New January show will be for dealers, retailers.

The motorcycle show scene continues to morph thanks to COVID-19, with AIMExpo the latest major show announcing major changes for 2020. The Motorcycle Industry Council pushed the date forward for this year’s show; now, it will run in January 2021, with a different format. 

The MIC says the 2021 AIMExpo show will be an industry show, aimed at retailers and dealers (the press release says dealers are the “core audience” for the show). AIMExpo was open to the public for years, but that won’t be the case this time. The show is also changing to a three-day format, running January 21-23 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Originally, organizers had planned a four-day show in October. 

'Transitioning to the first quarter has been part of a long-term strategic plan for AIMExpo, along with providing more focus on our core audience – dealers," said Cinnamon Kernes, a bigwig with MIC Events. These changes not only align the show with the ideal buying time for dealers and retailers, but also provide the perfect opportunity for brands to reconnect with dealers, kicking off what will be a pivotal year for the industry, additionally, this move to January opens the door to partner with a major distributor in a much more strategic and meaningful way.” 

The press release said the change in dates will ease financial problems for industry exhibitors and allow them to focus on a quality instead of quantity. 

This is just the latest chapter in the saga of AIMExpo, which has been changing constantly since its introduction in 2013. At that time, some saw the show as the American answer to EICMA and Intermot. For a while, it looked like the manufacturers were taking it seriously; a few OEMs introduced new powersports machines at the show in its early years in Florida. Then, the show moved back to the midwest, and in the years since, it’s grown increasingly similar to DealerExpo, the industry-only show that once dominated the US powersports landscape.