SEMA News—August 2011
SEMA Show’s Collision Repair & Refinish Section Grows
Crossover Continues Between Specialty-Equipment and Repair Industries
The newly branded Collision Repair & Refinish section is one of 12 sections that will house exhibitors during the 2011 SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center over November 1–4, 2011.
“Highly successful collision repair shops do a good job of diversifying their businesses,” said Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). “They keep a core focus on collision repair but add other revenue mechanisms and services to bring in valuable profit centers and increase business. While shops have overhead in their buildings and their employees, they also utilize skill sets very similar to those found in a lot of the other markets that take part in the SEMA Show.”
Those similarities and commonalities create natural collaborative opportunities in the manufacturing, retail and service sides of both the specialty-equipment and collision-repair industries.
“Buyers at the SEMA Show are constantly seeking opportunities to expand and grow,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications and events. “The floor sections make it easy for buyers to hone in on the products most relevant to their businesses and make the best use of their time at the SEMA Show. They can easily discover the most relevant cross-marketing opportunities and see what the hot trends are.”
Schulenburg pointed out that collision repair specialists might also discover an abundance of products, tools, services and expertise that dovetail perfectly with their existing operations.
SEMA Show organizers have placed increasing importance on seminars targeted specifically at those interested in collaborating with collision repair businesses, and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists and its Repairer Driven Education program have been instrumental in delivering value to that growing group.
Collision repair specialists are likely to discover an abundance of products, tools, services and expertise that dovetail perfectly with their existing operations at this year’s SEMA Show.
By the same token, SEMA-member companies may find that supplying and partnering with collision repair businesses can open whole new markets for their products or services.
“The nice thing about collision repair is that we work on a lot of newer cars,” Schulenburg explained. “There are parts and services in virtually every section of the SEMA Show that can be applied to new vehicles and to the customers who utilize collision repair shops. Our industry has traditionally referred things, such as mobile audio, to the guy down the street, but there is a huge opportunity to capture more business with an existing customer base by bringing some of those services in-house.”
Schulenburg said that he and other executives from SCRS received overwhelmingly positive feedback from members of their organization who attended last year’s SEMA Show.
“Many of the collision repairers who attended for first time last year reported that they were overwhelmed with the scope of the exhibits and the ideas they were presented with,” he said. “After the first day, they went back to their rooms and drew up plans for where they wanted to concentrate their efforts during the rest of the week. They left inspired with some really good ideas about how to get into new areas of business.”
They also took advantage of the Repairer Driven Education (RDE) seminars that were sponsored and presented by SCRS. This year’s slate of RDE programs (visit www.SCRS.com for details) complements SEMA’s Education Week offerings, which typically feature 50–60 sessions and are one of the cornerstones of the annual trade-only event. As more specialty-equipment attendees at the SEMA Show have become interested in the paint-and-body market, Show organizers have placed increasing importance on seminars targeted specifically at those interested in collaborating with collision repair businesses. SCRS and its RDE program have been instrumental in delivering value to that growing group.
“While a number of this year’s classes are designed specifically for repairers, most of them are relevant to automotive businesses in general,” said Schulenburg. “We have marketing classes, strategy and decision-making classes, courses on regulations that impact not only bodyshops, but also other markets that work on cars. We also have technical courses and others that cover pricing and economic considerations. There is not a SEMA Show attendee nor exhibitor who wouldn’t gain significant benefit from attending the RDE offerings from SCRS.”
The presence of the collision repair industry at the SEMA Show is a natural fit, Schulenburg said. The innovation and creativity foster inspiration and development, which is why he encourages all of SCRS’ members and every collision repair shop to attend.
“There is nothing better than getting good quality education and training, getting new ideas and doing it in an exciting environment where you feel that you can actually go back and implement what you’ve learned when you return home,” he said.
Specialty-equipment businesses that would like additional information about opportunities for collaboration with collision repair facilities may visit the SCRS booth in the Collision Repair & Refinish section of the SEMA Show (North Hall, booth #10727) or visit the SCRS website (www.SCRS.com) for information.