Saturday, May 22, 2010

Amerivespa 2010 - Why dealers should attend

Thursday May 27th will be the start of Amerivespa this year in San Antonio, TX. I usually go to only one or two rallies to meet with store owners each year. My first rally was in 2001 Mile High in Denver which was the biggest I had seen, I returned the following year because I had such a good time. Then every year I would pick a local or regional one to attend picking something different.

Not all rallies are big sometimes only 20 or 30 scooters, but they are happy when someone from the industry shows up. I have gone to one or two where it was only a handful of people but thats ok. Now this is a rider event, but I cannot stress how important the "major" rallies are for research, education, and getting to know the industry. If you are looking for a job its a great way to meet people in the business. You can't go expecting to sell anything or to really talk with suppliers, you should go to see and hear what riders do with their bikes. So go to connect, to listen, and to learn. If you want to open a store, or just opened one, go.

This year I think the biggest of rallies is the one the industry in general in focusing on. I've mentioned how terrible 2009 was for the industry so I'm glad to see companies like Kymco promoting it more than ever. I know it's called "Amerivespa" because Vespa has become synonymous with the word "scooter" to the average person, but the truth is if you look back companies like Kymco have been better promoters of local rallies in the US the last few years. Even the late Peter Warrick would tell me that was one of his biggest peeves with Piaggio that he was a bigger sponsor of Amerivespa last year than they were.

This year will be a little different. Everyone from Kymco to Vectrix is going to be there. I know a lot of vendors have tables, but they are mostly to educate not to sell. The guys there already have scooters. It's important to get some news, to make sure scooters are seen as an important form of transportation in America, and to promote the dealers that support these events. Whenever you see a rally the local news gets involved and Amerivespa often gets national attention which is great. The last two months you've might have noticed Kymco USA promoting a ride all the way there from their corporate office check it out at They have done a terrific job of getting the word out, press including clips online, ads, and mentions in Powersports Business and Dealer News about the trip. Rick Pawelka the director of Marketing at Kymco USA has probably gotten the most press I have seen on Amerivespa in years.

Back to why you should attend as a Dealer....

This is an educational event in a way. At Dealer Expo you have 10 mins with people and you are trying to sell. This even you are there to watch and learn, to talk to other dealers, and have a good time. The same applies to people that do this from 9 to 5. When I attend dealer events I'm there to sell stuff to stores, at this event I'm there just to have a good time and support the industry friends that we have. If you have a store keep an open mind, meet people from other walks of life and regions of the country and you will have a blast.

If you've never heard of Amerivespa I think it's quite educational for any new dealership to attend a major rally. Your employees will thank you for taking them. It's like Disney for the kids if you can afford to go take them. I have often walked into a dealership and seen pictures on the wall from rallies where all the employees attended. Not every dealer can afford to go to Intermot, Tokyo or Milan. However, Amerivespa takes place in our backyard. If you are getting into the business of scooters for the first time I would say in the US you should see the Dealer Expo, attend a supplier retreat at least once, do some Dealer University training, and go to a rally or two. If you can pick any scooter event to train and learn about the industry go to the biggest one at least once. You can find out more about it at:

If you can't attend I know select sites are going
Expect live coverage of the event from our friends at the Scooter Scoop

Powersports Business Daily


Motorcycle Product News is covering the event and will have a spread in the August issue

Make sure to follow the Kymco corporate ride at:

So if you are going, get the word out. The industry needs it more than ever.

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