Traditionally the International Consumer Electronics Show was the event for car audio manufacturers to showcase their new range of products each year, but are we now starting to see a shift toward Spring Break Nationals?
In late 2009 MEA had planned to attend CES 2010 in Las Vegas with full editorial coverage. However after discussion with most of Australia’s distributors it became apparent that in fact not many of the manufacturer’s actually planned to attend or support CES. Many cited economic downturn but just as frequently mentioned was the extraordinary fees charged to display at CES.
Spring Break Nationals at Daytona Beach appears to be emerging as the choice of many to showcase their product range, new demonstration cars and actively participate in the competition side of the industry.
In conclusion Papedas observed, “Exhibiting to consumers is a great way to promote, for when consumers can touch, feel and hear the experience; it makes all the difference in the world. Two-dimensional marketing for 12 volt is ill-effective; we cannot forget that we’re selling the experience! We must do all we can to reach out to greater segments of the market. It’s no secret that East coast dealer attendance at CES was underwhelming; SBN offers the platform to host dealers from the Eastern Region who can drive to the event more affordably.” Our success as a trade show is in the hands of exhibiting manufacturers; not me, I’m simply the facility with a built-in audience of targeted demographics. Many manufacturers participate at SBN every year because they ‘get it’ and know how to use it, while those who don’t, seem to place more emphasis in push-marketing their products to dealers. I suggest that those days are over. Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come. We’re in a whole new era of consumerism and this industry has been on cruise control for too long. We simply cannot afford to do business “racing to zero”, a pattern evidenced in recent years. The most successful low cost marketing tool this industry has ever seen is the Soundoff event and SBN is the Great American Soundoff”.
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