Three days of packed exhibition halls and brisk sales came to a close Saturday with the conclusion of the 2013 PRI Trade Show at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.
Tens of thousands of motorsports professionals from across the United States and 72 countries attended the 26th annual show to discover and shop the latest in racing technology on display from 1200 manufacturers of racing and high-performance automotive components, as well as precision machining equipment.
“It’s been the busiest PRI Trade Show ever,” said John Kilroy, PRI Trade Show producer. “We are receiving positive comments from exhibitors as we walk through the aisles, describing the amount of business that they’ve been able to do this week and how pleased they are with the number of buyers and quality of buyers. The big return of the PRI Trade Show to Indianapolis was a pretty spectacular success for our attendees and exhibitors. We also learned some areas where we can tune up the show for 2014.”
An expanded Race Industry Week preceded this year’s PRI Trade Show, as seven major events were among 45 conferences and seminars that ran in conjunction with the show, beginning on Monday. The Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC), Advanced Vehicle Dynamics and Data Acquisition Seminar, the Race Track Business Conference, the International Council of Motorsport Sciences (ICMS) Annual Congress, the Winning the eRace Digital Marketing Conference, and SEMA’s Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Education Day were among the showcase activities during this year’s Race Industry Week.
The Grand Opening Breakfast, a PRI Show tradition, featured “The King” Richard Petty, while both Indiana Gov. Bill Pence and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard greeted the standing-room only crowd.
“There’s a real sense of partnership with the city, the state, the Indiana Convention Center, Visit Indy and the tourism industry,” Kilroy added.
Activity throughout the booths -- and the Convention Center in general -- continued well into day three of the Show.
“It’s Saturday and we’re still busy,” said Toby Hallet of Bell Racing Helmets. “The show has gone really, really well. We’ve been jam-packed every day.”
While this year’s event has just concluded, many are already looking ahead to PRI’s return in 2014.
“The show has been amazing, much better that what we anticipated,” said Matt Porter of Technical Equipment Sales. “This is our first time to the PRI Show, and we’ve had about five- or six-fold of what we expected. We’re already planning on doubling our booth space for next year.”
This year's Show also played host to a number of the sport’s biggest stars – NHRA Nitro champions John Force, Antron Brown, Shawn Langdon, Larry Dixon and Tony Pedregon, IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan, World of Outlaws star Steve Kinser, and NASCAR’s Matt Crafton and Kyle Larson were among those taking part in the event.
“The PRI Show is very important for Indianapolis – it’s the home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and racing in general,” said Chip Ganassi Racing Team member Dixon. “Having all these vendors and manufacturers all under one roof is terrific. It’s really exciting to have so many people come together to celebrate racing. It’s a great sign for the industry to not only see all this innovation that makes us go faster, but witnessing all these companies making deals and growing their businesses in the process.”
Preparation is already under way for the 2014 PRI Trade Show, which will take place Dec. 11-13 at the Indiana Convention Center.