SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 14, April 9, 2009

Social Networking Among Key Features Added to New SEMA Website

SEMA.org Social Networking, eNews, April 2009

Now available: a dynamic new look for www.SEMA.org and a host of new benefits for SEMA members. The modernized site blends new technologies to enhance networking and delivers information more concisely, based on user preferences.

The website overhaul is part of a continuing investment by SEMA in better networking and communications for SEMA members.

“Over the years we heard from the membership about ways that the website could serve the industry better,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Most recently, the team assigned to building the site reached out to our members to understand specific improvements that could be made.”

Developed in partnership with NFi Studios , the www.SEMA.org site upgrade began with the addition of social networking features, company listings and news feeds. These new features allow visitors to obtain useful data and information at the click of a button, so members can connect with stories, people and tools that are relevant and will enhance their business.

Improvements and updates are continually being added. Most recently, an improved experience was introduced via a member-only portal called "MySEMA." This powerful interface allows members to choose and amplify the types of information most applicable to their business, based on their location, market focus and job type.

Members are able to browse company and user directories, send and receive messages, and tap into SEMA research. Media information about governmental affairs, motorsports, educational opportunities and other sources can be filtered and channeled to members as desired. Enhanced search capability makes it easier to pull up information from every corner of the website.

“The goal is to direct the most relevant information to the right members, at the right time,” said Kersting.

Future iterations will include further enhancements, such as collaboration platforms. Features that allow exhibitors and buyers to connect before, during and after the SEMA Show also are an important part of the new concept. These capabilities will provide a mechanism for enhanced networking and a way to help make time at the Show more productive.

“We’re not looking to push information, we’re looking to connect,” said Kersting. “I want to encourage everyone who hasn't been to the site recently to please check it out and tell us what you think. We'll be fine-tuning the effort in the coming months.”

The site debuted in public beta March 29. Based on member feedback, MySEMA and www.SEMA.org will undergo continuing adaptation and evolution. For more information, contact Tom Myroniak at tomm@SEMA.org, or send a message via Twitter (username: devildawg).

The www.SEMA.org makeover is just one part of an association-wide integration of communications at SEMA on behalf of members. The entire SEMA Membership Directory is now available online, and in February SEMA launched the electronic edition of SEMA News magazine. The print version is delivered to 30,000 businesses around the world; the combined mix of print and electronic now reaches 200,000 readers.

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