Four major conferences and seminars began Wednesday, while two others finished up their three-day schedule as a flurry of Race Industry Week activity hit the Orange County Convention Center in anticipation of the opening day of the PRI Trade Show on Thursday in Orlando, Florida.
The International Council of Motorsport Sciences (ICMS), the Winning the eRace Digital Marketing Conference for Racing Businesses, the Race Track Business Conference and the first of two EFI University seminars began Wednesday in Orlando, joining the ongoing Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC) and Claude Roelle’s Optimum G Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Seminar to make up the busiest day in Race Industry Week history, which is run in conjunction with the PRI Trade Show, Nov. 29-Dec. 1.
“It’s very important for us to have events co-locate with us to have everyone in the racing industry together all at one place, all at one time,” said John Kilroy, PRI Trade Show Producer. “We think it’s invaluable to have PRI buyers not only attend the PRI Trade Show to see all the newest parts and technology for the 2013 season, but also to have the opportunity to attend an engine building conference or go to a vehicle dynamics seminar or a racing business seminar. Add in that we have some of the most brilliant minds in the world when it comes to race safety right here with the ICMS. We’re standing here seeing race professionals from all around the industry. It’s more than we imagined when we first began Race Industry Week.”
Attendance was strong across all events, and the conferences addressed some of the most pressing issues in the motorsports industry today.
“One of our focuses with this year’s ICMS has been looking at head injuries and the return to competition, with emphasis on young people,” said Dr. Stephen Olvey, M.D. “The top groups are very cognizant of it, but we’re trying to reinforce the importance at lower levels. Years ago you may have thought, ‘Oh he just had a concussion, that’s not such a bad deal’. Now we know that repeated concussions can ruin the rest of your life and actually shorten it.
"Conferences like this are really important because the attendees here will go back to people they work with in motorsports events from around the world and spread the word," he added. "This is a really good forum for dissemination of information related to safety in motorsports.”
According to Tim Frost, RTBC promoter, the first-year conference exceeded projections: “The event has been beyond our expectations. PRI has been great. The entire team has been just fantastic for us. From an event standpoint, we’re very excited to be a part of this team.”
The first-ever Winning the eRace conference also addressed pressing topics in the ever-changing digital marketing world.
“We have a tech heavy staff, but our marketing staff is smaller,” said Lisa Holly of Crane Cams. “With a smaller staff, social media and digital media can be pretty overwhelming and extremely time-consuming. Coming here gives us an idea of what direction we need to go and where we may be lacking and what we need to change.”
The 25th Annual PRI Trade Show features the latest product lines of over 1000 manufacturers of racing and high-performance automotive components, as well as precision machining equipment. It will be attended by approximately 38,000 racing business people from all over the United States, and more than 70 countries. For more information, go to www.performanceracing.com/tradeshow.