RAINY WEATHER MAY have put a damper on anyone who wanted to ride to last weekend’s motorcycle show in Long Beach, Calif., but once they got to the event, they stayed put.
“While attendance was essentially even with last year, the show attracted more quality consumers who spent more time and more money on the show floor,” said Jim Moore, director of sales for Advanstar Communications, parent of the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows (and Dealernews).
Exit surveys indicate that Long Beach attendees spent an average of 3.6 hours on the show floor, an increase of 63 percent over the 2.2-hour tour-wide average during the 2009-2010 tour. And 86 percent of attendees said they made a purchase at the pre-holiday event, up from 68 percent last year.
“Long Beach attendees spent an average of $216 per person, up from $160 last year,” Moore noted.
Rainy weather doused most outdoor activities. Demo rides from the major manufacturers were scrapped when rain – and lots of it – descended on Southern California Friday morning and stayed throughout the weekend. Still, the wet pavement didn’t stop Jason Britton and Team No Limit from putting on their planned outdoor stunt show Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“We invested heavily in more entertainment features to keep our attendees on the show floor longer and improve their experience,” Moore said. “In Long Beach, we hosted motorcycle racing superstars such as Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies.”
Celebrity enthusiasts such as Tom Arnold and “Survivor” contestant Rupert Boneham appeared on the MotoFlix stage. A panel discussion at the Women Ride area featured racers Elena Myers, Leslie Porterfield and Melissa Paris.
More than 40 percent of attendees surveyed reported that they plan to make a motorcycle purchase within the next 12 months, and 67 percent indicated that the Long Beach show influenced their decision on what kind of motorcycle they will buy.
The tour takes a break for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays before heading north and east in January. The next Progressive International Motorcycle Show is scheduled for Jan. 7-9 in Novi, Mich. For more information, visit www.motorcycleshows.com.