After 5 years in the making, the Progressive® International Motorcycle Shows is venturing outdoors to create the most immersive powersports event yet – IMS Outdoors, a tour of events across the United States, launching in Summer 2021.
The Progressive® IMS Outdoors invites riders and prospective riders of all ages and abilities out for a weekend to engage with powersports culture and explore related lifestyles in a festival-like atmosphere. Attendees will be able to ride 2 and 4-wheel vehicles, shop premier brands, watch entertainment and even camp overnight (in select cities); preparing them for more riding and adventures with family and friends.
IMS OUTDOORS: 5 YEARS IN-THE-MAKING
Several years ago, our team sat around a conference room table…in-person meetings like that seem like ancient history these days… and talked about the future of the Progressive® International Motorcycle Shows. Motorcycle unit sales had already been on the decline for many years, budgets were shrinking, convention costs rising, and new ridership was a slow-moving ship that brought some new riders through our doors, but not enough to sustain the glory days of IMS. We recognized that riders, future riders and the industry would need a reimagined event platform to drive growth for the industry.
The solution we discussed in that conference room was an outdoor event that was more immersive, adventurous, and fun for riders, their families, and prospective riders wanting to learn. On-road demos, off-road, 2-wheels, 4-wheels, maybe even jet skis, and camping – a true weekend adventure! Our fearless leader, Tracy Harris, SVP of Informa Powersports, brought this idea to the table that day and we ran with it.
Name ideas, venue searches, messaging points, all of it was created that year, but the rest of the industry didn’t seem ready quite yet to dive head-first into this remodel. Why? Well, the traditional IMS was still a viable platform with customers coming through the doors, brands making sales, and we were moving the needle with driving new and younger customers to the shows. We developed new attractions each year to offer more interactive experiences like, Adventure Out, Shift, the IMS Vintage Garage and then, Discover The Ride – our one-of-a-kind and highly successful solution to develop new riders.
Then the pandemic hit, giving all of us the time, while grounded from travel and working from home, to reassess business plans. Lucky for us, we kept all those plans, ideas and files from five years ago and the Progressive® IMS Outdoors was officially born. In August, we presented the IMS Outdoors strategy to all the major motorcycle manufacturers and our key sponsors. It was received with open arms; the industry was ready!
Plans are full steam ahead and we will release the 2021 Tour Schedule this December. What we can tell you now, is that we are in-talks with venues in all the cities from our most recent Tour, plus past IMS cities and even some new ones. While you eagerly wait for this remodeled IMS, check out more details here www.outdoors.motorcycleshows.com, and be sure to sign-up as an IMS Insider while you are there so that you are the first to know where we are going, all the cool “people” that will be there, and how to get in. The Tour will begin next Summer, so until then, keep the rubber side down and we’ll see you down the road – and here on continuetheride.com!
- In 1982, Great American Media, Inc. launches the Great American Motorcycle & ATV Show series in the United States
- BMW, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha support the series from its inception to now
- The shows are hosted in Atlanta, Chicago, Fort Worth, San Francisco and Tacoma
- In 1983, New York, Anaheim, St.Louis and Washington, D.C. are added to the scheudle
- In 1988, Edgell Expositions purchases Great American Media, Inc.
- In 1989, the show name is changed to the International Motorcycle Shows
1990 – 1994:
- In 1990, The Marketplace program is created to showcase key aftermarket brands. Arai, Dunlop Tires, K&N Engineering, Shoei, and Yuasa Batteries exhibit in The Marketplace, most of which still do.
- In 1991, Isuzu becomes the presenting sponsor for two tours
- In 1992, Cycle World becomes the title sponsor for 10 years
- In 1993, Chevy Trucks becomes the presenting sponsor for one tour
1995 – 1999:
- In 1996, Ducati, Triumph, KTM and Victory join the tour
- In 1998, Toyota becomes presenting sponosr for 12 years
- In 1999, Indian Motorcycles joins the tour
2000 – 2004:
- In 2001, motorcycleshows.com was born!
- In 2001, IMS is the first public event to be held in New York City after 9/11
- In 2002, the Marshall Tucker Band played at the New York show
- In 2004, we partnered with SupermotoUSA to run a Supermoto race at the Bay Area show
- In 2004, a record attendance of 90,479 was set when the Orange County Choppers of Discovery Channel’s, American Choppers, signed autographs at the New York show
2005 – 2009:
- In 2005, Progressive Insurance joins the family and becomes a show feature sponsor
- In 2007, Allstate becomes a show feature sponsor
- In 2008, Can-Am / Spyder joins the tour
- In 2009, the NYC Hudson River plan landing happens during move-in
2010 – 2014:
- Progressive Insurance becomes title sponsor of the tour and still is today
- In 2010, the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show (UBCBS) is launched
- In 2012, J&P Cycles becomes the UBCBS title sponsor and still is today
- In 2013, Motorcycle Superstore becomes the title sponsor of The Marketplace
- In 2014, UBM purchases Advanstar Communications, Inc., the parent company for IMS
2015 – 2019:
- In 2015, Royal Enfield joins the tour and Cycle Gear becomes the title sponsor for The Marketplace for 5 years
- In 2016, Victory announces that it will stop production immediately during the 2nd half of the tour
- In 2017, Adventure Out and Shift at IMS attractions are launched
- In 2018, Discover The Ride is launched and Zero Motorcycles, STACYC and Yamaha Power Assist Bicycles join the tour
- In 2018, Informa buys UBM, the parent company for IMS
- Continue The Ride is launched, along with original content series’ IMS Rides, Inside The Garage, The Reserve Tank and Centerstand
- Progressive® IMS Outdoors is annouced as new event series