Organizers of the fourth annual V-Twin Expo, held Jan. 31-Feb. 2 at the Albert Sabin Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, say turnout for the three-day event will most likely prove to be record setting.
An official tally of visitors was not yet available as this issue of Powersports Business went to print, but Jim Betlach, executive producer of the Expo, says he believes more than 10,000 people passed through the gates.
“The show was beyond all of our expectations,” Betlach said. “It has always grown, and attendance has always been up year to year, but this year it was just fabulous.”
The convention floor was packed with visitors, but Betlach says the associated seminars “were unbelievable, too.”
“We had over 200 people in the electronic fuel-injection seminar; well over 100 in an engine seminar and panel discussion; and John Wyckoff did a customer service seminar that was so successful that he volunteered to come back the next day to do a repeat,” he said.
While there was some confusion during Saturday morning entry into the convention center, Betlach said no major drawbacks were experienced at the 2004 V-Twin Expo. The 2005 event, he said, may be a different story.
“More than 200 companies have pre-registered for next year, and 40% to 50% of them are asking for a larger booth — which, of course, I can’t do,” Betlach said. Space for the 2005 V-Twin Expo may prove to be tight, but will likely improve for the 2006 event, when a 39,000 sq. ft. addition to the convention center is completed.
“There are so many people on the waiting list, but I’m bound and determined not to fall into those ruts where you put some companies in the lobby and some in a hotel,” he said. “We’ll figure it out.”