PRI Trade Show -- 23 Years and Rolling Strong LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. -- 1988. Ronald Reagan's second term coming to a close; Kirk Gibson's dramatic World Series home run; Notre Dame won its last college football national championship and...
PRI Trade Show -- 23 Years and Rolling Strong
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. -- 1988. Ronald Reagan's second term coming to a close; Kirk Gibson's dramatic World Series home run; Notre Dame won its last college football national championship and the giants of auto racing ruled the day - Rick Mears wins the Indianapolis 500; Bobby Allison wins Daytona; Joe Amato is the Top Fuel champ.....and with much fewer headlines, the PRI Trade Show was born in Louisville, Ky.
As the Kentucky Commonwealth Center opened up for 169 exhibitors that December, few could imagine that the PRI Trade Show would not only still be around 22 years later, but also grow to become the biggest show of its kind in the world as preparations continue for the 23rd annual PRI Trade Show, which will be held Dec. 9-11 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.
"With SEMA evolving into more of an after-market show, it became clear that there was a need for a true trade show specifically for racing," said Steve Lewis, PRI Trade Show producer. "No fans. No weekend racers. No mere enthusiasts. Just racing equipment manufacturers as exhibitors, while the attendee make-up would be racing parts retailers, race engine builders, fabricators, WD's and racing manufacturers reps, and race teams. We launched PRI magazine in March, 1988, and in December the first PRI Trade Show was held."
The PRI Trade Show has grown to include more than 1,000 motorsports companies exhibiting in over 3,000 booths, with nearly 40,000 racing business people from all 50 states, and 65 countries, expected to attend. Keeping up with the growth would require some difficult decisions over the years as the PRI Trade Show outgrew every convention center it ever occupied, including Louisville, Cincinnati, Nashville, Columbus and Indianapolis.
"We never thought we would outgrow Indianapolis, but it happened and it happened fast," said Lewis. "We were forced to put new racing companies on a waiting list. At that point, we realized the show required 1,000,000 contiguous square feet of exhibit space to provide the opportunity for the racing industry's suppliers to showcase their wares in a professional atmosphere."
The demand for space forced PRI to look at other options and that eventually led the show to moving to Orlando in the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center, which offers nearly one million square feet.
"We're proud to present the biggest and best trade show of its kind in the world," said Lewis. "In addition, PRI Week has added events like the ICMS Congress, the AETC Conference and the Bobby Rahal's Young Driver's Symposium, as well as numerous seminars that include some of the key decision-makers in motorsports, to really make Orlando during PRI Week a must for everyone involved in the motorsports industry."
For more information, go to www.performanceracing.com/tradeshow. Or, call 949/499-5413. To reserve a room, contact the PRI Travel & Housing Department at 949/499-2044 or go to the PRI Trade Show website to reserve rooms online.