Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice has become the first large distributor to commit to a display at the inaugural American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) Oct. 16-20 in Orlando.
Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice will display its house brands as well as other products it distributes at the expo. Plans also call for the company to unveil new product, Hank Desjardins, VP of marketing for Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice, revealed to Powersports Business. Cycle Gear will also be on hand to sell Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice product directly to consumers, adding a purchasing component to the show.
The October date appealed to Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice as the company hopes it can boost fourth quarter sales and help dealers plan for 2014. The distributor was also lured by the prospect of being in front of OEMs, dealers, press and consumers.
“We feel to be relevant in the market, especially as it’s evolving, we must stay connected both to our dealers and the end user community. There’s really no choice,” Desjardins said in an email. “The days of a distributor just moving boxes from A to B are long gone. We need to work closely with the dealer/retailer population on everything from advertising, brand messaging, promotions, visual merchandising, data feeds, etc. We see it as a genuine partnership.
“To add value to that partnership is impossible if we’re not involved in a meaningful way with the riding public. Ultimately the rider is key to the success of us all, so we better be focused on what they’re doing and what they want. All of this is doubly true when it comes to developing and marketing our own brand lineup. Dealers/retailers expect us to deliver product that’s going to sell, and again, it’s by being close to the market that we’re able make that happen,” he added.
Larry Little, vice president and general manager, Motorcycle Group, of Marketplace Events, said AIMExpo is an ideal venue for a company like Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice to get in front of a variety of audiences. He expects the distributor’s presence to draw dealers and other exhibitors to the show.
“Because they’ve so grasped the vision, and they clearly see this as the future, what they’ll be is a catalyst for the show,” Little told PSB. “It’s going to be a very positive influence for the show.”
Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice is now one of about 240 exhibitors that have committed to AIMExpo. Little says the expo hall floor is filling up, and he expects more big-name companies to sign on in the coming weeks. Dealers have already begun signing up for AIMExpo, and consumer marketing started in early June.
Suzuki second major OEM to commit to AIMExpo
AIMExpo also announced earlier this month that Suzuki will be a founding OEM participant in the inaugural event. Suzuki will introduce new 2014 motorcycles and ATVs, host its dealer body with exclusive VIP functions and conduct demo rides on select products.
“Suzuki recognizes the exclusive opportunities that are offered by AIMExpo’s ground-breaking platform,” said Mike Webster, president, Trade Show division of Marketplace Events. “The ability to introduce 2014 products to their dealers as well as consumers and media is precisely what we intended when developing the AIMExpo vision. We’re thrilled to welcome the Suzuki brand and look forward to this important partnership.”
In addition to its display in the Main Hall at the Orange County Convention Center and its demo presence at AIMExpo Outdoors, Suzuki will also use AIMExpo as an opportunity to conduct VIP activities with dealers where they will not only have a chance to be educated on the new performance capabilities, but also experience these enhancements firsthand.
“We are very excited to be a founding participant at the first ever AIMExpo event,” said Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. Motorcycle/ATV vice president Larry Vandiver. “The unique format and location of the AIMExpo gives Suzuki the opportunity to showcase our class-leading product to not only the public and the media, but it also gives us an opportunity to host our dealer network and invite them to share in some VIP experiences with us while attending the show.”