I’ve participated in KMI, PRI, IMIS plus every applicable car/outdoor/powersports show in Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
Karting specific shows are great fun to get together with everyone in the industry to talk about how hard it is to make a living in the industry while we all take turns trying to give the house away to the few actual consumers that show up at the show. As each additional show comes along it marginalizes the value of the one it broke off from and it becomes less likely that anyone can derive enough value to offset the expense. Hopefully the Winter Kart Show keeps growing and can break that trend at least regionally in the midwest.
PRI & IMIS when worked properly actually offer a good potential return. It is hard work though and you get 99 misses for every one hit at best. But the potential to introduce karting to someone that isn’t in the sport now but already has at least a passing interest in motorsports is very real.
Hands down the best shows though are still the local car/motorcycle/outdoor/powersports shows that connect you with potential NEW customers. There is never any growth if all you ever do is cater to the same 100 people in your market locally or 1000 regionally. Local shows take a tremendous amount of patience initially and good old fashioned salesmanship after the fact. Something the hobby dealers in the business probably don’t have time for but the professionals need to embrace.
There are reasons I can find to attend any of these shows but the quantifiable return is going to make it hard to justify participation in many of them. Now what I would really get behind is someone in the industry finding a way to make inroads with the PRI event to secure a karting room/venue in conjunction with PRI that would give us access to the rest of the motorsports community while still having a way to cater to our own karting community.