By Mike Imlay
As a specialty-equipment market trade association, SEMA’s mission is to help its business members succeed and prosper. To this end, it offers a broad variety of programs. Some are designed to help a business as a whole, while others are tailored toward employees or individuals. Combined, all SEMA programs and benefits offer powerful opportunities to grow brands, careers and industry enthusiasm. But how can members discover and access them all?
As a trade association, SEMA offers business members and their employees a broad range of personal and professional enrichment programs, along with other benefits and perks. Now a newly launched membership portal lets you find and access them all in one place.
Enter the recently launched SEMA Member Portal at www.SEMA.org. Now a simple login takes members directly to an exclusive area highlighting and tracking all the benefits open to them. Members can also build a personal profile to help promote themselves and their businesses. To learn more about the new portal and association benefits, SEMA News turned to Andrea (“AJ”) Carney, the association’s director of membership. The following is our interview, edited for clarity.
SEMA News: Why was the new web portal developed and what is its main advantage for SEMA-member businesses?
AJ Carney: The portal is a one-stop entry point for seeing and taking advantage of all SEMA’s member benefits. In the past, business members inquiring about our many programs were referred to a variety of websites, email addresses or phone numbers. Recently, the SEMA Board of Directors tasked us with simplifying the member experience on www.SEMA.org. This is a major step in that ongoing process and our first-ever hub where members can find and access everything all from one dashboard. It’s a much more user-friendly experience for our members.
Also, the portal experience is individualized for our business members. When a business or company joins SEMA, there are a range of benefits available to its leadership and employees, some of which are based upon their position within the business. Each individual will be able to login through their own personalized account and view the specific programs and benefits open to them.
SN: You’ve focused here on SEMA business members. Is there a distinction between them and SEMA individual members?
AJC: Yes. As you know, we recently launched a SEMA Individual Membership (SIM) program for individual consumer enthusiasts. To avoid confusion, we should clarify that the new portal accommodates both our business members and our individual members. As we continue to develop our SIM program, this portal will also grow and expand its services to all members, regardless of type. When someone logs in, the portal will know whether they’re a business or an individual member and display the benefits unique to their type of membership. It will all be automated from the back end. So regardless of whether you are a business member or an individual member, this portal would serve you either way.
SN: So for the business members who will be reading this article, can you briefly take us through the process of accessing their specific benefits through the portal?
AJC: It’s very simple. Now when a member goes to www.SEMA.org, they’ll see a login icon at the upper right of the landing page. Once they’re registered and logged in, they can click on the “My Profile” icon, which takes them to their profile page. That page displays their image, all their company information, and a “My Benefits” column to the right. That column is their portal. And within that portal, that’s where members can take advantage of savings on parts purchases, SEMA Garage and SEMA Data [formerly the SEMA Data Co-op], and much more.
All they have to do is select a benefit or perk they’re interested in and hit the “Claim” button. They’ll learn more about that benefit, any applicable cost, and all the information needed to engage with it quickly and easily.
A simple three-step process is now all it takes for SEMA business members and their employees to take advantage of their benefits.
SN: You just mentioned a few of the benefits open to our business members. Perhaps we should go a little deeper into all that’s available to them.
AJC: Definitely. I can list several important examples right off the bat. Our manufacturing members have access to numerous SEMA Garage programs, such as Tech Transfer, rapid prototyping, measuring sessions and laser scanning, to list some of the most popular ones.
Another SEMA Garage perk we want members to be aware of is the training facility. Any SEMA business member can book our training room. Manufacturers can use it to educate their staff, consultants, the media and other partners about their products—or pretty much anything else. Retail members can book it, bring in vehicles or products from their shops, and train their employees. The Garage also has work bays equipped complete with tools and lifts.
Participation in SEMA Data is also a major service for member businesses, and they can access that program through the portal as well. If they’re a manufacturer logging in, they’ll see the filtered SEMA Data services that pertain only to them. If they’re a retailer or reseller, they’ll see SEMA Data services filtered for their needs. The portal is very intuitive.
In addition, many members take frequent advantage of SEMA Market Research, and the portal will give them direct access to our association reports. These are a huge advantage for businesses of all types.
SN: You also alluded to other perks. Can you give some examples?
AJC: We’re building our discount program for SEMA business members, which also is an ongoing process. I’ll highlight a couple examples. Right now, business members can redeem SEMA Gear online-only apparel discounts at 15% off through the portal, 40% off at 5.11 Tactical, and 20% parts discounts through Trader Tim’s Tie Downs. Then there’s an exclusive discount from Oakley, Costa and other fashion brands; and a 35% discount on digital ad placements on My Race Pass, to name just a few.
Of course, the portal also provides discount access to our benefit partners, including UPS, First Data and Alliant Insurance Services, among others. We’ll be rolling out more discount partnerships in the coming year. We’ll also reach out to potential partners directly on a member’s behalf when they suggest or inquire about them. Our goal is to greatly expand our perks, and we’re putting a lot of effort into delivering a full range of first-class discounts and benefits. If your business or company is interested in becoming a Benefits Partner, reach out to Mike Kirks, our membership benefits manager, at mikek@
SN: How about access to SEMA Education?
AJC: That is also available now through the portal. Business members can register and pay for select education events and seminars, and access free content as well, including SEMA on-demand education videos. This is another great member benefit. Our education topics are presented by subject-matter experts and cover a variety of subjects for business and personal
enrichment. Regardless of who you are or what you do in the industry, there’s something for everyone.
SN: SEMA council and networks are also important to many of our association members. Do they have a place in the new portal too?
AJC: Yes, SEMA has council and networks addressing a variety of industry segments, and we hope the new portal will increase member engagement with them. They’re a great way to tackle common industry issues, advance your business and even your personal career. But in the past, many members didn’t fully understand what our councils and networks were all about, what they could do for them, or even how to connect with them.
Now members no longer have to go searching for contacts or information about each council or network. The portal explains council and network benefits in one place. When an employee hits the “Claim Benefits” feature, all their council and network options are presented to them, and they can apply for membership right there. It’s a much easier way for business members to start their networking journey within SEMA.
SN: Speaking of networking, how about the full SEMA Member Directory? Is that available online?
AJC: We do have an online Member Directory, which is extremely robust. When members log in to their profile, they’ll see a link to it in the menu. When they click on that link, they’ll be able to filter results. Say, for instance, they want to find retailer members in their radius or manufacturers within a certain category. Boom! They can filter them quickly in the directory. That’s a function we’ve never had before. Previously, members only had access to a PDF copy of a printed directory that they had to sift through themselves. Now it’s automated and much less cumbersome. They can sort members by all types of fields.
SEMA manufacturing members have access to numerous SEMA Garage programs.
SN: And how about keeping their SEMA membership current?
AJC: Once they log in, they’ll see tools for that as well. They can view their annual invoice (90 days before membership expires) and pay it by clicking on “My Invoices” from their profile page. The system even keeps track of all the separate services or benefits they’ve paid for, including any benefit claim codes they’ve previously gotten. Some perks can be accessed multiple times using a single claim code. So if they ever forget or misplace that claim code, they can easily go back to their portal under “My Benefits” and retrieve it from their claimed area.
SN: Up to now, we’ve spoken about business members, but are there also benefits currently available to SEMA Individual Members when they log in to the portal?
AJC: Absolutely! When a SEMA Individual Member logs into SEMA.org and clicks on “Benefits,” they will be presented with a list of benefits/perks. For example, there’s a $10 off a $100 a Summit Racing Equipment purchase; discounts on Oakley, Costa and other fashion brands; 10% off online-only SEMA Gear purchases; 15% off at Hypertech; $15 off a $75 purchase through 5.11 Tactical; and 10% off any two- or five-day welding workshop through PIT Instruction and Training, among others.
SEMA Individual Membership
Employees of SEMA-member businesses and SEMA Individual Members wishing to make use of the portal should go to www.sema.org. At the upper right of the webpage, there are icons to join SEMA and/or log in. Selecting “Login” will take members to a page where they can sign in with their email and password.
If your business is not currently a SEMA member, you can gain member portal access, start saving and growing your business today at www.sema.org/join.
In addition, if you are not yet a SEMA Individual Member, you can join today and get immediate access to membership perks and more by visiting www.sema.org/individual-membership.
Start saving today!