The U.S. pavilion at EICMA once again has plans to promote and tout American brands that are prime for overseas growth in the motorcycle market.
For 2017, however, the Italian Trade Agency is handling booth sales to U.S. companies in an effort to expand the American footprint at the 75th annual show. EICMA, known as the largest motorcycle trade show in the world, is set for Nov. 7-12 at Fiera Milano in Milan, Italy.
Previously, booth space at the American pavilion at EICMA had been sold by ANCMA, the Italian Manufacturers Association of Bicycles, Motorcycles and Accessories that owns and manages EICMA.
Powersports Business editor in chief Dave McMahon recently spoke with Florindo Blandolino, trade commissioner of the Italian Trade Agency’s Los Angeles bureau, about the 75th anniversary of EICMA and how U.S.-based companies can get involved.
Powersports Business: Why has the Italian Trade Agency decided to take over booth sales for the U.S. pavilion at EICMA?
Florindo Blandolino: The primary role of our agency is to help the internationalization of Italian companies, while promoting at the same time the excellence of Italian industry. EICMA embodies the best Italy has to offer when it comes to trade shows, and it is our way of enhancing the opportunities of collaboration between Italy and the U.S.
PSB: Why should U.S. powersports aftermarket parts and accessories companies consider taking a booth at the U.S. pavilion at EICMA?
FB: EICMA is the world’s top showroom for “two wheels,” both in terms of exhibitors and media attending in addition to visitors. It combines the B2B with the B2C approach, granting a unique opportunity to being discovered and setting a foot in Europe. With exhibitors coming from more than 40 countries, EICMA is the event, not to be missed, to be among the leaders.
PSB: How is the powersports market in Italy faring specifically at the moment? Are there more people buying and riding motorcycles and scooters than in recent years?
FB: Figures are very clear in this respect: On the streets of Italy, motorcycles and scooters are buzzing (and roaring) at the moment 8.6 million motorbikes. Of these, 2 million are mopeds, with an average increase of 1 percent per year. It constitutes roughly a third of the European market. Sales have grown 6.4 percent in 2015, and 11.6 percent last year. The aftermarket sector is accelerating as well and, if you consider that 30 percent of riders customize their exhausts, it is not difficult to understand why this market is worth 1 billion Euro ($1.08 billion).
PSB: Tell me a little about the show’s audience or attendees. Are they trade or consumer? Where are they coming from?
FB: Trade visitors come from 124 countries, and their number has increased by 24 percent compared to 2014. Thanks to a sophisticated program of matchmaking, companies can organize their own schedule of B2B matchmaking with professionals from all over the world.
Last year over 650,000 enthusiasts visited EICMA, 9 percent more than the previous year. This makes EICMA the world’s leading showroom both in terms of trade and consumers. Exhibitors come from Italy (54.5 percent), Europe (20.8 percent), Asia (14.2 percent) and the Americas (2.3 percent).
The media coverage is impressive, with 6,428 journalists coming from 128 countries (5.5 percent from the Americas); more than 165 television coverages on EICMA were broadcast, 561 articles in the press, not mentioning the growth on social media (up 104 percent compared to 2015, with more than 12 million single users on Facebook). Last but not least, special areas of the show are dedicated to Start Up and Innovation, e-bikes and tourism.
PSB: What other industries does the ITA have involvement with regarding trade shows?
FB: Our L.A. office represents two U.S. American shows (Interbike and AIMExpo), and the agency, with its network of 86 offices worldwide, has reached expansion in various areas (technology, furniture, jewelry, fashion, food and wine) in many different countries and is eager on expanding its scope, thus enhancing reciprocal growth and cooperation.
PSB: What can you tell me about the U.S. pavilion? What are some of the amenities? What is the cost for a booth? What about shipping?
FB: The booth costs vary from Euro 240-270 ($266-$300) per square meter. Corner and open sided booths are also available at a cost of Euro 260-270, respectively. The amenities are turnkey including booth setup, table and chairs, shelving, electrical and booth display graphics.
PSB: What U.S. companies have been in the U.S. pavilion in recent years?
FB: Harley-Davidson, Indian, Polaris, Parts Unlimited, GoPro and many more.
PSB: Now that some companies are interested in booth space at EICMA, who can they contact?
FB: They should contact Nighisti Egzhiaber here at the Italian Trade Agency in Los Angeles at phone 323/879-0950, ext. 116 or via email at email@example.com.