Indianapolis has a rich motorsports heritage, one that’s indelibly linked to the Indy 500, the world’s oldest major auto race. So it’s fitting that the foremost trade event for the motorsports and racing industry—the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show—has made Indianapolis its home for many years.
It’s also makes perfect sense that SEMA’s Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) calls the PRI Show home, given that its membership is comprised solely of manufacturers that make products used in sanctioned racing applications. And over the years, MPMC has had a track record of hosting successful events during the PRI Show. And 2019 was no exception.
Connecting with Colleagues
The 33rd annual PRI Show took place at the Indiana Convention Center, Thursday, December 12 through Saturday, December 14. To kick off its event-filled week in Indianapolis, the council hosted its first MPMC Happy Hour on Wednesday, the day prior to Show opening.
In years past, MPMC conducted a general membership meeting on Wednesday afternoon. The meetings sometimes featured speakers, presentations and open-forum discussions, the latter yielding some valuable feedback leading to SEMA resources to address Prop 65 and best practices for the Executive Order (EO) process.
According to council leadership, the group felt it was time for a change. Sights were set on a more informal networking format, which turned out to be quite successful. The Happy Hour not only gave select committee members a chance to more easily engage and talk shop with individual members. The mixer also allowed for casual conversation, idea sharing and building new connections within the motorsport’s community.
Empowering Through Knowledge
Prior to 2019, MPMC hosted seminars as stand-alone events during the Show. Last year, however, MPMC-powered seminars were presented as part of the PRI Education program. The two sessions, presented by industry experts, offered attendees valuable insider tips and takeaways.
During the first session, titled “Sponsorship Proposals,” presenters Chris Meyer, VP of marketing and client services at CHARGE, and Ken Ung, president and founder of CHARGE, shared practical pointers on how brands and properties can create exposure, build business value around racing and prepare for sponsorship success.
An all-female panel of industry professionals tackled the topic off “Opportunities for Women in Motorsports” during MPMC’s second seminar. The seminar was led by Jeanette DesJardins of Car Chix and Crank It Media. Panelists included NASCAR Truck Series driver Natalie Decker, drag racer Lea Ochs and off-road racers Sarah Burgess and her daughter, Bridget Burgess. During the discussion, the women shared insights into their achievements, aspirations, challenges, triumphs and efforts to engage and raise awareness among young women interested in pursuing a career in motorsports.