So yesterday I got a ticket for the Motorcycle Live 2018 show at the NEC in Birmingham, UK…eventually. When I went to get a ticket online the system crashed and wouldn’t let me in again so I had to wait patiently on the phone until I could speak to a customer services rep who answered an hour later. Obviously very busy!
In no time at all, I had bought a ticket over the phone and the issue with the website login was resolved. All was well in the world again.
Last year I stayed away from the event as I was less than impressed the previous year, but I thought I would give it another go. Whilst I do not intend to criticise the event in any way, I did find it to be rather too generic and the much of the trade stalls were selling the same run of the mill stuff I could find anywhere else and whatever they were flogging wasn’t anything special either.
I know BMW are putting on another impressive demonstration show and the major manufacturers will undoutedly have big stands too. It’s an ideal way to get up close to new and the old trusted models…bikes that is…and chat to some representatives who might be able to give you an indication of where the future is heading.
I’m expecting another ‘Lifestyle’ display from Harley and no nonsense effectiveness from the Japanese contingent too and with the Brits flying the flag in all their glory but I’ll also be taking a closer look at the smaller motorcycle manufacturers from both home and abroad and which trade stalls are producing something different to capture my attention and which I might even find useful.
Of course these types of trade shows are full of pseudo glitz and glamour. Motorcycling & TV celebs are shoehorned onto stages to provide some luke warm entertainment for the masses, but the real stars should be the small independents who are being most creative and innovative too…but are seldom at these big shows. Probably becasue their style doesn’t fit the event model but most likely it’s because the pitch fee is beyond their reach.
The ticket price for the event was reasonable at £19.50, however I was slightly bemused by the £1.50 booking fee…or as the Ticket Factory refer to it as a ‘Fulfilment Fee’ It took a mere minute to get the booking sorted, e tickets were despatched to my inbox whislt I was still on the phone and not any physical expenses in sight. In fact the only cost I could figured was for the operator on the phone at the Ticket Factory. However, as I was going up by bike and the parking would be free…I didn’t grumble too much.
Now, I’m hoping for fair weather for my ride up to the event and I know that my initial impressions will be positive, but what I am hoping for much more than last time, is to be hooked for my entire time there…sadly this wasn’t the case the last time I ventured up.
I know the big boys will be flexing their muscles and whilst the event girls are very cute, they don’t offer much cerebral stimulation for a middle aged, bald and slightly overweight biker who’s looking for something new, something different…and something that will impact my own riding experiences but also anything that I can share with others too.
The areas that will be interesting me most will be the adventure and off road world primarily but also the custom bike builders…if any will be there…and the smaller manufacturers too. I’ll be interested to see if the bloggers and YouTubers or other online content creators are catered for. I’m wondering how many stands and stalls will be dedicated to video and audio recording or which bike manufacturers may have developed their own systems too.
These types of shows are always good to bump into people you haven’t seen in a while but also to rub shoulders with those more well known biking people whom you may have shared some Twitter time with recently too. But most folk will be ambling around the show with their goody bag in hand, trying to stick to a schedule so that they don’t miss out on one of the demo shows…which are usually rather good too, and also trying not to dribble too much when they see that dream model that they’ve longed to ride for ages…again, I’m talking bikes here.
I’m almost positive that there will be people whom attend who will think it’s the best thing they’ve been to in ages and there will be others who will have wished they stayed home and watched some daytime TV, but anything in-between and I’ll be a happy chap indeed. I know the organisers do their very best to put on a great event and the participants have been working tirelessly to put on their individual stalls and stands too. I’m hoping they will have read my feedback from two years ago and made it a much much immersive experience and even more diverse than it has ever been. I shall report back on my findings at the end of the week.