Interviews 21 Nov 2017

Industry Insight: TBE’s Mark Petersen

Sydney Motorcycle Show organiser on what we can expect in the 2017 edition.

Troy Bayliss Events co-founder Mark Petersen has been the driving force behind Australia’s two-wheel expos for many years and with the 2017 Sydney Motorcycle Show set to be staged in Darling Harbour this weekend between 24-26 November, spoke to Petersen about the upcoming event. For further information and ticketing, visit

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

To begin with, how’s everything shaping up for the 2017 Sydney Motorcycle Show?

It’s certainly been a huge event leading up to it, as the organisation and the show itself is a huge project for everyone involved – exhibitors, contractors, the venue itself. We’re at an all-new venue, the ICC Sydney in Darling Harbour, so lots of new aspects to deal with and all-in-all it’s shaping up well. Online ticket sales are very encouraging, which is usually a good sign, so I think it’s going to be a great show.

It all starts with the media walk on Friday morning, which the public is invited to attend as well. What are some of the highlights we can expect to see?

Yeah, well opening the media walks up to the public for that VIP experience of seeing what it’s like when these manufacturers – who go to so much effort in building these big stands and flying in bikes direct from EICMA – unveil their models is a great opportunity to see these bikes displayed for the first time in Australia. There’s a huge line-up of bikes set to be on display for the first time in the country, as well as the 2018 bikes that have been released over the last couple of weeks as well. There is an assortment that we announced just yesterday to be on show.

You can see the importance of this event as the leading manufacturers bring in a number of 2018 models, just weeks after being unveiled at EICMA in Milan…

For these companies to go to the effort that they do, freighting them directly from Milan straight across to Sydney, through customs and putting them on display is huge. There are two bikes that didn’t even make the cut, still in customs and they don’t know if they will be here yet, so that’s why every manufacturer doesn’t release what’s on show until they’ve actually landed in the country.

Source: Supplied.

Troy Bayliss Events aren’t just limited to seeing an assortment of bikes, because the whole ‘experience’ side is definitely a major aspect. How important is that element from your perspective?

Absolutely important. You look at showrooms these days and they’re amazing. The brands are world-class, the facilities of the showrooms, so we need to be able to offer more than what you would experience inside the dealer itself. All the extracts, the opportunities and entertainment is what makes the Sydney Motorcycle Show what it is. It only happens every two years here, with opposite years being in Melbourne, so we really do put an emphasis on it. It’s really nice to showcase the industry, how professional it is and how serious the Australian motorcycle market is in investing in the people who support them – the people who come through the doors. We hope people really do embrace the shows, we don’t want to see them go and the manufacturers love having them here. They have their experts on the stands, they’re the people you can ask the ins and outs of. You can go from stand to stand and really find out what bike what is the best bike for you, not what you think may be. Whether you end up with an adventure bike, dual-sport, supersport or anything in between, you can go an compare them all!

Last time the show was in Sydney it was situated out at Homebush, but this year will see it return to Darling Harbour within the incredible new International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney. There’s a lot of excitement for that.

Well, it’s 130 billion dollars that they’ve invested in the precinct down here at Darling Harbour, with the convention centre, the exhibition centre and the entertainment. Our exhibitors have world-class stands, they’re very professional and this venue compliments that. One of the big features that we have dove into this year is Robbie Maddison, riding on the water, right on Cockle Bay in front of the venue effectively. That was the craziest idea we could come up with in what is an incredible environment – now he has his own speedway on the water [laughs].

Awesome mate, well thank you for your time, we will let you get back into the final stages of planning and will see you on Friday!

No worries, come down and we hope you really enjoy the show.