Attendance at the MMIC’s round of Canadian motorcycle shows this year surpassed a record set in 2004 — thanks to the addition of the Moncton show.
The Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council, which owns the national motorcycle shows, claims a total of 202,773 visitors for their 2008 round of shows (it was 196,452 in ’04).
Take out Moncton’s 15,175 visitors and you get a number that fits in line with average total show attendance for the past several years, according to MMIC figures: 187,598.
Only the two Alberta shows realized increases in attendance this year, with Edmonton up almost 2,800 to 34,486 and Calgary showing a smaller improvement.
The most significant decreases occurred in Vancouver (down 3,729) and Quebec City (down 2,737), and altogether, four shows lost attendance. Biggest show: Montreal, as usual — though with 36,384 visitors, the Montreal show is thin compared to its glory days of 2004–2005 when the counts exceeded 50,000. Also, no one drew fewer visitors than Moncton’s 15,175 — but that was the first major motorcycle show in the east coast area and overall, organizers were pleased with attendance.
In Toronto, attendance was down about 1,100 to 34,837, but show manager Darryl Bond was not worried. The Canadian bike market, he says, is still strong, unlike the U.S. market. So why the drop in attendance? "Who knows?" The other Toronto show, Bar Hodgson’s International Motorcycle Supershow, held early in January, brought in an estimated 53,000, claimed sales VP Peter Derry, and that’s down a little from last year. He does not have an exact figure yet.
Tim Stover, who is manager of shows for the MMIC, said there are no plans for major changes next year.
Dates for 2009 MMIC shows are:
Toronto – Dec. 12–14, 2008
Calgary – Jan. 9–11, 2009
Edmonton – Jan. 16–18
Vancouver – Jan. 22–25
Quebec City – Feb. 6–8
Moncton – Feb. 13–15
Montreal – Feb. 20–22