MIC reveals Communications Symposium speakers

The MIC has released the speakers for its 19th annual Motorcycle Industry Council Communications Symposium: Disrupting the Status Quo, Shaking Things Up. The Symposium will take place on Nov. 15 in Carson, California. 

The packed morning and afternoon programs have several first-time symposium speakers, as well as returning favorites of the industry, sharing new ideas that members can use plus informative market data and the latest sales forecasts.

“Everyone knows our world is rapidly changing and we have to be disruptive, embracing new ways and evolving with the times,” said Paul Vitrano, MIC chair and Polaris Industries, Inc. vice president, global government relations. “We’ve got an amazing roster of experts booked for the symposium, and if you want to make a difference in our business and challenge the status quo, then we invite MIC members to be there and engage with us, along with colleagues and industry peers. We can all benefit from some new thinking.” 

Shama Hyder, founder and CEO of The Marketing Zen Group, and Nick Gray, founder of Museum Hack in New York, are new symposium speakers who have achieved success by recognizing opportunities that others have missed. Hyder and Gray will undoubtedly inspire participants to look at their market differently. 

Hyder is a visionary strategist in the digital world, an author and personality on TV and the web. Her firm is a global online marketing and digital PR company. Hyder, who is known as the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by business magazine Fast Company, has been honored at the White House and the United Nations as one of the country’s top 100 young entrepreneurs.

Gray’s company reinvented the museum experience for adults, taking tens of thousands of people on tours in New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles, changing the way they look at museums. Gray, a popular TEDx speaker, believes true competition for attention comes from smartphones, Facebook and Netflix, so Museum Hack tour guides use innovative, in-person storytelling techniques to attract atypical audiences to fall in love with museums. 

“Motorcycling is the ultimate immersive experience,” said Gray. “Today’s audiences are digitally-saturated. Real-world experiences are the future of entertainment. I’m excited to share the Museum Hack story and talk about what we can learn in attracting new audiences to motorcycling.”

A familiar voice, but one also calling for the industry to take on new challenges, will come from Dr. Paul Leinberger, a popular veteran of many MIC symposiums. Leinberger, with Denny+Leinberger Strategy, is known for his reporting on the current state of the consumer psyche. His firm helps companies develop brand strategies by recognizing trends, the impact of those trends, and then finding opportunities sometimes hidden in plain sight. He’s always had much to say about the motorcycle industry and the opportunities before it.

In a series of three fast-paced presentations packed in less than one hour, attendees will hear about new unit sales trends, the value of the pre-owned market, and the record-setting year for RV sales. David Savlowitz, founder and chief economist of Competitive Analytics, will provide a forecast of new motorcycle and powersports sales using his specialized data-drilling tools. To add to that, Jim Woodruff, MIC board member and chief operating officer of National Powersport Auctions, will offer a look at the rapidly expanding used-bike market that is fast becoming a primary driver of the two-wheel business. Elden Wood, vice president sales, service and marketing for Carefree of Colorado, an RV accessories manufacturer, will offer a look at what the RV business has done in recent times to rebound in a fast-moving marketplace. Wood is also on the board of directors of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.

MIC members will also hear from their own at the symposium. MIC Chair Vitrano will provide observations on the state of the industry. And members will get an update on other association priorities, including sales and regulatory, from Erik Pritchard, general counsel and executive vice president for the MIC, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America and the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association.

“This is the best lineup of speakers we’ve ever assembled for the MIC Communications Symposium,” said MIC president and CEO Tim Buche. “We’re addressing the changing demographics, needs and attitudes of our customers and looking ahead to what we can do as an industry to adapt to new, changing and challenging times. We’re encouraging key MIC members and their staffs to attend. We’ve been at capacity in the Carson Center in recent years and we expect this symposium to be just as popular, so we suggest reserving seats well in advance.”

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