Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dealer Expo third year of the Steak n Shake Meet UP

Dealer Expo 2012 might have been smaller ( ask anyone who was actually there not the press or the guys who present it to be honest about it ) it might have had fewer sales, but it had some good points. Let's go for the positives since I spent most of the day going over the PR releases Advanstar put out.

Now for as much as I wrote, I will still be there in 2013 if the good Lord will have me there on another scooter adventure. Yes, I am a sucker for the cold of Indianapolis in the winter. Why not? I've had several valentines days among the motorcycle crowds.

If you are in the business you have to go to Daytona and you have to go to Indy.

I had a great talk with some good people at the show. I have to say we are all survivors in a way if you've been in business the last 5 years and are still in business good for you. I saw some guys who I used to compete with who are now at other companies and I told them I missed them. What is He-Man without Skeletor? Seriously, there are so many wacked out Characters in this business that you miss them when they are gone. What is the lonely cold war warrior without the soviets to spy on? No more glamorous espionage in Europe, nope stuck looking for people in mountains and poppy fields in the middle of nowhere.

I went to the Steak N Shake annual meet up at 2am for shakes and burgers this year several of the guys didn't make it, hopefully they had some good reasons. It's been a tradition among some hardcore press people. They are underpaid, under appreciated, and honestly some of the hardest workers. So if I ever say anything about Advanstar don't take it personally some of the writers are good friends ( I meant the corporate guys above ) Some of the writers who don't appear in the pictures have worked everywhere MPN, Dealer News, MI Mag, online... you get the picture. Hero for hire. They know whats up in the industry and have helped educate me because despite knowing a lot about scooters I still don't know everything about the motorcycle industry.

Good stuff from 2012 we'll our Dealer Expo 2012 Booth.
We had two of our suppliers with booths next to each other and rather than show up and confuse dealers like we did in 2011 with 10,000 parts we just kept it simple. One booth for our disks and one booth with our mirrors.

In all fairness, I have to say I really appreciate the call from Kerry Graeber. We had a great conversation today, and the fact that he wants to start a dialogue with the scooter industry is very interesting. I suggested the one guy who he should talk to our good friend and Scooter Guru ( yes he looks like a big Buddha ) Josh Rogers from Scoot!

So I say lobby Kerry Graeber =

Tell him how you feel about scooters, tell him why the EV section should have had the Electric Vehicle pavillion, Scooter tests and an outside area is the way to go. Having the Chinese there in a different way is something they need to think about it.

So we hope to bring back the Scoot! class by Josh Rogers in 2013. Glad Advanstar read the blog, and I really hope they do follow up and hire the guy. All the ideas that Josh lobbied Advanstar with the last 5 years have fallen on deaf ears. I hope this time they listen to him.

Last year he had the class and it was a success! People still talk about it and thank me and I'm like no you need to thank the guy from Scoot! This year despite Dealer News not really reaching out to him, he still went, promoted the show, and helped out. Maybe, they would do better if they let him just be in charge of the EV and Scooter Section. Bring in someone who is neutral and can do the class.

Put Ryan Jeffrey in charge of the mechanics class. Do it for free. He was formerly with SW, Genuine, and is a former shop owner and currently builds and restores many Vintage Vespas. Great guy and probably the reason there are thousands of scooters working right now on the roads. He's an industry consultant and been a free agent the last year or so there is no better guy to help Advanstar fix what's wrong with the scooter section than those two.

Some pictures from the MRP setup for 2012.

 I will say this better than any sale were the conversations. I was able to meet up and see Jimmy, Adam, Jim, Diana, Brett, all names of major distributors who sell parts who I respect and I'm friends with. One of the biggest names whose been doing this for 20 years came up to me and said "Mr. Maven! I respect what you have done, I send you stores all the time." That meant more to me than a million dollars because he's 20 years my senior and a brilliant mechanic. At first he thought let the Chinese distributors go out of business, but then he realized many of his own dealers needed United Motors, TNG, Keeway, Hyosung, CPI parts and we were there to help them. There was no way any one company could do all the business. So he thanked me because his own store (they have two stores now to survive as well) was buying parts from us. So that meant more than all the sales.

Best part of the show having great clients from Puerto Rico, Orlando, Panama, Venezuela, Argentina all show up and say hello. Plus being in an international setting where suppliers that respect what I do from Italy and Spain having our back. This economy brings out the worst in people, but it also brings out the best. So I have mad love for everyone who came to the show and said "Hey let me buy something to help pay for your booth" the fact that one of my clients said that to me I have him 20% off everyone on the spot because he understood exactly what I was trying to say about supporting the people the support you. You scratch my back I scratch yours.

Special mention goes to Village Scooters who gave us the best present I have ever gotten and I adore it. This made the show worth it. Just this one article alone I took home from me and it sits next to my desk now.

Village Scooters MRP diorama

NG DISK BOOTH with Josh Rogers of Scoot!

We would also like to welcome ZEIBE the newest member of
The Spanish Motorcycle Exporters Association (SMEA) in English 
Asociación Española de Empresas (Exportadores) Motociclismo ( el sector dos ruedas) 

MRP already has some of their products in the USA and to find out more contact us.

Even better a dealer from Hawaii got us a gift of the best brand of chocolates you can give to anyone.

Mad love to Chris our boy who brought us the best dessert in the world. I had just gone to the source a few weeks ago so it's great to know someone is paying attention.

Alright let's hope Advanstar and Dealer News listens for 2013 because if not the new Dealer Show thats starting to take form will take over.

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