I have been hearing a lot of grumbling about all of the motorcycle shows this year.
Some people are unhappy with the parking charges ($12 to park is RIDICULOUS seems to be the common lament - I concur - I do not see how the Toronto Super Show can offer free parking but even in a small center like Red Deer they are charging for parking now)

Gate Prices are another bone of contention to many - and I have to agree that when a show shrinks in size you'd think the price would go down but when nothing else goes down in price how can you do that?
You still have to cover the costs of the show and wages....

Some are unhappy with the size of the shows - (the number of vendors is down - largely due to the economy)
Some are unhappy that there are no new offerings from the manufacturers - no true unveiling of any new machines or new technology...

And even more are grumbling because the shows seem geared to attracting new riders and not towards the more experienced rider.

I wonder how many of you realize that the show promoters have almost no control over 90% of what goes on with their shows....

The people who own the venue set the fees for parking, the rent costs to the promoter and the costs for carpet, tables, chairs and power/internet to the exhibitor as is dictated by GES.

If you think the fees you spectators are charged is bad:
A retail booth where you are allowed to sell product from your booth averages - $12.95 per square foot
If you are only exhibiting - $9.50 Shows in smaller centers can be cheaper but then there is usually less spectator traffic too.

GES - the show exhibit people charge for everything they do....Internet is $80 per day, Electrical $85 for the weekend, a chair is $25 and a table is: $55 for the weekend
Carpet will run you another: $3 - 4 per square foot...
This is just for a basic booth people - nothing fancy or out of the ordinary!

The venue owners also dictate what food and drink is available and what fees will be charged for those items.The show promoter gets NO Kick back from the food or drink that is sold.

The event coordinator only really has control of two things - the marketing of the event and even then if there are no sponsors there is little marketing that can be done and the entertainment/events within the event - but again - if there are no sponsors, there is little in the way of entertainments. So really - unless the economy is good - the show managers are at the mercy of everyone else.

I would not want to be Laurie Paetz, Daryl Bond or Nanette Jacques for all of the tea in China right now as there is NOTHING about this economy or their shows that is really within their control.

Consumers are not attending any of the shows in any meaningful numbers, manufacturers are not attending (Titan, Saxon, Zero to name a few), I myself have been quite shocked by the businesses who are NOT attending these shows.- the economy is kicking the crap out of good people and no one is giving these event coordinators credit for the job they have done turning lemons and lots of them into lemonade.

So folks, what is the answer here?
Anyone got a magic bullet that they can give to the MMIC and the Canadian National Sportsman's Shows?

In an ideal world where the economy isn't kicking the crap out of everyone, what DO you want to see in a motorcycle show?

What things, events, products do you feel need to be included in these shows?

What are you willing to spend to attend a show?

For Parking?

Is $6.50 a fair price for an alcoholic beverage?
How about $10.75 for a hamburger with potato salad?
How about $3.25 for the swill they pass off as coffee?

Do you realize that wages - the money people want for working at these venues is a large reason for the costs we consumers pay - only one of many reasons, but one of the larger ones?  It's a vicious circle people!

In the news today:
Harley-Davidson is announcing a New Sportster available in Canada this year ...

There is a very cool story on a Motocross riding dog named Opee

Victory has announced the limited edition Vegas

Our Canadian Motorcycle Shows are in the same boat as Europe and New York....

If you are a lucky dawg who is riding today - PLEASE, ride like everyone around you is blind and can not see you. For the rest of you there is about a week to get your bike entered in to the Beat the PMS Blues On Line Show 'n' Shine!

Belt Drive Betty
National VP A.I.M.Can

Post a Comment

  1. First of all, I don't go to shows for the food. Not only is it usually overpriced, it's never any good. I find a restaurant nearby and eat first.

    Why do I go to shows? 2 reasons - 1) to see the latest offerings and get a chance to sit on them and talk to dealers, and 2) to check out the accessories, clothing, etc. And it's the second items that I will buy at a show. I would never buy a bike there unless it was truly fire sale prices.

    Parking - depends on location. Again I'll look for street parking nearby and walk.

    Ticket prices - $10 - $15 is acceptable for a decent show. Much more than that and I'd probably pass.

    For more comments see