You've heard of it, seen pictures, or you've already bought your tickets. Here's what you can expect at a PRI show, wherever you are in the process.
Now that the car is parked in the garage, the off-season begins. In December, the Easthood Racing team headed to Indianapolis, Indiana, for the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show. Easthood Racing is a grassroots motorsports team that was founded in 2016. The team has just finished up its 2022 season with eight events at tracks around the United States. So how can Easthood Racing use PRI to evolve as the world of racing changes? Read along to learn our takeaways and how to manage an event like PRI as a smaller independent team.
Why Should You Be at the Next PRI Show?
If you are in the business of racing, then you should be at PRI. There is a mix of industry leaders, racers, parts suppliers, manufacturers, and the list goes on in attendance. The event is not only an opportunity to network. You may learn of essential updates in the community, attend a seminar that helps take your company/team to the next level or learn about new products on the market.
The event is held in the Indianapolis Convention Center. The integration into the city network is impressive; for example, multiple ways to access the convention center without stepping outside exist. This is a plus considering this event is held in December. The Colts and Pacers stadiums are very close. In between, you can find many restaurants, shops, and history to explore.
PRI provides the opportunity to be surrounded by people who are willing to learn and want to improve their business/team. It is motivating to be in a room full of people listening, taking notes, and asking questions to perfect their craft. It helps put into perspective that you're not alone out here. You’re not the only team wanting to learn how to utilize their social media or initiate and land sponsorships. Make sure you pack your extra business cards and get ready to experience PRI.
A Day at the PRI Show
You've heard of it, seen pictures, or bought your tickets. Here's what you can expect at a PRI show, wherever you are in the process.
As a grassroots team, we felt welcomed. With this being an event with such high attendance, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. So, where should you start? There are many events and lectures to attend and people to connect with. Much can be accomplished if you come in with a plan. We recommend taking advantage of PRI’s planning tools in their app and website.
Before arriving for the event, each team member checked out the event and class schedules meaningful to them. Kionna added some classes to her calendar, including an event dedicated to Facebook and Instagram by Jennifer Cario, founder of SuperSpun Marketing. Brian also chose his top courses, which included The Race for Sponsorship by Alex Striler, Author & Host at Motorsports Marketing and Sponsorships. With these events on our calendar, we could start building the rest of our day.
As you plan, think about if there are any press conferences or seminars you want to attend. Look for things that are happening at specific times so you can catch them. Classrooms fill up quickly, and seats may only be left if you get there early enough! Then you can fill in the rest of your day with time to relax, recharge, and meet with vendors.
Vendors will present their products to the market and put faces to current and new contacts. It is important to remember that many other people are interested, so you want to make that interaction intentional.
Make sure you go in with a plan of what you want to say. If this is someone that you don't have a relationship with, you may spend time learning more about a product and getting contact information. Don’t forget to follow up after the event to get more information and continue establishing relationships.
If you have some sponsors in attendance, it may be an opportunity to check in face-to-face. Reach out before the event if you see that you may have a sponsor there. Coordinate with them for a chance to show up to their booth so that they are expecting you. A short and meaningful interaction can go a long way. Brian and Kionna were able to shoot out some ideas we plan on following up with after the event and the Holiday season winds down.
PRI After Dark
One event Brian and Kionna agreed on was the PRI Happy Hour and Save our Racecar event at Lucas Oil Stadium. This free event was one of the many components of the show where you could feel the hospitality of the PRI Trade Show. With complimentary food, drinks, and entertainment, it was a chance to socialize and learn about even more important industry announcements.
Before hitting the hay for another full day, check out Downtown Indy! We enjoyed seeing the Circle of Lights and grabbing dinner. We checked out a few places: the Social Cantina, Giorgio's Pizza, and Corner’s Kitchen and Bar. What’s nice is that if you leave your car parked around the convention center, you can get anywhere in a short walk or scooter ride.
So if you see yourself as someone involved in the business of racing in any way, the PRI show is the place for you to go. Remember to come up with a plan, but don’t forget to make new connections and have some fun.
Were you at PRI this year? Did you think about going? Let us know about your experiences in the comments. Let us know if you have questions below, or email us!