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Council & Network News: Highlight Your Resto Products in Showcase at Spring Carlisle

Strengthen Your Company Through Community

No matter what niche you're in—rods, restoration, racing, restyling, reps, trucks or wheels and tires—there's a SEMA council or professional network that's right for your company. SEMA councils and networks offer members a variety of market-specific programs and activities designed to provide educational and networking opportunities while promoting their particular industry segment.


Visit ARMO's website.
ARMO's Hot Products Showcase will take place April 23–25, 2015, at Spring Carlisle in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Register Your Restoration Parts for the Hot Products Showcase

Registration is now open for the Automotive Restoration Market Organization’s (ARMO) Hot Products Showcase, which will take place April 23–25, 2015, at Spring Carlisle in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

This event is an opportunity for council members to display one or more products in front of one of the single-largest gatherings of automotive restoration enthusiasts in the world.

In addition to having products on display in the Hot Products tent, a professional photographer will shoot each one. The photos will be available to manufacturers and will also be used in a slideshow at the ARMO booth and reception at the 2015 SEMA Show. A gallery on the ARMO webpage also houses each of the photos, along with a product description for those unable to attend the event. This publicity is available to ARMO members for only the cost of shipping the product entries to the Carlisle Fairgrounds.

Product entries must meet the following criteria:
  • Be the product of an ARMO-member company.
  • Be available for sale (market-ready) by the opening of the Showcase, April 23.
  • Demonstrate unique/innovative technology and/or be a benefit to the restoration industry.
Members can register products by filling out the online application. All applications must be received by April 17, 2015.

Restoration Professionals Gather for Networking at the Hot Product Showcase

ARMO will also host a networking mixer in the Hot Products Tent at the Showcase, Thursday, April 24, from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. The mixer will be a chance for members to grab a drink and spend some time interacting one-on-one with council leadership and fellow ARMO members. The council leadership believes this event holds enormous potential for new ideas and partnerships as members network with new and old industry friends. RSVP today.

Not an ARMO member? Join today to gain access to this event and other council benefits.

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Visit ETTN's website 
Ten ETTN members attended the Social Media Strategies Summit in Las Vegas.

Member Reflection: ETTN Professional Development Program Success

By Amanda Gubbins

Ten network members joined the Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) in February for the Social Media Strategies Summit in Las Vegas. This event was the first in a series of professional-development programs that ETTN curated for its members in 2015.

SEMA staff attended the event with the participants, who received a special rate. Brant Combs, director of marketing at ATC Truck Covers, believes the community building with other ETTN members was an important aspect of the program.

“I enjoyed the summit, and besides taking home useful information to help us with social media, got to network with a great group of people in SEMA who are working on similar things,” he said.

Kathryn Reinhardt, marketing manager at MagnaFlow, appreciated the ability to customize her experience at the summit. The flexibility ensured all participants would take ideas back to the office with them.

“With social media still being a new avenue for companies to use to communicate with customers, I wanted to see what tips and lessons I could learn to incorporate into the MagnaFlow strategy, and also to see if our current strategy was up to par,” she explained. “Once checked in, you could review the tracks available for specific seminars that spoke to case studies, tool integration and content creation. They also provided keys for B2C, B2B and small to medium business agendas.”

Other participants also related to the strategic applications discussed. Tim Torrecarion, sales and marketing manager at Air Flow Research, noted that although the channels have changed over time, basic marketing and communications principles have remained consistent.

“To be successful in digital, you need to get back to the basics of marketing and communications. Put the customer first and understand the need. Where are they and how do they like to communicate? Word of mouth is still the best advertising,” he said.

“My high-level takeaway is that social media is still evolving,” said Sean Crawford of JE Pistons. “The platforms themselves are changing, but also the way brands utilize each platform to accomplish business objectives. One speaker explained it best, stating that we have moved from chasing ‘likes’ to focusing on increasing engagement, to accomplishing business objectives. Social media and the available tools have evolved to allow brands to listen to their consumers and react in a way that benefits the bottom line. Having spent much of my time in a data-driven environment, being able to show business results will make social media a growing part of our marketing strategy.”

A second event will take place in June, and ETTN will also take members to the Disney Quality Service training on September 23 in Anaheim, California. Applications are now being accepted for this one-day course, which will take a close look at the small details that make a big difference in the environment for both customers and staff.

Learn more about ETTN’s Professional Development program and apply now.

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Visit YEN's website  
Neil Tjin

YEN Member Insight – Neil Tjin

Neil Tjin is the president of Tjin Edition and the automotive marketing director at Vortech Engineering in Channel Islands, California.

How did you get into the industry?

I started tinkering with cars in 1996. It started out as a hobby and I was able to turn it into a profession in the early 2000s. I started out as the marketing director at Toucan Industries, and then I became the executive editor at Hot Compact and Imports magazine and B/Scene magazine in 2003. In 2010, I became the automotive marketing director at Vortech Engineering. We started the Tjin Edition Road Show in 2004.

When did you start Tjin Edition and what is it all about?

Tjin Edition started out as a car club/business in 2003, when we did our first OEM build for Scion. In 2004, we expanded the Tjin Edition brand into the Tjin Edition Road Show, and this is year will be our 11th year on the road.

How do I get a vehicle for my build?

If you are part of the automotive industry or a manufacturer, you can apply for a “dollar car” program. Some OEM programs also require that you are a SEMA member. You have to send a $1 check to the OEM, but that is only part of the process. Everyone thinks that it's a dollar car, but it’s so much more. Depending on the partnership, you have to pay tax on the MSRP of the vehicle, shipping charges, auto insurance, liability insurance (ranging from $3–$5 million) and other charges before you even get into building, touring and storing the car for 12 to 18 months.

What is the purpose of the dollar car?

That depends who you are asking. Some companies use the car to R&D products and other companies use the car as a marketing tool. We have multiple purposes for a dollar car. For starters, we work with dozens of the top manufacturers to produce new sku numbers for the vehicle. Secondly, we use the vehicle as a marketing tool for Tjin Edition, our partners. And lastly, we use the vehicle as a display vehicle on one of our two Tjin Edition Road Shows.

What is your favorite car you have built thus far?

I would say either my ’13 Ford F-150 or my ’08 Pontiac G8.

How many OEM builds have you done for SEMA?

We have been fortunate enough to do more than 30 OEM builds for SEMA since 2004, including builds for Scion, Honda, Chevy, Pontiac, Ford and Hyundai.

During last year's competition, Roger Peterson, founder and CEO of MG Research LLC, introduced a mobile app that engages enthusiasts and collects useful market information for specialty-equipment manufacturers.
Let SEMA Help Launch Your Business

By Amanda Gubbins

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 SEMA Launch Pad, Presented by YEN. The competition, now entering its third year, gives automotive innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs under the age of 40 an industry platform for their budding businesses.

Roger Peterson, founder and CEO of MG Research LLC, was a contestant in the 2014 competition. He and his concept—a mobile app that engages enthusiasts and collects useful market information for specialty-equipment manufacturers—made it all the way to the final stage of the competition, where he gave a live presentation to a panel of respected industry leaders during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

“As I look at the experience overall, I have to say that as a very, very young company, it did a tremendous amount of good for us in the sense that we went from being a concept, an untested idea, and we were forced to mature to our best capacity,” Peterson reflected. “We were forced to ripen as best that we could. It taught us about ourselves, our will, our desire to see this through and it brought out the best in our team. It definitely brought out the best in me.”

Launch Pad applicants are evaluated based on their video submissions by a task force, which will select the top 10. The top five candidates are narrowed down via a Facebook voting campaign. These finalists will each pitch their business plan at the 2015 SEMA Show, where the judging panel will select the winner, who will receive a prize package designed to fuel the next steps of his or her business.

Peterson explained that each of the finalists gained a certain amount of validation, which made the experience valuable. For MG Research, the feedback and exposure was a catalyst for much of the growth the company has experienced over the past months.

“We no longer have to strain ourselves trying to make this vision visible to other people. It’s now plastered all over the SEMA website, and it’s represented well. It has taken us from being one of a million young companies trying to come out of the woodwork, to one of a few that actually has accomplished something. As we are moving along now to our funding activities, we are going to find out exactly what the strength of the SEMA Launch Pad experience is.”

The bottom line, according the Peterson?

“We were all winners in the sense that we all walked away with what we needed to go to the next stage [of business],” he said.

Applications are due July 3, 2015. Find out what Launch Pad can do for your business. For more information, and to fill out the application, visit If you have questions, contact Bryan Harrison.

YEN will send 10 network members on the Hot Rod Power Tour again this summer to share their industry experience.

Apply for YEN’s Highest Rated Member Benefit

SEMA’s Young Executives Network (YEN) will send 10 network members on the Hot Rod Power Tour again this summer to share their industry experience. Not only will participants enjoy tour access, but they will also each receive an impressive prize package.

YEN Power Tour participants will receive a grant from SEMA to help cover tour expenses. Five individuals will drive their own vehicles and receive $1,750, while the five other passengers will receive $500. Each participant will also receive:

  • Hotel accommodations
  • Free VIP entry into the Power Tour
  • Ticket to the opening night hospitality party
  • Premier parking location in the YEN corral
  • Long hauler gifts
  • SEMA swag items

(Please note that all benefits received are considered taxable income.)

The participating network members will represent different niches in the specialty-equipment market. They will interact with tour attendees and visit schools along the seven-city, seven-day journey to share about their careers and engage the next generation of industry executives. The participants will also take the tour online through the YEN Facebook page, Twitter and other social media outlets.

Learn more and apply today to join the YEN Power Tour. Applications will be accepted through April 10. All members of YEN are eligible to apply. Not yet a member? Join today.

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