It’s Friday afternoon, and in a few hours I’ll be boarding Delta flight 258 in Minneapolis headed for Milan Italy and EICMA, the world’s largest motorcycle show.
The show opens Tuesday and runs through Sunday, Nov. 7. I’ll be on the floor most days preparing reports that you can read here.
If you’ve not had an opportunity to visit EICMA, here are some numbers to consider: EICMA, which is open to consumers from Thursday to Sunday, drew 450,000 visitors last year, compared to the Dealer Expo which draws less than 20,000 industry only attendees. This year at EICMA, there will be about 1,100 exhibitors from 35 countries set up in six show halls that cover 505,000 sq. ft.
It’s a busy schedule. Tuesday and Wednesday are so-called trade days. That’s when much of the work gets done because there are no consumers jamming the aisles and clogging the booths.
These are the days when companies announce their new products to the industry and the news media. At this moment, there are 23 press conferences scheduled during the two days, roughly one every 30 minutes from the 10 am opening Tuesday to closing at 4 pm Wednesday.
Interestingly, some of the more savvy and aggressive companies have leaked unofficial information on their products prior to the official introduction in order to maximize coverage in magazines and blogs.
I’ll be working the show with Dealernews Editor-in-Chief Dennis Johnson, who has posted his own summary of the show here so I won’t go into all of those items. But here are some of the items on my To Do list, in no particular order:
- Participate in selected press conferences, including EICMA’s state of the industry session, and sessions by several of the major OEMs.
- Check out the Chinese and Taiwanese pavilions. I want see what new companies and products might be coming to the U.S.
- Visit the U.S. Pavilion to discuss exhibitor plans for selling into the European markets.
- Identify EICMA’s plans for it’s second motorcycle show in China next year.
- Talk with Italian motorcycle officials such as Constantino Ruggiero, director of EICMA, who is retiring this year. I want to get his view on the 2011 EICMA-China show and his views on the Italian motorcycle industry.
- Walk the floor to look for new products and new companies and pick up as many news tidbits as I can.
Okay, I’ll be busy at the show, but I’m also planning to sample some of the great dining and shopping in this buzzing fashion center. After all, I do have to provide a bit of perspective for the Big Show, don’t I? JD
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