10 Habits of Highly Effective SEMA Show Buyers

By Della Domingo

Exhibitors use information scanned from lead-retrieval devices to follow up with prospective buyers after the SEMA Show.

How do you take an experience from good to great? While an overwhelming number of buyers report having a positive experience at the SEMA Show, a percentage of that group describes their SEMA Show experience as amazing. How can you join these incredibly satisfied buyers and get the most out of the SEMA Show? Here are observations on what the most effective buyers have in common:

  • Register early. Registering in advance ensures that there are no delays in the process, and it provides buyers with their badges in the mail so that they can go directly to the Show floor when the event opens. It’s also less expensive than registering onsite. Buyer registration opens in May at
  • Register wisely. During the registration process, buyers are asked to indicate their categories of interest. For example, buyers are asked to check off boxes for the market categories or segments that are relevant, such as racing and performance, off-road, mobile electronics, etc. The more accurate this information is, the more relevant future communications will be, thereby ensuring that buyers will not miss out on any important opportunities.
  • Visit the New Products Showcase. Many successful buyers visit the showcase before they even hit the Show floor, and they often spend up to two hours reviewing the products on display. It’s a great way to get an overview of thousands of products in a short amount of time.
  • Use the scanning devices at the New Products Showcase. Buyers are able to use scanning devices in the New Products Showcase to select the products that interest them. Upon returning the scanners, buyers will receive: 1) a print-out of the selected items, including company names, booth numbers, product names and descriptions, and 2) an e-mail with similar information, as well as URL links to images of the products.
  • Attend the New Products Breakfast. Held before the Show floor opens on the first day of the SEMA Show, the breakfast is when awards for the best new products are announced and presented. This is a great way to get a jump on what are likely to be the hottest new products. Buyers are able to obtain free tickets to the breakfast, although space is limited, so it’s best to sign up for tickets early.
  • Scan your badge at exhibitors’ booths. Many exhibitors have lead-retrieval devices in their booths that allow buyers to scan their badges. Exhibitors use the information to follow up with prospective buyers after the SEMA Show. Buyers should scan their badges at booths from which they would like to receive follow-up information. This is an easy way to ensure that buyers are kept up-to-date on information after the SEMA Show.
  • Take advantage of the Member Buyers Rewards. While all automotive buyers are able to attend the SEMA Show regardless of association membership, there are benefits for SEMA-member buyers at the SEMA Show. Benefits include expedited taxi lines, exclusive lounge access, special events and more. Contact the SEMA Membership Department for details.
  • Attend a seminar. More than 50 educational seminars and workshops are offered during the week, all at no charge to SEMA Showgoers. Topics focus on issues relevant to small businesses, such as cash-flow management, social media best practices, hiring challenges and more.
  • Use the hashtag. Buyers on Facebook or Twitter can see what exhibitors are doing by searching the official SEMA Show hashtag, #SEMA2014. It’s a quick and easy way to see what exhibitors are planning and offering during the Show.
  • Secure hotel rooms early. Las Vegas is a tourist attraction, and the SEMA Show brings an additional 130,000 individuals to the city. Travel Planners is the official SEMA Show hotel provider and offers guaranteed low rates. While other hotel resellers may target SEMA Showgoers, Travel Planners is the only provider endorsed by or affiliated with the SEMA Show.
To learn more about the SEMA Show and to stay up-to-date on news about the event, visit