SEMA News - January 2010

SEMA NEWS-JANUARY 2010-CHRIS KERSTINGQuality is our mantra. It is the theme underlying everything we do at the association, and it was our goal for the 2009 SEMA Show. The feedback we’ve received indicates that the Show was a success by any measure, and we’ll use the information we’ve collected to produce an even better event for 2010.

The displays and innovation at the New Products Showcase were beyond our expectations this year. Even though the recession had constricted business for months, more than 1,400 products were entered in a dozen new-product categories. The new location and expanded footprint of the New Products Showcase in the upper level of the South Hall gave attendees easier access to the displays, leading them to swarm over the area to view some of the most innovative andtechnologically advanced offerings we’ve ever seen. In fact, buyers and media recorded more than 65,000 electronic scans to request additional product information and photography.

Connecting buyers and sellers is also a critical goal at every SEMA Show, and the numbers of exhibitors and buyers who linked up using the Matchmaking Program was a further indicator of success for 2009. Attendees exchanged tens of thousands of e-mails prior to arriving in Las Vegas, scheduling appointments with businesses whose product offerings or preferences matched their own. Buyers were also able to use the online floorplan at www.SEMAShow.com to not only determine top supplier prospects, but also to pinpoint the location of the booths they wished to visit, vastly improving their route planning.

We added two new sections this year—Paint, Body & Equipment and Powersports & Utility Vehicles. As with the traditional Show sections, the two new ones were set-up adjacent to related categories, designed to enhance crossover opportunities and, we hope, encourage retail and warehouse businesses to examine possible new product lines.

Education is another of the hallmark programs we seek to improve at every SEMA Show, and the attendance figures at this year’s offerings were a sign that our industry’s leading companies appreciated the value of increasing their knowledge and improving their skills. From business basics and sales techniques to Internet marketing and industry forecasts, the seminars and strategy sessions offered this year signaled a commitment by both jobbers/retailers and manufacturers to build upon best practices—especially the importance of clean and reliable product data.

A walk down any aisle at the 2009 SEMA Show confirmed that technology and innovation lead the way in vehicle evolution. New materials, new systems and new ways of viewing even the basics of how cars and trucks can operate spur our industry to provide products that tailor diverse vehicles to unique purposes. Keeping our focus on that diversity and those unique requirements is also what we in the association strive to achieve.

One-hundred percent of the businesses that attended the SEMA Show put it all on the line in 2009, signaling that buyers, manufacturers and services in this industry are ready for an active 2010. SEMA intends to be part of that process and continue offering programs and services to boost our members’ succcess. 

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