Dealer Expo attendee registration well ahead of last year

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Dealers are registering for Dealer Expo in a fast and furious way. Show management reports that attendee registration for next February’s “Big Indy Show” is running nearly 40 percent ahead from this time last year.

This is another indicator that the powersports industry, at least in the aftermarket sector, may be bouncing back from the recession. At last month’s Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties NVP show, Lemans owner Fred Fox forecasted that the aftermarket is on the rebound. “Most of our sales reps are reporting positive attitudes and encouraging comments in their dealer stores,” he said.

Western Power Sports also reported increased sales during its annual sales meeting in early August. Industry-wide, however, the Dealer Expo is a key indicator of the aftermarket’s overall health.

“Dealer registration is tracking 39 percent ahead of this time last year,” reported Advanstar Vice President and General Manager Tracy Harris. “This is indicative of the retailers’ commitment to their business and their mission to find new and innovative product lines for their stores.

“Dealer Expo also provides the only venue in which all powersports retailers across North America can come in, network, and compare notes,” she added.

The 2011 Dealer Expo is an all-new show, with a much bigger and newly merchandised exhibit area and new learning experiences accommodated by the expansion of the Indiana Convention Center. This is the first time that the entire show, including seminars, special events and meeting areas, will be under one roof.

It’s also the first time that all Dealer Expo host hotels are downtown. The January 2011 opening of the JW Marriott Complex will provide more than 4,000 more hotel rooms within walking distance of the Convention Center. (That’s right: attendees won’t be forced to stay at the Airport or Keystone-area hotels.) Moreover, many of the downtown rooms are connected to the Convention Center through the downtown Indianapolis skywalk system.

The Top 100 Awards Gala on Friday evening has been expanded to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the competition. All Top 100 Dealers from 1992 to present day are being invited to a Homecoming Celebration and to welcome the Class of 2011.

The Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo is owned and operated by Advanstar Communications, parent of Dealernews and Dealernews.com. To register, visit www.dealerexpo.com. Check back with Dealernews for further updates on the show.