Keeping up with the customer

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The consumer is a fickle creature. One week, there were lines out the door at every Krispy Kreme in the country. Then along came the Atkins diet, and Krispy Kreme started going the way of the two-stroke. It’s almost impossible to predict what the masses will crave and throw their money at. Almost because the one thing you can predict the consumer will crave is CHANGE.

“Something new!” The masses cry and they gobble it up. “Something else new,” they scream again and they gobble that up just as fast. To continue to feed the insatiable monster that is the consumer market, you have to continuously adapt and change, adapt and change. This isn’t new information for anyone reading this magazine, as we’ve all heard it a thousand times before, but honestly, it can never be said enough ­­— because if you don’t keep saying it and hearing it, you won’t do it.

The International Motorcycle Shows are taking on a massive change for the 2010-2011 tour, the tour that marks the show’s 30th anniversary. First, the shows’ name has changed. It is officially named the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows. With a name change creates a perception change from the consumer, and we figured we’d take a cue from our new name and take a “progressive” approach to designing this winter’s show.

The 2010-2011 Progressive International Motorcycles Shows will be a brand-new powersports event experience from the ground up, from a completely new visual design and show environment to more entertainment, product interaction, learning opportunities, and gifts and prizes custom-built for the different motorcycle enthusiast lifestyles. All in attendance will encounter a completely new and different experience from the time they see the first promotions for the shows, to their arriving at the local expo hall and onto the show floor. Everyone will be treated to a 21st century experience unparalleled by any other motorcycle event in the country.

Some of our hot new show features include:

• The Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show, an elite-level custom bike

competition that is the first affiliate competition to the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building in North America

• Jason Britton Team No Limit Stunt Show, straight out of Hollywood up on one

• The Allstate Motorcycle Insurance DIY Garage and HUB seminar stages, educating the consumers about their passion

• MotoFlix, featuring the digitally remastered film “Take It to the Limit”

• Women Ride, a feature designated solely to the fastest-growing demographic in our industry

We also didn’t just reinvent the consumer experience; we’ve reinvented the exhibitor experience as well. Exhibitors will enjoy all-new premium booth displays and a reorganized floor layout to better drive traffic to all parts of the show floor. Gone will be the random booth arrangements that confuse consumers and make them feel lost. This will be replaced with an organized grid system that enable consumers to easily navigate the show floor.

All this change has created quite an investment, but you have to spend money to make money!

Drive 2 Dealer Discount Program

Not only are we reinvesting in our show to make it super-new and ultra-incredible, but we are also reinvesting in our dealer outreach program to drive more traffic to your store. This year, the only place consumers can find box office discount coupons for show tickets will be at dealerships that participate in our Drive 2 Dealer Discount Program.

Our Drive 2 Dealer program will be a part of our national and regional Web, print, e-mail and radio promotional campaign, generating well over 110 million impressions and creating a need for thousands of show fans to come knocking on your door looking for these box office discount coupons.

Participating dealerships will receive a listing on our Dealer Locator Map as well as receive four complimentary tickets to the show nearest you. Offer these enticing gifts to your VIP customers and/or employees at no cost to you. This program is your chance to tap into the $3.4 billion of buying power our show attendees have to spend on powersports products in the upcoming year.

Consumers that visit our show are NINE TIMES more likely to purchase a new powersports vehicle than a motorcyclist who doesn’t come to our show. And when your dealership exhibits at the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows, you send those buyers back through your doors. Take advantage of the enhanced vendor area by exhibiting at the show nearest you. It’s like having over 40,000 customers walk through your door in one weekend.

The Progressive International Motorcycle Shows is making a massive change to keep pace with consumer demand and continue to fulfill a need. We’re also changing our exhibitor and discount ticket programs to create a new need for dealerships. It’s up to you how you’re going to change to take advantage of it.

This story originally appeared in the Dealernews November 2010 issue.