Business Tools

Use Research to Make Better Business Decisions

By Michael Hart

SEMA Show Education Days sessions are designed to ensure retailers reach their business potential in the coming year.

Show up early and get yourself a seat for three conference sessions during the SEMA Show Education Days and you’ll have the insight you need to take 2015 by storm.

  • Start with economics, the big picture. The world of the Fed and finance doesn’t seem to have much to do with you or your business. Well, it has a lot to do with your business! That’s where Bill Watkins and his "20 Questions in 20 Minutes: Examining the Economic Climate" comes in. An economist for more than 20 years and director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University, Watkins will be interviewed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tim Gallagher as the two of them take you on a fast-paced tour of the current economic climate and what it means for you.
  • Then move on to a session sure to hit close to home: "What They Buy. Where They Buy: A Consumer Guide to the Specialty-Equipment Market." Do you know how consumers look for the products you make and sell? Where do they buy them? The SEMA Market Research Group has been working on a new project to answer just those kinds of questions. Gavin Knapp, SEMA’s market research manager, will offer some key insights into today’s consumer purchasing patterns: What they’re buying, where they’re buying it and how much they’re spending.
  • Finally, focus on one of the hottest parts of the market right now. The new-vehicle market is in full rebound today, and with that rebound comes many opportunities to grow your business. In "Game Changers: New Vehicle Buyers and the Aftermarket," Dan Hall of AutoPacific will take you through a rundown of who the new-vehicle modifiers are and which features they care about most. As an added bonus, Hall will provide a brief peek into the future—five new vehicles headed for the market soon that are sure to be blockbusters.

SEMA Show Education Days will feature more than 60 educational sessions in 12 different tracks, ranging from new-vehicle technology to best business practices to marketing strategies and emerging trends in the industry. To see the complete schedule of SEMA Show Education courses and pre-register, visit