Even as buyers were still walking the aisles of the 2012 PRI Trade Show in Orlando, talk of the much-anticipated 2013 Show and its relocation to the Indiana Convention Center was already well underway.
It was apparent that show goers would miss the Orlando sunshine and fine restaurants, but when it comes to doing business, the return to Indianapolis should make the “three busiest business days in racing” even busier.
“I’m loving it,” said Jon Kaase, owner of Jon Kaase Racing Engines, which builds engines for drag racing, as well as hot rods and street performance. “I love Orlando—you won’t find any better restaurants—but in reality it’s not a vacation. PRI is a place to meet people in the industry and show your product. There are just so many more people in Indianapolis and in that part of the country that buy our product, and not everyone can come here (Orlando). I think you’re going to find a lot more people who can make it to Indianapolis and I think the attendance will be huge up there.”
In addition to the increased attendance, many exhibitors spoke of greatly reduced costs from not having to send crews to both PRI and the IMIS show after the latter was recently acquired by SEMA and consolidated with the PRI Show.
“Having the two shows combine together makes all the sense in the world,” relayed Safety Kleen’s Drew Pate. “Cost savings on a dollar basis are probably well north of $50,000 when you consider man hours, travel and accommodations.”
That sentiment was echoed over and over again throughout the PRI Show.
“We’re thrilled about going to Indianapolis next year,” said Scott MacDonald, of Bilstein Shocks. “To have all of our customers in one place is a great thing. Logistically it’s outstanding, as it’s always been a challenge to try to do both shows.”
“I think it’s great,” added Ashley Garrett, of U.S. Legends Cars. “We go to both shows, so it’s been really tough. You get home for a day, and then you’re right back out, so the consolidation is great. It’s good for everyone and helps avoid burnout. Just in fuel alone it will be a big savings.”
“We’re absolutely looking forward to next year in Indianapolis,” said Travis Thirkettle, of SuperFlow. “We’ll save a lot of money and tons of labor and time away from home. For us, it’s a treat to have everything in one show.”
When asked about the return to Indianapolis, Scott Wahlstrom, of Motor State Distributing, which currently has as many as 45 employees shuttling between their home office in Michigan and the two current shows, summed it up succinctly: “Hallelujah.”
Expectations for next year’s show are already high, but there will be some sadness in leaving Orlando behind.
“I can't say enough about the city of Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center," said John Kilroy, PRI Trade Show producer. "They've been terrific partners. Yet, this is a fantastic opportunity to bring the industry back together in Indianapolis, the epicenter of racing in America. With as well as this year’s show went and with all of the activity around the show, we believe it will be even bigger and better next year. We expect even more activity during Race Industry Week, and I believe that our relocation will be well-received throughout the industry.”
Approximately 37,500 racing business people from all 50 states and 72 countries attended this year’s show to get current with the latest in racing technology courtesy of the 1000 motorsports companies introducing new lines in racing products, machining equipment, motorsport engineering solutions and more.
Preparations are already underway for the 2013 PRI Trade Show, which will run at the Indiana Convention Center, December 12-14.