Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo Sees 30-percent Attendance Drop

March 30, 2013

A decrease in dealers across the United States directly impacted the showfloor at Advanstar Communications’ Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo, with a 30-percent drop in attendance to 10,904, compared with last year’s show, and a 27 percent drop from the 2011 event.

Excluding exhibitor personnel, verified attendees totaled 5,452, with approximately 3,700 verified as traditional franchised and independent retailer buyers.

The overall industry has seen a 36-percent decrease in the number of dealers operating in the U.S. since 2009.

Even so, show organizers said the three-day event was deemed a success, with “enthusiasm and connection amongst peers and colleagues.”

The show was held Feb. 15-17 at the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium.

“In light of the economy and its effects over the year, we approached this show with conservative expectations,” said senior vice president Tracy Harris.

She added, “In this economic downturn, we’ve observed many trade shows are down in attendance.”

The Motorcycle Industry Council estimates that sales of motorcycles, scooters and ATVs in the U.S. market decreased by 54 percent in 2012, compared with the market’s peak five years ago.

“It seems logical to assume that if you have 54-percent fewer unit sales and 36-percent fewer dealers, you’re also going to have fewer vendors as well,” said Dealernews Contributing Editor Mike Vaughan.

Even with the decreases, Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo is considered the largest powersports business event in the world.

Organizers also pointed out that even though their show was one of many that recently had seen attendance drops, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, key buyers continue to be on the showfloors.

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