February 14 2007.
EMAP Release:
Visitors give ExCeL show thumbs-up
Exhibitors and visitors gave a massive thumbs -up to Emap's decision to relocate the MCN London Motorcycle Show from its traditional home at Alexandra Palace to ExCeL London in the Docklands. Although the official attendance figure has to wait for the ABC audit the organisers are claiming record one-day attendance figures for Saturday and Sunday.
This was reflected by Debbie Wiggins, marketing and events manager, of Ducati UK; "The stand has been absolutely manic, with people even trying to give us deposits, which we have referred to our national dealer network. Two people have tried to give me money today to buy the Hypermotard, which isn't even out until May '07. We have seen a lot of new people to the brand who have previously only been interested in Japanese bikes."
The move was greeted with nervousness by manufacturers and only BMW, Ducati, and KTM had a direct presence at the show and many of the retail exhibitors reduced the size of their stands. Concerns about the wisdom of the move were highlighted when Ally Pally announced a rival event the weekend before The London Motorcycle Show.
Just three days after the doors closed on the Ally Pally show MCN's London Motorcycle Show opened for press trade and public on Thursday Feb 1st and it was immediately obvious that the move to ExCeL had been vindicated.
Peter Ward, Emap's Consumer Exhibitions Director was clearly delighted with visitor and exhibitor response "I am particularly pleased for those exhibitors who, sometimes in the face of fierce criticism, remained loyal to the London Motorcycle Show, It was great to see the manufacturers stand engulfed with visitors within minutes of the show opening each day. Although only three manufacturers had exhibition stands, most of the other manufacturers were extremely supportive and our feature stands had bikes from Yamaha, Triumph, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, MV, Aprilia, Victory, Benelli and others"
Media partners at The London Motorcycle Show were the Daily Telegraph and Kerrang Radio. For the first time a major part of visitor promotion budget was spent outside the motorcycling press, according to Peter Ward this policy delivered a new audience of motorcycle enthusiasts.
"Emap's motorcycling titles reach over 70% of big-bike owners" said Ward
"So with these titles providing wall to wall coverage we were able to focus much of our attention on the new and lapsed biker audience that is so important for the future of the industry."
Alongside ads in titles like FHM and ads across the Docklands Light Railway network we put together some terrific PR stunts, notably with ZOO magazine which featured a nude model with painted on motorcycle show leathers.
The value of this policy was dramatically demonstrated on opening day when 32% of the audience were first-time visitors - over 10% up on the results we were seeing at Alexandra Palace."
So what does the future hold for The ExCel Show? Peter Ward had this to say; "It will take us a couple of weeks to analyse the show research and talk to exhibitors but it is clear the show has a great future at ExCeL. All of the response from exhibitors has been positive with most wanting to re-book bigger stands. We have had very encouraging conversations with some of the names who were missing this year and I anticipate we will soon have some exciting announcements about manufacturer participation. The huge crowds, particularly on Friday Saturday and Sunday caused us some problems with visitor management and we have to sharpen up this area of the show, we also have some great new feature ideas for the show."