Tricked Out for Hot Import Nights
From Street to the Showfloor
The Hot Import Nights phenomenon is the brainchild of Rich Goodwin, now the director of operations for Vision Entertainment, the company responsible for Hot Import Nights' incredible growth. He and his partner, John Russell, director of marketing for Vision Entertainment, decided the exploding import scene needed its own show. But Russell said, "We wanted a show that combined the elements of cars with the import lifestyle. This way we could attract more people than with an ordinary car show. So we decided to have the first show at night, because nightlife is very important to our audience. We brought out the sound and the lighting, and it was a huge success. That first show sold out in an hour-and-a-half." This year, the Vision Entertainment crew (now 15 full-time staff members) have 12 events planned this year slated across the country, and the ones that have already taken place have been very successful.
Russell acknowledges the struggle some manufacturers have spending resources at a Hot Import Nights show compared to a traditional mobile electronics show. He notes, "A lot of manufacturers asked us in the beginning, 'Why would we want to do a show with a small autosound presence overall?' Because we are exposing new customers to the world of electronics and cars. After all, there are a lot of vehicles in our parking lots that still have stock audio systems. Mobile electronics is a huge part of a competition vehicle. Next year, we are bringing more mobile electronics categories into the judging criteria. Manufacturers seem to think that Hot Import Nights is a great place to exhibit because our growth in the mobile electronics industry has been substantial. From Alpine, MTX, Kenwood, JBL, Audiobahn and others."