Marketplace Events Sells AIMExpo to Motorcycle Industry Council

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Irvine, CA – The rapidly-growing AIMExpo, one of the top performers in the most recent Trade Show Executive (TSE) Fastest 50, has been acquired along with its senior management staff by the motorcycle industry’s trade association.

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) acquired the show from Marketplace Events. The show’s creators, Mike Webster and Larry Little, will depart Marketplace Events and join MIC along with Show Director Cinnamon Kernes. Both the Marketplace Events Motorcycle Group and the MIC are based in Irvine, CA.

The third annual AIMExpo held in 2014 placed in the top 10 of all three Fastest 50 metrics. The show enjoyed a 32.5% increase in exhibit space that grew the show floor in Orlando to 181,650 net square feet. The show ranked No. 4 on the Fastest 50 in exhibit space growth, No. 6 in attendance growth and No. 7 in exhibitor growth

The 2015 show will be held October 15-18 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

In the announcement of the sale, Webster and Little said that joining the MIC was a strategic move that would position the show for further growth. “We recognized the opportunity to take it to another level of industry value and excellence with the blue-ribbon reputation and capabilities of the MIC,” they said. “We presented our recommendation to Marketplace Events LLC management and they agreed.”

Marketplace Events has been busy in the home show arena in recent months. The Ohio-based company announced in early September it had acquired two home shows in Manitoba, and set 2016 launch dates for new shows in Philadelphia and Des Moines, IA.

Tom Baugh, CEO of Marketplace Events, said the sale of AIMExpo had not been part of a long-term plan, but made sense when the idea came up given the close alignment of the show with the MIC. “From our perspective, it is the right thing for the industry and the show team,” he told TSE. “It is really one of those rare ‘win win’ situations for both parties because it is also a great return on our investment.”

Baugh said that while home shows were now the major focus of Marketplace Events, the company was not stepping away from the trade show industry and remained on the lookout for the right opportunity. “If we see the right trade show vertical, we’ll go after it,” he said. “We’ll never be a massive trade show organizer, but we can be very successful as a niche player.”

Reach Tom Baugh at (888) 248-9751 or tom@marketplaceevents.com; Mike Webster at (949) 517-7511 or mike@marketplace.com