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Discussion Starter #1
Totally shocked to see BMW a complete no show at the Cleveland bike show. No
Booth, no bikes, no presence.

Two years ago (last time I was at the Cleveland bike show), BMW was at the front of the show, introducing the Grand America.

BMW was also at the Chicago bike show last year.

Really glad I drove 3 hours one way to not see the 1800 boxer! Or buy some authentic BMW apparel. Or - at very least - shoot the breeze on all things BMW.

Cleveland does not rock! And BMW gets a F for not even showing up.



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I had thought about making a day trip over from metro Detroit this weekend, but after seeing your post I’m glad I decided not to. They dropped Detroit off the circuit several years ago, but by then I had stopped going...it was becoming more populated with t-shirt booths and other vendors selling stuff with barely a connection to motorcycling, if at all.
 

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Totally shocked to see BMW a complete no show at the Cleveland bike show. No
Booth, no bikes, no presence.

Two years ago (last time I was at the Cleveland bike show), BMW was at the front of the show, introducing the Grand America.

BMW was also at the Chicago bike show last year.

Really glad I drove 3 hours one way to not see the 1800 boxer! Or buy some authentic BMW apparel. Or - at very least - shoot the breeze on all things BMW.

Cleveland does not rock! And BMW gets a F for not even showing up.



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BMW was at the IMS show in Long Beach, CA. They had NO answers nor any information, the BMW Corp reps from New Jersey were NOWHERE to be found. Hiding maybe? One would think that BMW knew they would be inundated with questions and to my surprise it was "CRICKETS" The only people that said anything were the local dealers trying to sell you bikes or get you in their doors. They had demo bikes and I'm not sure they were fixed as this show was in the middle of the recall. The folks at the Demo trailer said they have NO idea if the bikes on demo were fixed? Talk about a [email protected]##$. All I want is my bike fixed, warranty extended and my service warranty extended as well.
 

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A buddy of mine went to IMS in Cleveland yesterday, and said it was greatly reduced in size. A Polaris dealer from Cleveland that we know, also said that the dealer per sq ft cost at Cleveland was the highest cost of any of the shows they have. Most dealers can't afford the costs. A manufacturer like BMW should be there but probably don't want to have to answer all the questions....
 

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Most dealers can't afford the costs. A manufacturer like BMW should be there but probably don't want to have to answer all the questions....
... or as you stated: cities are charging too much for floor space and manufacturers are also determining advertising money can be better spent elsewhere.

After the EICMA Motorcycle Show, hosted annually in Milan, it's all downhill. :smile:

Tom
 

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Tradeshows are very difficult for companies to continue to sponsor/attend. Where tradeshows used to be the unique way to reach the consumer the tradeshows now compete with virtual tradeshows (more in a sec), direct web presence (manufacturer), indirect web presence (dealer, trade publications, etc), online news and other outlets (click bait sites), and most of all social networks. Al of those outlets are funded from the same marketing budget.

Tradeshows in all forms are very expensive and can add up to more than 1/2 of the annual marketing budget of a company. You have T&E (travel and entertainment), floorspace, unions in some cases, utilities, carpet, furniture, internet connectivity, etc.. On top of that you have shipping, insurance, and the booth itself. For a large tradeshow at a show like CES the average reasonable size booth is going to cost upwards of $300k once you factor in expenses and large booths may land in the million dollar++ range. Even small tradeshows are going to cost 50-70k each once you factor in the distraction (people out of the office) and thats going to have to come out of profit margins.

Also, the audience measured as tradeshow attendance is down year over year for at least 5 consecutive years and in some industries even longer.

For those reasons companies are now choosing to explore alternative investments as tradeshows are pure marketing and advertising expense and the bang is no longer there for the buck you spend. This means more money flowing to the dealer for co-op dollars, more experience related investments (ride day), and more money flowing to online advertising and marketing campaigns.

Several years go our marketing department brought up the idea of virtual tradeshows. I quickly axed it as pure dumba$$ery but they persisted and I ended up saying yes. A virtual tradeshow is an online presence where manufacturers agree to be available directly to add new information, answer questions, etc.. Think of it as being the living version of a website where there are people behind every picture and there is more than one manufacturer. Turns out it was a great investment for us as attendance was through the roof and we made a lot of great contacts. Not for every market, product, or even consumer but it worked for us.
 

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Glad I decided not to come down to Cleveland as well. I've been to the last three shows in a row and had decided that I was going to take a break.



It will be interesting if they show up at AIM Expo in October.
 

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These shows are more & more less about bikes. Pretty bad when the promoter fills booth space with massage chairs, window replacement and basement foundation repair people. My wife & I travel around selling our art work and the booth space rental is stupid expensive plus all the other cost to do a show. I can just imagine how much booths go for at these shows.
 

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According to the PDF of exhibitors, BMW Corp will not be there. I don't think it's the cost of the event, but more avoiding the recall questions. IMHO
 

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According to the PDF of exhibitors, BMW Corp will not be there. I don't think it's the cost of the event, but more avoiding the recall questions. IMHO
I highly doubt that. Dealing with customers is just part of the life of a manufacturer. Corporations like BMW have constant legal issues to deal with and at any given time they probably have recalls in effect somewhere in the company (BMW parent or BMW subsidiary) and there is always the guy who walks into the booth to specifically kick someone in the shins, its just something you learn to deal with, IOW, its just part of their day to day life and a recall is the time you want to get out in front of the public, not hide. You leverage your presence at the show to 'own' your message whatever it is, meaning that you deliver it directly, sincerely, and with empathy. Being present in the face of challenges (like a recall) shows support and commitment, not being there is 99.9999999% of the time a financial decision based on the next few years of product launches (saving up for a bigger marketing push), not a short term decision because you don't want to deal with a few shin kickers.

If you don't know how tradeshows work, the tradeshows are an opportunity to market to the public and the decisions on whether to attend a tradeshow (or not) are typically made a year in advance, typically for the '20 show you would be committing to the floor space (or not) while you are still at the '19 show, typically on the 2nd day of that show. The motivation for commitment to the next years show are based on your ability to choose the right booth size and location (first come first serve or on a points system based on previous show commitments). The penalties for changing your mind (you sign a contract) far exceed the discount you get for the commitment so the manufacturer typically has already made the decision a year out. On top of this are logistics, you start to do the planning a year out with everything from the booth itself, your booth partners, the booth builder, securing hotel rooms, etc.. Backing out is costly on all fronts.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
BMW did show in NY but Triumph did not . I wanted to see thee new Rocket were they in Cleveland?


Sorry for late reply - Triumph was also a no show!! It was a really small show in comparison to all the others I have been to throughout the years. I go every year alternating between Cleveland & Chicago, ever since they stopped coming to Michigan - a total headscrather there- as it was always well attended.


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These shows are more & more less about bikes. Pretty bad when the promoter fills booth space with massage chairs, window replacement and basement foundation repair people. My wife & I travel around selling our art work and the booth space rental is stupid expensive plus all the other cost to do a show. I can just imagine how much booths go for at these shows.
So in essence it's like going to our annual State Fair where you can buy anything from ladders to swimming pools and even wax for your car that once applied you can put lit lighter fluid on and the paint shows no damage. What a unique experience.....

Rick H.
 

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There was no BMW presence at the DC IMS show earlier this month, either (which is a change from last year). A little bummed as I wanted to sit on a K1600B.

Kawasaki, Honda and Suzuki (???) all had huge booths, HD was about half their normal size, and Yamaha, Ducati and Indian all had a token presence. Nothing from anyone else, IIRC.

- RightD
 

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I see BMW of Richfield, Moon's and Leo's South........That is all 3 dealers selling BMW in the Twin Cities. You don't think the Mother Ship helped them to all be there under the giant roundel banner?
Of course, they get that support in the form of co-op dollars (money that flows back to the sales channel to support marketing efforts).
 

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I doubt the recall on the K1600 had anything to do with a decision to attend a trade show. There are plenty of other models/segments BMW serves that are much larger than the K bike segment. BMW wouldn't reject the chance to reach those other riders because of a recall on one (small) model line. As others have mentioned, the ROI for trade shows is difficult to justify. Dealing with a few ticked off people over a recall would never factor into the decision.

Zach



According to the PDF of exhibitors, BMW Corp will not be there. I don't think it's the cost of the event, but more avoiding the recall questions. IMHO
 
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