The annual Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) symposium took place November 15, 2017 in Carson, CA. The event (Inroads to the Future) allowed MIC members to meet and discuss how to prepare for the changing future of the powersports industry. The audience was composed of representatives from the major powersports distributors (BMW, Can-Am, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Polaris, Suzuki, Yamaha, etc.) as well as teams from after-market parts & accessories distributors and manufacturers. In addition, industry media and marketing agencies were also in attendance.
Shama Hyder from Marketing Zen Group was one of the keynote speakers. A motorcycle enthusiast, she shared some marketing tips to the crowd to better navigate the digital landscape. Shama focused on the benefits of targeted Facebook advertising and provided case studies of her client’s success.
The speaker most of the crowd came to see was Dr. Paul Leinberger from Denny + Leinberger Strategy, LLC. He has provided an economic overview and futurecast over the past several years. His insights were excellent and provided attendees with brain food to prepare for the challenging future of the industry. Dr. Leinberger noted that in the next 5 years we will experience the biggest fundamental changes since WWII. The key areas of change will be:
- Frictionless commerce – more engaging, immersive retail experiences
- AI and robotics
Leinberger also noted that we need to move away from talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) to focus on the Internet of Everything (IoE). A completely connected world will be a challenge for all businesses in terms of privacy, massive amounts of data, and changing socio-economic influences (not to mention technology advances). Digital and physical will merge changing the retail landscape and changing consumer preferences. The industry needs to change now, to prepare for and shape a challenging future.
The symposium is always a great event to reconnect with associates in the industry. In addition, it was insightful to hear from individuals outside of the powersports industry and gain new perspectives to help attract new consumers. I highly encourage you to attend your personal industry and also non-industry events. Connecting and listening to a diverse set of people helps drive creativity and provides new ways to conduct business. If anything, just getting out of the office for a day to hear insightful speakers is worth the time to separate from your normal schedule and gather insights for new creative ideas.