Organizers of the 25th annual Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows (IMS) said strategic changes to layout, new locations and advantageous weather combined to boost attendance this year.
Officials of the 13-city tour said attendance was up 11 percent compared to last year.
“We had a good year,” Advanstar Consumer Events Show Director Jeff D’Entremont told Powersports Business. “It was a year of change — we changed a lot of vendors, we switched a lot of times for our shows, and we made some positive strides in terms of earmarking things to improve on for the coming season.”
D’Entremont said approximately 583,000 people attended the IMS series, which typically begins in early November and runs through March of the following year. The recently ended tour stopped for three days in Fort Worth, Houston, Denver, Seattle, Long Beach, San Jose, Detroit, Washington D.C., New York, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Chicago and Atlanta.
Advanstar moved the show from Dallas to Fort Worth, and from San Mateo to San Jose — changes D’Entremont said should prove to be long-term — and Houston was a new addition to the tour.
“We were the first major event in Houston following the Katrina mess, and we ran up against some other events, like NASCAR taking place in Fort Worth and Atlanta,” D’Entremont said. He said the series’ less-attended events were buoyed by better-attended locations, particularly Long Beach and New York.
“Long Beach was filled with press launches, and we had a phenomenal year in New York with more than 78,523 people attending,” he said. “We were on the Today Show and Fox and Friends, and Billy Lane, Matt Hotch and the Orange County Chopper guys also made appearances.”
Fifteen major manufacturers exhibited this year, including Aprilia, Buell, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Piaggio, Suzuki, Ural, Vespa, Victory and Yamaha.
Related events took place, too. Arenacross races were held during the beginning of the season (Advanstar has since sold that business to Mike Kidd Productions), various vintage clubs took part, aftermarket firms showcased their product in a special section called “The Factory,” and local manufacturers and customizers displayed product in a “Big Twin Custom Showcase.”
“We’re going to expand on the showcases next season by adding three more showcases to the floor,” D’Entremont said. “Right now our primary focus will be on an ATV and outdoor lifestyle showcase, and then we’re also looking to expand in the sportbike market. The last showcase will be dedicated to off-road motorcycles, both for youth and adults.”
As for exhibiting OEMs, Thunder Mountain Customs has already signed for the entire series next year, and “I’m working diligently to bring KTM and Triumph back to the circuit,” D’Entremont said.
“We’ve already scheduled some press launches to take place at the shows next year, and we’re working with manufacturers now to come up with some products, concepts and ideas they can unveil to the public through our events,” he said.
Originally titled the Great American Motorcycle and ATV Shows, the show series was launched by Great American Media, Inc., in time for the 1982 model season. Edgell Communications (now Advanstar Communications, Inc.) acquired the event in 1988.
Cycle World magazine, a long-time supporter of the show, returned for the 13th year as the title sponsor, and Toyota Trucks returned for an eighth year as the presenting sponsor.
Copyright 2006 Powersports Business