when there are three or four of us coming from points well outside of TO, this is not a viable alternative.
My biggest complaint is the cost of admission, which is also the main reason we attend only one show. I might just be cheap, but $18+ seems to be too much to charge someone just to walk around and look at products for sale. Since the one at the International Centre is closer and offers free parking, this is the one we have chosen to attend. If the manufacturers want to reach out to me they need to be at that show.
10-03-2012, 12:02 PM
I haven`t been to too many bike shows as, like Black lightning, a trip to the show means an overnighter. I`ve only made one special trip to the show but have been there a few times when I happened to be in T.O. on the right weekend and have always enjoyed it.
The bike manufacturers have had to tighten their belts in recent years so for some makers bike shows and race programs seem to be the obvious targets for cuts. I do wonder however if these cost savings are just a Canadian thing or are they affecting other markets. Kawasaki may have missed the Toronto show but I`ll bet they were out in force in London, Milan. Madrid and Tokyo no matter what the cost.
Finally, why do the show organisers have to take so many bites of the pie? It seems that everyone who gets anywhere near them has to pay through the nose for the privilege of participating in the show.
10-03-2012, 10:30 PM
We attend the Vancouver show annually, and were very happy to meet and chat with "those who showed up" Uwe. Attending the friday night in the middle of the snowstorm as it was very quiet and had lots of time to catch up with some folks who might otherwise not have the time to spend. Thank you Ian and Steve.
Im not sure if I understand if the MMIC is going to run all the shows or just TO. Having worked some shows with a major brand over the years I know the lady that manages TRADEX does go out of her way to make sure everyone is happy.
I guess my only question is how the hell do some exhibitors get into the show? Rich's Custom Saddles? Pretty obvious to me why they are in a motorcycle show. New Denver tourism? Yep. MBNA Mastercard with the folks blocking the aisle outside the booth? WTF? My thoughts are that if the MMIC is running the show, it should be more tailored to our industry, i dont pay $11 to be pitched credit cards in the aisle.
I do like to renew my subscriptions to the big 3 Canadian mags at the show, usually 20 bucks rather than the 25 in the mail in renewal. I know what some of you are gonna say. It costs $11 to get into the show. Three times 5 is 15 so Im $4 ahead, so there.... Im Scottish.
10-03-2012, 11:31 PM
Im not sure if I understand if the MMIC is going to run all the shows or just TO... My thoughts are that if the MMIC is running the show, it should be more tailored to our industry, i dont pay $11 to be pitched credit cards in the aisle.
MMIC will be running all of their shows across Canada in-house next winter. You brought up a number of points from the perspective of a vendor, which is also a major element to this discussion, but also one I'm more familiar with. What I'm less sure about are the viewpoints from the other side of the counter. The opinions of those who pay to attend these shows as potential buyers of the machines on display.
I understand what you're saying about what we call the "beef jerky" vendors. They can be distracting, and although they might not appear to add an value to a show, I would prefer to have them there if their money is what's helping to keep the show circuit alive.
I'm actually a big fan of consumer shows. Whether its a car show, or the Home Show I'm going to next weekend, I place high value on being able to see and compare everything that I'm interested in under one roof instead of having to drive all over the city as you normally would. By my estimation, the cost of gas, parking and entrance is far cheaper and more time efficient than shopping by visiting a number of individual showrooms. The same goes for motorcycle shows. Being able to look at, sit on, and get information for practically every single motorcycle that is sold in Canada in one fell swoop is an unbeatable way to look for a bike. It sure beats driving around to a half dozen mom 'n' pop showrooms that have very little stock, or quite often, won't even see that new model until the spring when the factory starts to deliver them.
11-03-2012, 03:40 AM
Some thoughts from the paying customer perspective? A chance to see the whole line, that may not be carried in the local store. Also a chance for the local store to display the whole line to customers they meet at the show. The local dealer here does not take advantage of this networking opportunity. I like the idea of being able to talk to regional reps, that rep that went to bat for me through emails or phone and got my bike fixed off warranty and say thanx in person. Or the rep that Im going to ask for support for a racing venture. and in the case of the motorcycle press, the chance to meet those whos writing entertains and educates us. Personal contact and networking and like you say to see everything under one roof. Ido feel that manufacturers should have a presence at the shows as a sign of loyalty to the customer of the marque as loyalty should go both ways.
What I might expect is a few hicups in next years shows as one may consider Sportsmans Shows a well oiled machine and new people are now venturing into new ground. That being said, the MMIC could gain from more direct contact with industry people, and the profits of running the shows in house as well as the added control of running the show.
As for the "beefjerky" if the booths are not occupied by the show interest, yes, sell the space to vendors who may be of interest, with all space sold the shows will prosper. Im sure its not just Tradex that has a staple of vendors that work every show more to provide snacks and such. Candiedpecans were pretty much a staple when I did some time at shows with the DOCC.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.4 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.