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DealerExpo_LogoLarge_2011_CThe annual Indianapolis Dealer Expo jumped off this past weekend with a new design, vendors, and lots of excited people looking to capitalize off of new hopes for a better motorcycle market.This year, the show, which takes place at the convention center next to Lucas Oil stadium, is all under one roof.

Previous to this year, the show was split up into different rooms, which made it virtually impossible to cover ground over 3 days. There’s still a ton of places to visit, but at least I didn’t have to wear a camelback to get to the next area.

I came across a couple cool products during my sojourn. The Onstar for motorcycles is probably one of most innovative technologies in the show. Basically, if you crash, the GPS calls and dispatches the local authorizes. Other cool products included a new type of apparatus that eliminates the need for tie downs. AAB also had an exclusive invite to view two of Cycle Gear’s very own gear lines, Sedici and Bilt.

Another innovative new program was a live auction of a few hundred used motorcycles for dealers looking score a few good buys.

I also visited with a company called “1Wheel revolution” an organized stunt team using cruisers, not sportbikes. The vibe of the Dealer Expo vs IMS is night and day. Indy is a pressure-filled canister of vendors looking to sell their products to potential dealers. It’s not open to the public, security is tight, and the only people allowed to attend are press, and of course, dealers. IMS is designed to show consumers what’s new and exciting in the world of motorcycles.

After talking with a few vendors, I have to say that it’s a tossup. Some people said the show was great, some thought the show was smaller and slower than last year. It’s hard to gauge the actual success of the show based on what a few vendors said, because it’s all based on who’s buying what at the particular time. From a traffic standpoint, it’s seemed busy…very busy. Whether dealers are actually spending money is the determining factor, and I won’t know that for a few weeks.

I’m hoping for the sake of future expos to come, that dealers, and the market are on an upward trend.

What I liked:

1. New Layout: Very functional and user friendly. Makes getting around to companies much easier.

2. Fashion Forward Section: Great addition to the program, along with the fashion shows. Well done.

3. Row Numbers: I can’t tell you how many times this saved me from looking around for my colleagues.

4. Being a hero in the China section because of my character tattoo that reads “Victory or Death”

What I didn’t like:

1. The Media Tour: A dismal highlight of 5 or 6 companies out of the hundreds that are displaying. Not really worth being there at 7:30 am.

2. The After Party Food: Hot dogs and Nachos. Seriously? I don’t drink, so I actually had to eat this stuff in a sober state. Not a big fan.

3. The Fact that WPS wouldn’t give me a backpack because I wasn’t a dealer. They do this shit every year and it never get’s any less annoying.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

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