Looking for more positive signs for racing industry sales this year? Take a look at this ‘behind-the-scenes’ news from PRI:
•More booths were plotted in the initial floor plan layout for the 2011 Performance Racing Industry Trade Show than the entire number of booths in the 2010 PRI Trade Show.
•There are already over 110 racing companies committed to the 2011 PRI Trade Show that did not exhibit last year. Over 70 of these companies are past exhibitors absent in the last few years due to challenging economic conditions but are returning in 2011 to Orlando this December. (All of these figures are as of February 28.)
•Over 40 companies that are brand new to the racing industry’s trade show will be there in Orlando with new cutting-edge racing technology on display.
•An astounding 90 percent of exhibitors in the 2010 PRI Trade Show made an immediate decision to renew their exhibit option for 2011 and are now plotted on the floor plan.
•Over 50 companies expanded their number of booths for 2011.
•Over 50 companies elected to take advantage of the new island exhibit format.
•The PRI Trade Show’s famed Machinery Row section—the best place for race engine builders to comparison shop precision machining equipment from over 100 manufacturers—has grown in booth space over the previous year.
“I’ve never seen exhibit option renewal forms come in this fast,” exclaimed Reed Morales, senior sales and marketing manager since 2002.
“It’s been a very tough couple of years for many companies in racing, so it was a good feeling to see some great racing companies return,” said Judy Kean, senior sales and marketing manager. “It’s an excellent sign for all of us in the racing industry.”
“Companies are very happy with the business-to-business quality of buyers at every PRI Trade Show,” said Francisque Savinien, director of global sales and marketing for PRI. “Many expanded their number of booths to better meet the demands of these kinds of buyers.”
Buyer attendance at the PRI Trade Show has remained strong and stable, despite the sudden downturn in the economy that shocked everyone at the end of 2008. There was even an uptick in buyer attendance at the 2010 PRI Trade Show over the previous year.
For 2011, it’s expected that 40,000 buyers will come, shop, buy.
Most important, buyers travel to Orlando from throughout the United States to make inventory decisions for their racing businesses at the PRI Trade Show. Plus, international buyers arrive from 65 countries. The PRI Trade Show is a true national, and international, professional trade-only show.
Buyers also come from all segments of racing, including drag, stock car, open wheel, road racing, off-road, karting and more.
Last year, the PRI Trade Show had approximately 3000 booths and 1000 exhibitors. “We’re already ahead of where we finished last year, and we now have the entire year to get even more racing industry suppliers to exhibit at the 2011 PRI Trade Show,” said Eric Jurado, sales and marketing manager. “It’s good for everyone to have as many racing companies as possible exhibiting all in the same place at the same time.”
Every year, during the PRI Trade Show, each exhibitor is provided an Exhibit Option Renewal Form that will make their exhibit part of the initial floor plan plotting session that takes place in February. It’s the best time to request the same location in the PRI Trade Show, a different location, or more booths.
Many exhibitors returned their exhibit option renewal forms while they were at the PRI Trade Show in Orlando, bringing them to the Show Office in the Orange County Convention Center.
Then, in February, members of the PRI team—sales and trade show—hold a week-long off-site meeting devoted exclusively to laying out the next year’s Show floor plan according to the requests of the exhibitors. Karin Davidson, trade show director, officiates this important exhibitor plotting exercise at the meeting. The PRI Trade Show sales team stay in close phone contact with their exhibitor customers this week so they are informed immediately of their options.
“We had a new task this year in plotting island exhibits. We thought it would be an excellent way to offer our customers added value for no additional charge,” said Davidson. “We’re happy to report that the Trade Show is going to look great next year. The island exhibits will add a new touch in terms of improved display, more creative merchandising and greater number of new racing products.”
The 2011 PRI Trade Show will be held December 1–3, 2011, in the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando.
It is timed to provide owners and managers of racing retail stores, race engine builders, motorsports engineers, professional race teams, WDs, fabricators, race track promoters and more the opportunity to preview the hottest new advances in racing components, technology and engineering, so they can make purchase decisions and have products in inventory in time for the start of the next racing season’s sales.
The PRI Trade Show is the place manufacturers of racing components display their new products and the exhibit aisles are jam-packed with the racing entrepreneurs that represent the distribution network for these products.
Also, the Machinery Row section of the PRI Trade Show features exhibits by 100 manufacturers of precision machining equipment wired for live demonstrations using race engine components. It’s one of the best places in the world for a race engine builder to compare machinery, and make a purchase decision.
“It’s been a ‘must attend’ event for over two decades, and that hasn’t changed just because the economy took a bad turn,” said Danny Kirby, sales and marketing manager. “We heard one exhibitor say at the Show, ‘There’s nothing like it!’ as he turned in his exhibit option renewal form, and I think that sums it up pretty well.”
“Racers will find a way. That’s their nature. And when it comes to the business of racing, motorsports entrepreneurs are adapting to the new economic environment, and they’re coming on strong,” said Jeff Swoboda. “There are new business opportunities being born, and that’s the big draw of the PRI Trade Show.”
Racing Industry Week 2011
Thousands of racing entrepreneurs arrive early in Orlando each year to attend big pre-Show events, such as the Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC). The AETC is the oldest and most respected conference in the country for race engine builders, and attracts hundreds each year, seeking new insights in speed and horsepower, as well as the chance to meet others in their field.
Big news this year for Racing Industry Week is the Professional Motorsport Circuit Owners, Investors and Suppliers Forum North America. Organized by Professional Motorsport World magazine, based in the UK, the race track forum will bring together motorsport facility owners, operators and managers from across North America. The forum will discuss the development of new and existing facilities to maximize the return on investment and looking at options for expanding the revenue base through additional on-site facilities, such as kart tracks and drag strips. It will also consider approaches to generating the top-line revenue through creating and increasing the fan and user base through low cost, innovative marketing and networking approaches.
In addition the Forum will discuss the bread-and-butter issues of track operation and maintenance: paving, lighting, electronic marshaling systems, timing and scoring systems, barriers and fences and noise issues.
Also, the Annual Congress of the International Council of Motorsport Sciences is returning to Orlando this December, co-locating with the PRI Trade Show in the Orange County Convention Center. It is the most prestigious gathering of surgeons, doctors, race track emergency personnel and other race safety experts. Last year, race safety experts came from four continents to attend.
The Stock Car Setup Seminar, organized by Advanced Racing Suspensions, will also return this year. Asphalt stock car master Freddie Query packs ’em in to hear his chassis secrets over two days.
And the Industry Roundtable always serves as the most honest and liveliest discussion of racing issues today.
All of the racing industry all at one time all in one hall. That’s what the racing industry needs, and that’s what it continues to find in the PRI Trade Show. And, in 2011, it looks like there’ll be even more to enjoy.