The evolving state of the economy and the expansion of the powersports industry were the corresponding topics of the day at the 14th Annual MIC Communications Symposium, held at the Carson Center in Carson, Calif., last Wednesday. Representatives of the MIC’s nearly 300 member companies gathered together to hear thought-provoking presenters and participate in spirited discussions at the event, titled “Inroads to the Future XIV.”
“The annual MIC Communications Symposium is always a high point in our year,” said MIC President Tim Buche. “Not only do we get to further enrich our relationships with and amongst our members, we also get the opportunity to articulate industry and consumer challenges and work together to improve consumer experiences. I’d like to thank our members who attended as well as this year’s presenters, who helped create an accessible environment that fostered lively conversation and debate.”
Kicking off the morning’s program was Jerry Nickelsburg, senior economist at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. In his presentation, Nickelsburg stressed the importance of the fate of the Euro and said based on current trends, the industry should expect to see some initial slow growth in 2013, followed by more rapid growth the following year.
“The U.S. economy is in transition from an industrial economy to an information economy,” Nickelsburg explained to attendees. “Transitions begin slowly but ultimately result in periods of fast growth in income.”
Following Nickelsburg’s cautious optimism was David Nour, growth strategist, best-selling author and CEO of The Nour Group. A motorcycle enthusiast himself, Nour encouraged everyone to embrace social strategy and develop a robust and consistent social networking presence to nurture relationships and improve consumer experiences. Additionally, Nour urged attendees to focus on quality as opposed to quantity, and to anticipate customer needs and then exceed them.
“Social is more than doing,” said Nour. “It’s the power and promise to think and lead differently. The motorcycle industry, across its entire value-chain, is ripe for innovation and social networking. Social media and, more importantly, social market leadership are about creating a purpose for being online. The manufacturers, aftermarket providers, tour operators, map makers and certainly the dealer ecosystem must all develop a strategy that will help get their unique value-add to the market but that will also maintain clarity and integrity.”
The day’s final presenter was Patricia Dao of Dominion Powersports Social Ventures. A specialist in social media trends, Dao emphasized the necessity of not only participating in social media but in utilizing it effectively, with video, photos and other methods to increase engagement and improve customer experiences.
“Social is no longer a new media,” said Dao. “It’s an essential part of business that can enhance and add value to our customer experiences like never before. It was exciting to see the knowledge and enthusiasm attendees had towards the future of social, and their eagerness to implement it into their business strategies.”
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts and accessories, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.
The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at www.mic.org.