All In the Family


Dennis JohnsonWhen I first started at Dealernews and discovered that our parent company, Advanstar, was the force behind the Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows, I was stoked. I’m inherently nosy, so getting the chance to take a behind-the-scenes look at what went into staging these events fed my curiosity. I love to know what makes things tick, from motorcycles to metal detectors to giant events.

And then I found out about Dealer Expo. We put that one on, too? We were the company that orchestrated these massive undertakings? How many people must that involve? How much planning? What makes these shows succeed?

What I found out stunned me. It isn’t a colossal staff of thousands, not even hundreds, that produces these events. These shows are orchestrated by a fairly small group of dedicated employees — show and marketing managers, salespeople, designers and attendee development experts. All working like clockwork to run the shows. Yes, several key outside contractors are involved, but at the shows’ cores is a fairly small bunch of dedicated people.

This is where I connect the dots between the Gear guide, our annual supplement focused on garments and accessories, and my co-workers. In the past, Gear has highlighted a power­sports VIP and a particular brand of apparel. One year it was Arlen Ness and his riding gear. Another year it was Brittany Morrow (aka the Road Rash Queen) modeling Icon.

This year we brought it home. We decided to introduce you to some of the great people behind the company’s trade and consumer shows, and media business. Many of them are enthusiasts, and others prefer to ride along. But they’re all enthusiastic about the jobs they have and the people they meet.

Click on this link to start a your “meet and greet” with a few of the men and women who make it all happen at the motorcycle shows, Dealer Expo, Dealernews and 2Wheel Tuner, and see them decked out like they might be if you saw them out on the road or the trail.

If you were paying any kind of attention to the motorcycling press the last year or so, you’ll recognize our Gear cover model Leslie Porterfield, AMA Racing’s 2008 Female Rider of the Year. Shortly after photographer Ric Moore took this shot, Porterfield hung up her “Gone Racin’” sign at High Five Cycles, her used-bike store in Dallas, and headed out to Bonneville to hit the salt flats once again. We talked with Porterfield about running her own pre-owned, full-service dealership and how grabbing three land-speed records can definitely be good for business.

I’m still amazed every time I walk into the Indiana Convention Center or the Long Beach Convention Center (my local Motorcycle Shows stop) and see what my co-workers have created. I’m honored to now be, in a very minute way, part of that clockwork.

Dennis Johnson
Dealernews, Editor-in-Chief

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