Phoenix was the first event of the indoor shows this year. Rob drove our truck and trailer out to the event, while Dennis and I had the pleasure of flying. It didn’t take me long to remember how much I’m beginning to dislike air travel. I actually really enjoy the flying part. It’s the airports and the people that drive me crazy. I know that as I write these blogs and more of my personality starts to come out, I really come across as a jerk. But just try taking a couple flights within a short period of time and you will see why I am the way I am. First of all, we had an early morning flight. So, I dragged myself out of bed super early to get to the airport two hours before my flight. I get to the ticketing area to discover a decent sized line and no one working behind the counter. I’ve seen this before when I’ve shown up so early that the ticket counter was not yet open. However, this wasn’t the case. Airtran had already been open for a few hours at this point, it’s just that for whatever reason, no one was around. After about 10 minutes, one person strolled out of the back. So that was fun. Then I get up to security. The security lines really test my patience because I just don’t know why it takes people so long to do what they have to do and get through the line. This time, I was fortunate enough to be behind a seasoned traveler, so at least he was fast. However, after unpacking what he needed to unpack (to go through the xray machine), this dude had 2 bags and 4 plastic bins worth of stuff to put through the xray. What? Who needs that much stuff on the plane with them? The guy had two laptops. Two. And he had a small bag with clothing in it, so I know this wasn’t some extended trip. I’m sorry, but if you have 2 bags and 4 bins worth of stuff, you have too much stuff.
Then came the flight. I used to really not care for Airtran, and though it’s still not my favorite, I’m discovering that it’s now better than some of the bigger airlines. That being said, I still felt that during a 4 hour flight, they could have given us more than one 8 oz drink. I do tend to be unusually thirsty, however, so maybe I was alone on that one. Other than that, the flight went pretty well.
When I got to Phoenix, I was greeted by lots of sunshine and heat. This was a nice change from the weather at home at the time. It was a bit hotter than I prefer, but I wasn’t about to complain. I was so spoiled by the 4 days of
constant sunshine, that it was really hard to come home to nonstop gloom and grey skies at home.
Anyway, on to the show. Last year, the Phoenix show started at 2pm on Friday. We did not know this until we got a phone call from show management at 2:45 saying “where are you?” So this year we made sure we were there and ready for business at 2pm. Then we find out that the show doesn’t start until 4pm. Great.
The Phoenix show is definitely one of the smaller IMS shows. The way things were done this year was kind of weird as well. For one thing, Kawasaki was the only major manufacturer to have an indoor display at the show. The rest of the big manufacturers only had outdoor displays. This caused some confusion for consumers. In addition to the large outdoor displays, there were also demo rides outside. This is a really nice feature of the shows, and I am glad demo rides are offered. However, there was no requirement to purchase a show ticket in order to do the demo rides. So what do you think happened? People came out to the stadium, did the demo rides, and left. This was pretty frustrating to all the vendors that spent thousands of dollars to set up and display (and hopefully sell) their merchandise for all the consumers in attendance. Of course there were still plenty of people who did buy tickets and did come into the show, but it certainly would have been better if everyone had to buy a ticket to participate in ANY part of the show. That way, if people spent the $13 on a ticket to do the demo rides, they probably would have at least walked through the show (since they spent the money anyway). This was a topic of discussion among the vendors all weekend long, so I know that many vendors were unhappy about it.
As for the show itself, it was pretty good. The people in Phoenix were pretty
friendly. We noticed a huge surge in communication system sales at this show. We also noticed a lot of interest in the XD3, Arai’s dual sport helmet. The XD3 has become more popular with each passing month, but there was a noticeable spike in interest at this show.
Our trade in program is also very popular in Phoenix. We had more than a
handful of trade ins by the end of the show. The trade in program is definitely
Well, that about sums it up for the Phoenix show. Next stop, Dallas!