Significant changes are in store for the AIMExpo for 2020/2021. As they say, timing is everything and with all that is going on globally around the COVID19 pandemic and the need to change some of the show’s focus, canceling the 2019 event and announcing the 2020 date was an essential step for the show to take.

I am a believer that our industry needs events like the AIMExpo to continue to grow. We need to gather at least once each year and discuss what is going on in the industry: the good, the bad, and the ugly. In my opinion, the event needs to be in a city that is large enough to house and provide entertainment for the attendees but also small enough to allow us to take over the city. It is why Indianapolis was so great for so many years. You could walk into a restaurant, a bar, or hotel lobby and get business done with your peers. It was something that was lacking when the show was in Las Vegas and Orlando.

The shift away from a consumer portion of the show is also a positive move. While I appreciate the ability to talk one-on-one with our end-users, the need to shift focus was challenging for many of the vendors. Allowing us all the opportunity to grow our business with our dealers and distributors is a step in the right direction.

One last thing for my peers that are wondering if their company should do the show in 2021, I would say 100% yes. But it’s too expensive, you might say. I need a return on the investment you say. Here is my reply. You don’t need all of the glitz and glamor and a 40×40 space. When it comes to delivering a return, change your objective, and shoot for a return on that objective. For many companies adding a couple of dealers or a new international distributor make up all of the show’s cost. For many others, if they can get those existing dealers to sell a little bit more during the season, your costs are covered.

Look at it through a different set of eyes and make the commitment. Our industry needs this show, and it is up to all of us to support it.

Below is their press release announcing the changes.

New Time, New Focus

The Show, the People, the Experience, the Education.   Building the Future of Powersports

IRVINE, Calif., May 6, 2020 – The MIC’s American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) is moving to January 21-23, 2021 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Previously scheduled for this October, North America’s largest powersports show is changing more than timing; the show will become a trade-only event and emerge as an integral part of the buying season.
“Timing is everything,” said Cinnamon Kernes, vice president and general manager, MIC Events. “Transitioning to the first quarter has been part of a long-term strategic plan for AIMExpo, along with providing more focus on our core audience – dealers.  These changes not only align the show with the ideal buying time for dealers and retailers, but also provide the perfect opportunity for brands to reconnect with dealers, kicking off what will be a pivotal year for the industry, additionally, this move to January opens the door to partner with a major distributor in a much more strategic and meaningful way.”
A trade-only show allows AIMExpo to concentrate on industry needs and education at a time when powersports needs it most.  Quality over quantity is necessary in the new trade show landscape.  With this new focus on retailers, the show will now take place over three days instead of four, saving exhibitors and attendees time and money. 
COVID has forced retailers and manufacturers to change the way they do business – at warp speed.  AIMExpo’s education, developed in partnership with PSB will focus on these ideas and innovations to help retailers improve efficiency, stay competitive and improve bottom lines.  AIMExpo will provide tools and solutions for retailers as we start the new year.
“With all that’s happened recently, transitioning to Q1 makes sense now more than ever,” said Andre Albert, director of sales and marketing. “The show will align with the order-writing time of year; it will help alleviate financial burdens in 2020, and allows us to focus on the industry and its needs. This change in timing and focus allows brands to connect  with the most engaged buyers looking for growth and success in 2021.  We’re excited and looking forward to the evolution of AIMExpo – Together We Rise.”