2013 SEMA Show: Behind the Scenes With Fusion Brakes

By Della Domingo

Filmed at the 2013 SEMA Show, the Velocity Network's “Mothers Presents SEMA Las Vegas” featured first-time exhibitors Fusion Brakes.

Thousands watched “Mothers Presents SEMA Las Vegas,” a special one-hour show that aired March 7 on the Velocity Network. Filmed at the 2013 SEMA Show, the television special featured, among other things, first-time exhibitor Fusion Brakes. Producers visited with Fusion Brakes months before the SEMA Show, and followed the carbon ceramic brake manufacturers as it prepared and made its way to Las Vegas for the annual trade show.

Viewers watched as Fusion Brakes experienced a few hiccups along the way, adjusted its plans and ultimately succeeded in getting its name and product out to thousands of qualified buyers.

Here is some behind-the-scenes advice from the company’s CEO, Cliff Leonard:

  • The vehicle was the biggest asset the company had in attracting people to its booth. “Having a nice car definitely helps turn a lot of heads, so if you have the funds to do so, I would recommend to at least do a 10x20 to squeeze a car in,” said Leonard.
  • Even with a booth vehicle, two tables and four chairs, the company had six people working the booth. Their strategy: “I wanted to make sure we created a smooth way to funnel the right visitors in the right direction. Upfront, the first people you would speak to are sales. If it was marketing related, we had two marketing guys to speak with. After that, any serious buyers would speak with the executives and decision makers at the booth.”
  • Despite the success that the company has had at the 2013 SEMA Show, officials claim that they felt pretty unprepared before the Show. “This year (2014), we've started planning several more months in advance. Fusion is definitely planning on throwing in more advertisements and we will likely have a lot more meetings now that we have some good traction.”
  • Leonard had the advantage of having gone to the SEMA Show for eight years before exhibiting with his own company. His thoughts for other newbies, “Exhibiting at the SEMA Show for the first time can be very stressful. My advice is to follow the SEMA Deadline Checklist and definitely contact your rep with any questions, as they can be pretty helpful in showing you the ropes. It’s important that you rent a lead-retrieval system for the booth. The lead-retrieval makes life so much easier on exchanging information and following up with pre-qualified leads you make. In addition, this is the largest automotive trade show in the world. With that said, buy your hotel rooms far in advance to avoid limitations and price hikes. Finally, I would lay out your booth before you get there. It helps to see how everything will fit as there are a lot of regulations with what you can and can't do.”

Note: “Mothers Presents SEMA Las Vegas” is scheduled to re-air on the Velocity Network May 3 and May 16. Check your local listings for times.