Over the years, the week of the PRI Trade Show has evolved into a much broader event than just a trade show as major conferences chose to co-locate with the world's largest gathering of racing professionals.
It's become known as Race Industry Week, and the 2011 edition offered something for everyone in the motorsports industry, as well as the latest advances in racing technology on display by over 1,000 companies at the PRI Trade Show.
No less than six major events ran in conjunction with the Show beginning on Monday the week of the Show:
All were well attended. Altogether, the week of the PRI Trade Show features over 35 conferences, seminars, social gathering and other events.
“It’s been extremely positive," said Brian Reese, of the AETC. "Every year continues to get stronger with the promotion of PRI. Our attendance is up from last year. Engine technology is universal. We have attendees from the professional engine builder to the grassroots builders to racers and speed shops and manufacturer engineers. All types of racing, circle track to drag racers to marine and motorcycles. It’s a great interaction with the PRI Show. It adds value for everyone involved. The PRI Show is on the radar for everybody and it helps us promote the event.”
Hundreds of race engine builders arrive in Orlando to attend the Advanced Engineering Technology Conference. It is one of the oldest and most respected race engine conferences. Click here for a list of speakers.
Gill Campbell, CEO of Mazda Raceway, Laguna Seca, attended the Circuit Owners Convention. “I see the Promoters Convention as a huge tool. I find it very useful. Getting together with your peers in the industry, there’s no other training ground you have as a promoter. You only learn from what other people do, so this is a tremendous showcase for new ideas," she said.
Dan McKeever, Director of Operations, Miller Motorsports Park, said, “We live in our own little world at race tracks, so it’s good to get some other perspectives. Even if it’s an oval track or drag racing track, we still face the same problems in trying to bring fans in to watch racing. In a market that’s down, we’re always looking for new ways to promote ourselves. We have a bunch of our partners that are here that we meet with, as well as being able to meet with the sanctioning bodies. This whole thing is beautiful for us. We’ll have probably 8-10 people attend here in total. We sell racing gear and look to sell more mechanical stuff through our race shop.”
Sam Gee, who organized the Professional Motorsports Circuit Owners & Operators Convention, said, "The convention is a pretty neat idea where we've tried to put together some expertise with all sorts of motorsports facilities. Finding audiences, finding new revenue streams and owning and operating effectively...We have over 100 people most of whom have a job title of CEO, they’re the decision-makers." Attendees came from throughout the US, as well as Singapore, Europe, Sweden Norway, the UK, Argentina and Chile.
Speaking about his Vehicle Dynamics Seminar, OptimumG's Claude Rouelle said, "Our seminar is going well, we have a terrific mix of people here. We have people from the automotive industry, from the tire industry, from race teams and all the way to Formula Student. It’s a nice combination of theory and practice, experience and wisdom and a hunger for knowledge. This is a great coupling with the PRI Show. We discuss so many things in the seminar, that our attendees can then take it directly to the Show floor and ask the product specialists and have a better idea of what questions to ask."
Jon Potter, executive director of the ICMS, said the event scored very high marks with attending motorsports safety professionals, including surgeons, race sanction safety executives, race track emergency personnel and more. "The 2011 Congress was extremely successful. After tabulation, we rated 3.78 out of 4 in meeting our objectives. That will keep you on the dean's list!" he exclaimed. "The ICMS-PRI marriage is a huge success. Our people really enjoyed the Show and being able to attend both."
Attendees at the ICMS Congress came from 10 countries. The ICMS is the most prestigious organization worldwide in the field of motorsports safety. Click here to download a Word document of the curriculum for the 2011 Congress.
"The 2011 ICMS meeting was very successful," said Hugh Scully, MD. "The timing of this year's ICMS meeting, overlapping with the commencement of the PRI Trade Show, was certainly better for us than last year, and allowed and encouraged our attendees to visit the great PRI Trade Show."
A panelist on this year's Industry Roundtable, SPEED race reporter Robin Miller said, "The good thing about the Roundtable is the people you’re talking to get it. They’re all racers. They all understand the history of racing and they have a lot of good questions. You get all of these people from different walks of racing and it’s amazing how similar their thoughts are on a lot of issues that the industry faces today.”