PRI Trade Show Update As the clock ticks toward Opening Day, Dec. 11, 2008, for the 21st Annual PRI Trade Show, expectations run high among exhibitors and pre-registered attendees for a solid show. All indicators point that way, as space continues to fill up in the one million square foot exhibition hall at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, where the show will take place Dec. 11-13, and nearby hotels are reporting at or near capacity.
“We’re looking forward to another great show. The dynamic racing marketplace is based on the passion of racers, and that keeps the racing industry strong,” declared Steve Lewis, Producer of the PRI Trade Show. “We’ll leave for Orlando with our preregistration numbers actually above last year’s figures. With the latest advances in racing on display by 1,400 companies, you can’t afford to miss this trade show if you make your living in auto racing.”
Activities begin on Wed., Dec. 10, with the 9th Annual Industry Roundtable, hosted once again by FOX TV Racing Analyst Jeff Hammond, and featuring a stellar cast of participants, including Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Joie Chitwood; USAC President Kevin Miller; NHRA Funny Car Champion Cruz Pedregon; NASCAR Driver Ken Schrader; IndyCar driver Townsend Bell, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Director Ritchie Lewis, short track promoter Bob Sargent, Stars of Karting’s Paul Zalud and Comp Cams’ Scooter Brothers.
NASCAR Legend Dale Inman will kick off the start of the three-day show as Opening Day Breakfast speaker, serving up stories and anecdotes along with eggs for roughly 3,500 show attendees. Budweiser sponsors the reception at the end of the first day of the trade show, providing complimentary beer at the PRI Happy Hour. Live music and appetizers also are part of the fun.
Wrapping up Thursday is the highly anticipated Snap-on All Stars Karting Classic which will feature many of today’s most talented pro drivers, including 2008 Indy 500 Rookie-of-the-Year Ryan Hunter-Reay, as well as Marco Andretti, Cristiano Da Matta, Oswaldo Negri, Buddy Rice, Scott Speed, Townsend Bell, Jamie McMurray, Nelson Phillipe, Jan Heylen and Michael Valiante. The race also will be televised on Fox Sports in spring 2009. In addition, a 44-page program has been created especially for this event.
Press conferences scheduled by many exhibitors will be held throughout Thursday and
into Friday, along with numerous seminars during those days and stretching into Saturday. Exhibitors also have numerous celebrities in their booths who will be meeting attendees and providing autographs.
This year, the PRI Trade Show has expanded its reach and anticipates attracting buyers from related industries, including performance marine and sport compact/import tuning, as well as larger attendance from off-road, vintage racing and karting.
“We also are expecting a significant international crowd,” stated Francisque Savinien,
International Sales & Marketing Manager for PRI. “This is obviously the world’s largest racing trade show, and as such, we are seeing our pre-registrations really pick up from all over the world, but especially from Japan and Latin America.”
The week actually kicks off with the 19th Annual Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC), which runs Dec. 8-10 at the Convention Center.
Since its inception 21 years ago, the PRI Trade Show has been the place to preview the hottest new racing products for the next racing season, make purchasing decision, and have new inventory in stock for the start of the 2009 selling season. “For three days, the PRI Trade Show is the center of the racing business,” Lewis stated. “There’s so much else to see and do at the show and in Orlando, you can’t afford to miss a single day.”
The Performance Racing Industry Trade Show has been recognized as the 45th largest U.S. trade show, according to Tradeshow Week magazine, in its annual analysis of the top 200 trade shows in America.