by Amy Antenora
Managing Editor, aftermarketNews.com
AKRON, OH — The results are in from the first edition of “AMN Asks” — the new weekly aftermarketNews.com poll. Last week, we asked whether you thought the annual AAPEX Show in Las Vegas offers “complete value” for the amount of time and resources you spend to attend.
The annual Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo, which takes place in Las Vegas every fall, is the largest gathering of aftermarket products and people under one roof. Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW), which is comprised of the AAPEX and SEMA shows, has been ranked the most profitable annual convention held in Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The annual gathering brings in $120 million dollars annually in revenue for the city. And it’s only getting bigger.
This year, total buyer registration for AAIW is up by more than 1,900, including 588 more international buyers, compared to totals from August 2002. Exhibitor booths at AAPEX are up 220, compared to August 2002, according to W.T. Glasgow Inc., AAPEX show manager.
It’s a chance to network, check out new products and attend informative seminars. It’s fast-paced and frenetic and can be a world of fun, however, on the flipside, it’s also an exhausting week of glad-handing and schmoozing in a very pricey town. Is it offering the best bang for your buck?
Seventy percent of those who responded to the poll said yes it is worth the time and money. One reader got downright philosophical about it. “AAPEX is a point in time where our past, present and future converge,” one reader wrote. Practically speaking, AAPEX is a convenient ‘one-stop shop’ for all things aftermarket. As one reader wisely asked: “Where else can you have total access to the players in the aftermarket?”
Yet, that leaves 30 percent who disagree and say it’s not worth it. As the show grows larger every year some people find that it’s just too much to take in. You can only cover so much ground in a week’s time. “The show is getting so big that it is hard to get a lot accomplished,” wrote one respondent.
While one of the benefits of the annual show is the consolidation of so many aftermarket councils, committees and segments under one roof, some attendees find that the annual meetings held by various aftermarket marketing groups separate from AAPEX has lessened the importance of attending just one big show.
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