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Dealer Expo trade show kicks off expanded Convention Center

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Dealer Expo, one of the country's largest trade shows, christened the expanded Indiana Convention Center on Friday by becoming the first event to take place in the just-completed $275 million addition.

The massive powersports convention will be in Indianapolis through Sunday and should attract roughly 20,000 visitors who will generate an estimated $20 million in direct spending, according to the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association.

About 750 exhibitors from across the country are expected to attend, some of whom in years past were crammed into meeting rooms or spread throughout the convention center’s corridors.
 

Web dealer expo 15col The recent expansion of the Indiana Convention Center helped cement Dealer Expo through 2016. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Dealer Expo is produced by Advanstar Communications Inc., which is based in Irvine, Calif.

“One of the advantages now is that all of our vendors can be in one contiguous event space,” Dealer Expo Vice President Danny Phillips said. “It’s an upgrade for the exhibitors and it significantly improves the experience for visitors.”

Nearly 350,000 square feet of exhibit space was added to the convention center, pushing it from 32nd largest in the United States to 16th. The facility, when combined with Lucas Oil Stadium, offers a total of 1.2 million square feet of exhibit and meeting space.

The expansion helped retain Dealer Expo, the group says. Trade show executives in November committed to keep the annual event in Indianapolis through at least 2016—extending its stay by five years. The city has hosted the show, which ranks among the top 100 conventions in the country, every year since 1998.

“We’re ecstatic, because every square inch of the facility is being utilized by Dealer Expo,” ICVA spokesman Chris Gahl said. “It’s rewarding that they will be the first group to use it.”

While size matters in the case of Dealer Expo, so does timing. The show, which features motorcycle, ATV, personal watercraft and snowmobile products, is held in February—traditionally a slow convention month for cold-weather locations like Indianapolis.

The timing also is ideal for Dealer Expo’s exhibitors, whose customers shop early in the year for after-market parts to stock for the summer season.

A high concentration of motorcycle dealerships in the Midwest that can travel to the event by car originally helped lure Dealer Expo to Indianapolis. Now the convention center expansion and the addition of the 1,000-room JW Marriott hotel will help keep it in the city.

“The look of the venue and the layout of the venue, those were very big reasons why we stayed,” Phillips said.

 

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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