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FOCUS – Dealer Expo Show Report

A record number of attendees strolled through the jammed aisles of the Indianapolis Convention Center and RCA Dome for the 39th Annual Dealer Expo Feb. 19-21. Preliminary registration figures tallied immediately after the Expo showed that 21,718 picked up badge holders at the event. That’s up about 11% from the 19,566 who attended last year.
Perhaps just as important, notes Tracy Harris, the Expo’s general manager, is that people said they spent more time at the show this year.
“There were more people and more people were staying longer,” says Harris. “That’s why the number of people on the floor was higher.”
Another indication of the dealer interest in the show was that Saturday attendance was higher in previous years. “There were a lot more people coming on the first day,” Harris says, “and those people stayed longer.”
Attendance data was collected through an estimated 300 personal interviews at the show and another 200 Internet-based surveys taken at the show.
The exhibitor total stayed about the same as last year, primarily because there wasn’t much additional booth space to sell. There were 911 exhibitors this year, down slightly from the 925 companies that participated last year.
The space problem won’t be solved immediately, although there are plans to expand the Convention Center by some 200,000 sq. ft. That project is slated to be completed in 2011.
Three trends were obvious this year. First, there seemed to be fewer large American V-twin manufacturers, perhaps a reflection of the success of the V-Twin Expo held in Cincinnati in January.
The growing number of Chinese manufacturers also was apparent, and an increase in the amount of e-commerce also was seen.
The following articles in this Focus section provide a detailed report on the companies and products seen at the show.

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