SEMA News - July 2010 

We’ve just come from the first SEMA Show Exhibitor Summit, held May 25–27 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and the feedback we’ve gathered has been tremendous. The goal of the Summit was to inform attendees about how to maximize each exhibitor’s presence, save money on Show expenses, demonstrate how social media can extend any exhibitor’s marketing reach and increase traffic—and sales—at every booth. The SEMA Board of Directors, the SEMA Show committee and the association staff committed themselves to innovation and improvement for each aspect of the SEMA Show, ensuring that every exhibitor’s investment delivers the greatest possible value. If you weren’t able to attend, here are just a couple of the programs we highlighted to help exhibitors get ready for the 2010 SEMA Show:

Exhibitor and Buyer Matchmaking: Eligible exhibitors can effectively and efficiently connect with buyers before, during and after the SEMA Show through the use of an online Matchmaking service. The program makes it easy to identify prospective business partners and allows both buyers and sellers to communicate with one another while maintaining complete confidentiality. All registered personnel for eligible exhibiting companies may take part in the Matchmaking service. For complete details, contact Alan Dicker via e-mail or by phone at 909/978-6722.

New Products Showcase: Placing a new product in the Showcase at the SEMA Show is almost like exhibiting at a second booth. Buyers and media search the new-product entries for items that they will highlight during the coming year. Electronic scanners that are provided to each buyer and media attendee have made it even simpler for them to gather information about exhibitor products—including a high-resolution photo and company contact information—and every item displayed in the New Products Showcase receives continuing coverage in SEMA News magazine as well as on a digital archive website, where media download information and images throughout the year.

Enthusiast Opinions and Social Media: The Enthusiast Opinion Leader Research Project that was introduced at the 2009 SEMA Show will be expanded at the 2010 event. Through the program, the nation’s most active and influential automotive enthusiasts help industry professionals identify future trends by providing firsthand feedback on the products and vehicles debuting at the SEMA Show.

We were able to provide exhibitors and attendees with immediate and in-depth feedback about their preferences, attitudes and outlook toward our industry and its products using the program in 2009. In addition to completing surveys, the participants used social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube, to share their feedback on products, vehicles and trends from the Show. To learn more about the SEMA Show Enthusiast Opinion Leader Research Project, contact Megan McKernan at

The SEMA Show Exhibitor Summit will be held again in advance of the 2011 SEMA Show, and I encourage every member of the association to attend. Through the programs outlined above and the dozens of others delivered at the Show, the greatest opportunities for building business lie ahead. The next step is to ensure that your company forges its plans to exhibit in 2010 and build its industry awareness. While we are still months away from SEMA Show week—November 2–5 this year—the advance exhibitor registrations are running well ahead of last year’s figures and are surpassing even the 2008 trends. Be sure that your company is there to capitalize on the surge. 

—Christopher J. Kersting, CAE
President and CEO, SEMA

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