What Has SEMA Done for You Lately?

Optimism High Among Buyers and Exhibitors

  Buyers and exhibitors alike found the 2010 SEMA Show a valuable experience.

The vibe from the 2010 SEMA Show was overwhelmingly positive, with more than 100,000 industry professionals gathering last week in Las Vegas.

“The enthusiasm and attitude was huge,” said Tony Napoli Jr., owner of American Speed Center of York, Pennsylvania. As a SEMA Board member, Napoli went into the 2010 event knowing that industry participation would be up from the previous year. Still, he was overwhelmed and impressed with what he saw.

“[The 2010 SEMA Show] was as good, if not better, than any Show in recent years. There’s a fair amount of new products that I’m seriously looking to add to my inventory in the coming year, and I had an opportunity to deal with some new vendors that I’ve never dealt with before.”

Feedback like Napoli’s is what Show organizers ultimately rely on to gauge the success of the event.

“Our customers speak louder than the numbers,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Based on what we’re hearing, the 2010 SEMA Show was a very positive bounce for the industry.”

Exactly what is the industry saying about the 2010 SEMA Show? Take a look:

“Our experience at the 2010 SEMA Show was one of grateful amazement. First, that SEMA would allow a small ‘garage-sized’ company with no automotive history to exhibit, and that we could enter the New Products Awards Program (wherein we stumped the wizards and won first place for Best New Product – Tools and Equipment), also as an unknown. The amount of business we generated at our booth far exceeded our hopes by a trainload, and there was so much action that we had to shut down the ‘To Order’ part of our website. Our booth was swamped from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. when the lights went out, and only on Friday did it slow down by any discernible amount. If I were to make an observation of the Show, it would be that big or small, everyone is welcome, because ‘you are what you drive’ at SEMA.”

— Thurston Schultz, owner of AAC (first-time exhibitor and winner of Best New Product in the Tools and Equipment category)

“This year, more so than ever, we saw a lot of our largest distributors attend the Show. The people who were there were very good decision makers, whether from the distribution level or end user. It gave us a great opportunity to show off a brand-new product that we’re releasing. Also, there was a great deal of media there, whether it was print magazine or Internet or television. The SEMA Show was a great place to get the word out.”

— Tony Larimer, Director of Sales and Marketing for SATA Spray Equipment

"SEMA 2010 was a very positive experience for Pirelli. We were pleased with our new open booth layout this year (#41023 in South Hall) and the relationship we have developed with SEMA and ConvExx. Though we don't have solid numbers yet, foot traffic inside our booth seemed to have increased over the 2009 Show. Our excellent brand visibility is always amplified by our rock-solid partnerships that help deliver our message of quality, performance and customer service. I can't say enough about their commitment and dedication."

— Rafael Navarro, III, Pirelli Tire North America's Director of Motorsport and Communications

“Couplemate decided that it wanted to greatly expand its offerings to the U.S. market and decided immediately that SEMA was the premiere event for us. We worked very hard to make sure that this event was a success for us, and we were very pleased that our very first year brought us a prestigious Global Media Award. We look forward to participating again next year and have our sights on further awards as well. Couplemate is looking forward to a great year with many new customers as a result of attending.”

— Laurie Pedrick, North American Sales Manager for Couplemate Trailer Parts (first-time exhibitor)

“The Show was tremendous. We were able to do several radio and TV spots and will have some great opportunities to promote SEMA in the next year. We put on more than 20 training sessions for SEMA members and offered free airbrush training lessons and installation advice and were received well. We are firm believers in SEMA and especially the education and training initiatives. The Show was well attended, and we were treated with great hospitality.”

— Tom King, Director of Enrollment Management of Ohio Technical College

Buyers and exhibitors are now busy following up on the contacts that they established at the SEMA Show, utilizing programs such as the SEMA Show MatchMaking service. Many are even looking forward to the 2011 SEMA Show, to be held November 1–4, 2011, in Las Vegas. For complete details, visit www.SEMAShow.com.