After being in the karting business for 10 years, I get my share of karting on a daily basis, so I probably wouldn’t just attend a show either way, regardless of where it was.
As a business, I do exhibits where the opportunities, timing, cost, and market fit with my business. I do the Winter Kart Show, but I also do swap meets and other kart shows that are geared toward 4 cycles, which comprise a chunk of my business. Although this forum tends to be 2 cycle focused, there are far more racers out there racing ovals and dirt than there are sprint and road racers. So while Vegas reaches some of the people with the deepest pockets, its attendees are really not very representative of many karting businesses demographic. Not to mention that costs at venues like that are astronomical. The last time I checked, PRI was way out of my price budget as well. I could do multiple smaller shows that would reach my demographic much better, for the same money. Glitz & glamour doesn’t come cheap.
Now all that being said, I like to have some of my product on display at events that I attend. I just don’t call it a “show”…I call it a race. Usually being a series sponsor of some type gives you the opportunity to display or sell at events, but for some series, this cost is very high.
The fact of the matter is, I see the same 300 people at most of the race events. They know me, I know them. They know my products. Some buy from me, some don’t. Its all good. We’re still friends. When I want to market my product, I’m aiming to see people who don’t know me or my products. For me, that means going to different areas and markets.
Marketing isn’t about just putting your wares in front of a boatload of people. I could dump it on the side of I-80 and accomplish that. Marketing is about getting people who are potential customers to take an interest in what you have to offer, and that task is a little different for everyone.
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