Darrin Stern, USA project manager for Intermot organizer Koeln Messe, Inc., spent the past two years crisscrossing the United States visiting with powersports product manufacturers and suppliers who were debating whether to attend Intermot 2006.
“We actually sold out all of the space we had to sell,” Stern told Powersports Business.
A total of 38 U.S.-based companies exhibited in 7,550 square feet within the USA Pavilion. Another 50 U.S. companies showed products from their own exhibits elsewhere on the showfloor.
“We have a really nice group of companies represented, from OEMs like Harley-Davidson and Polaris right down to the aftermarket with companies like Hot Toppers and Lethal Threat Designs,” Stern said. “Some of the companies located in other areas of the show arrived there because we were already sold out of USA Pavilion space; others chose to make their own product presentations or wanted to be located in different halls because of certain OEMs. For instance, if your product was affiliated with Yamaha in some way, you’d probably want to be positioned near the Yamaha exhibit.”
Stern said exhibitor feedback was “overwhelmingly good.”
“The exhibitors appear to enjoy the construction that we used this time, and a number mentioned how easy they found it to work with our U.S. office in Chicago,” he said. “Some events like this are structured so you’re working with independent companies. Working with us is working directly with the fair organizer, which ultimately makes it easier for everyone involved.”
Approximately 15 U.S. companies showcasing at Intermot 2006 had never attended a foreign trade show and introduced their product in Europe for the first time. Stern said the most-asked questions from these exhibitors dealt with market data. To assist with those inquiries, Koeln Messe partnered with U.S. Commercial Services.
“They’re a division of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and are here to help U.S. companies learn to export their products and gain market intelligence,” Stern said. “It’s a free service — U.S. tax dollars pay for them — so we suggest anyone wanting to know more about foreign markets take advantage of them.”
Could Intermot 2006 have attracted more exhibitors and attendees were Eicma not held in Italy in November? The two events traditionally have existed peacefully in off years of each other, but this is the first time they’ve gone through a cycle where both are scheduled during the same season.
“Eicma and Intermot are competitors,” Stern said. “We both certainly have a place in the market, and there’s really not a major manufacturer that’s absent from this show, but I think we’ll know more after Eicma at the end of November.”
Intermot 2008 is scheduled to take place in Cologne beginning Oct. 8.
Copyright 2006 Powersports Business