Dealer Expo: ‘What people need from the show has changed,' says Tracy Harris

Publish Date: 
Feb 15, 2013
By Dennis Johnson

“We know it. We own it, and now it’s up to us to follow through,” she said.

According to Harris, the move to a fall timeframe not only puts Dealer Expo in the middle of an important holiday buying season, it means getting to Indianapolis should be free the typical winter travel worries. And make no mistake, Harris said, Indianapolis’ central location makes it an ideal venue for the Expo.

In addition to the One Voice effort, Advanstar is also forming a Dealer Expo advisory board made up of four powersports dealers and seven exhibiting companies — including some who no longer exhibit at the show — to serve as a resource and a sounding board for new developments. The board, Harris noted, will include a good generational mix to include the newer voices of professionals who are now part of the industry.

Harris stressed that whatever develops through One Voice, the plan will be flexible and dynamic enough to be tweaked to fit a constantly evolving industry.

“We will make midcourse corrections,” Harris said. “We won’t be so fixated on our own ideas that we’re not going to adjust if the market says, ‘Yikes. You got that wrong.’”

“We’re going to take the time now to get your input and do this right. We created some confusion this year and for that we apologize,” Harris said. “From this day forward we’re dedicated to working with you to make this event the best possible resource it can be for our industry.”

With this year’s show now in full swing, Harris said there’s one more thing she really hopes to communicate that may be missing following years of decreased sales and low morale — and that’s the very fun nature of this industry. It’s easy to overlook why so many of people are working in this business to begin, she said.

“If I could say anything to anybody, let’s have some fun,” she adds. “Of course, let’s do business, but let’s have some fun,” she said.