SEMA News—November 2011

10 SEMA Show Opportunities

Tips for Getting Down to Business at the 2011 SEMA Show

By Michael Imlay

   you’ll discover more than 1,500 new products plus the latest equipment and technology being developed by more than 2,000 exhibitors, including 500 first-timers alongside major manufacturers and new suppliers
The 2011 SEMA Show will concentrate products and networking opportunities under one roof, creating valuable access to new revenue streams, expanded sales and profits.
   
As the world’s premier automotive aftermarket trade event, the 2011 SEMA Show concentrates a vast number of attractions and opportunities under one roof. So many, in fact, that it’s practically impossible to know about them all unless you’re highly organized. Step inside the massive Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) for the SEMA Show, and you’ll discover more than 1,500 new products plus the latest equipment and technology being developed by more than 2,000 exhibitors, including 500 first-timers alongside major manufacturers and new suppliers. With the Show rapidly approaching, we suggest the following tips for attendees wishing to take full advantage of the event’s many opportunities.

1. Hit the Ground Running

Whether you sign up online ($25) or via fax or mail ($50), pre-registration by October 18 saves you more than money. It buys you time that you won’t be spending in a registration line at the Show when you could be immediately discovering new products, making industry contacts and attending educational events instead. If you miss the October 18 deadline, you can still take advantage of online registration at on-site prices from October 19 right up to the opening of the Show. No matter how you choose to register, you’ll find it much more profitable to do it before Show opening. For details, go to www.SEMAShow.com and click on “Attend Show.”

2. Stay Smart With Travel Planners

Obviously, hassle-free hotel accommodations that are convenient to the Show will keep you rested, energized and on time for all of your planned activities. Booking your lodging through Travel Planners, the only official SEMA Show Housing Bureau, will ensure the best rates possible at quality hotels that offer quick and easy commuting to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Plus, by using Travel Planners, you’ll pay no resort fees (except for the The Signature at MGM Grand, which mandates them) and have access to exclusive hotel profiles that include descriptions, amenities, photos and maps for every official hotel. Not only can you also manage reservations (view, change or cancel) online, but you’ll also find your data delivered in real time, 24/7. For details, go to www.SEMAShow.com, click on “Attendees,” and scroll-down to select “Travel & Lodging.”

3. Enjoy Discounted Transportation

   Buy your ticket ahead of time and get an Unlimited 3-Day Pass for $24 (normally $28 at ticket vending machines); an Unlimited 4-Day Pass for $32
Discounted monorail tickets and complimentary shuttle busses provide quick, convenient access to the Las Vegas Convention Center, home of the 2011 SEMA Show.
   
The Las Vegas Monorail is convenient to most hotels booked through Travel Planners and will drop you off directly in front of the 2011 SEMA Show. Even better, the city is offering exclusive discounts to SEMA Show attendees. Buy your ticket ahead of time and get an Unlimited 3-Day Pass for $24 (normally $28 at ticket vending machines); an Unlimited 4-Day Pass for $32 (not available at ticket vending machines); and an Unlimited 7-Day Pass for $50 (also not available at ticket vending machines). With trains arriving every few minutes, the Monorail also connects you to the city’s glitz and glamour of world-class restaurants, shows, shops, clubs, hotels and casinos in a safe, clean and climate-controlled environment. Save time and dollars by purchasing your tickets online now.

In addition, complimentary shuttle bus service is available between the LVCC and most official SEMA Show hotels. Pick-up locations at the LVCC are between Central and North Halls, behind the Grand Lobby by Freight Door 10 and in the front and back of South Hall. Buses pick up every 20 to 30 minutes. For a detailed schedule, go to www.SEMAShow.com/shuttle-bus-information.

4. Power Up Your Online Marketing

Today’s businesses rise and fall on online marketing, with technology and tactics changing by the minute. The SEMA Show’s Online Marketing Conference—Powered by eBay Motors, is a can’t-miss opportunity to learn more about the most critical online trends affecting your business. Held Monday, October 31, the daylong event addresses such topics as landing-page optimization, Facebook, mobile site development, search-engine optimization and marketing, website analytics, video marketing, reputation management and more. Split into fundamental and intermediate tracks, the conference is presented by leading Internet experts. Discounted pre-registration (available online) runs until October 17, after which onsite registration is required.

5. Expand Your Business Knowledge

   Attendees can hit the ground running through online pre-registration, which saves time you’d certainly rather use to see and experience the Show.
Attendees can hit the ground running through online pre-registration, which saves time you’d certainly rather use to see and experience the Show.
   
From Monday, October 31, through Friday, November 4, SEMA Show Education Days touch on virtually every topic affecting aftermarket businesses and are a great way to learn firsthand what’s new and cutting-edge in the marketplace. The SEMA Education Institute (SEI) roster includes more than 50 free courses and several “pay-to-attend” educational events this year. Buyers will particularly appreciate business seminars on marketing, customer service, management and more. Exclusive to registered SEMA Show participants, these learning opportunities are designed to immediately deliver practical tools that can be implemented by you and your staff the first day back from Las Vegas. For details, visit www.SEMAShow.com/education.

6. One-Stop Shopping for New Products

Ideas Alive: Featuring the New Products Showcase is the SEMA Show’s number-one destination, and with good reason. There’s no better way to examine all of the industry’s hottest new products in one fell swoop. Plus, for 2011, Ideas Alive adds a Featured Products section where exhibitors also get to display their most popular products, regardless of introduction date. Located this year in the upper level, east end of South Hall, the New Products Showcase represents 25,000 sq. ft. of innovations—all barcoded so you can easily capture and download essential product information. (The data is available in several formats, including one for smartphones, with scanners also available free to buyers and media.) Best of all, the Showcase opens each morning at 8:00 a.m., prior to main Show hours, allowing you to beat the crowds.

7. New Products Award Breakfast

   the 2011 SEMA Show presents firsthand looks at those products installed on the hottest street rods, musclecars, exotics, compacts, light trucks and more
The SEMA Show is renowned for firsthand looks at the world’s hottest street rods, incredible musclecars, exotics, sport compacts, light trucks and more.
   
The 2011 SEMA Show New Products Awards Breakfast promises to be yet another key attraction, as it is every year. Scheduled for Tuesday, November 1, from 7:30 a.m.–8:45 a.m. at the Las Vegas Hilton, the event lands on the Show’s opening day just before Show-floor opening. During the breakfast, the best new products from the New Products Showcase are announced, with honors presented to their exhibitors. Attendees will be among the first to find out who walks off with awards this year, but more than a great product tip-off for buyers, the breakfast is also a highly prized networking opportunity. Attendance is free, but space is limited, so tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To order your tickets, visit here and click on “Buy Tickets” in the “Attendee” window.

8. The SEMA Awards:Find Out the Hottest Vehicle Trends

In addition to displays and in-depth appraisals of the latest automotive specialty-equipment products, the 2011 SEMA Show presents firsthand looks at those products installed on the hottest street rods, musclecars, exotics, compacts, light trucks and more. In fact, you’ll want to pay special attention to the SEMA Award winners, which will be announced on the Show’s first day, Tuesday, November 1. Presented in four categories—Hottest Car, Hottest Truck, Hottest Sport Compact and Hottest 4x4-SUV—the SEMA Awards recognize the year’s top trendsetting vehicles based on exhibitors’ choice. Show organizers will survey qualified booth vehicles to identify the most prominent models in each award category and tally them all to identify which platforms enthusiasts prefer to modify. For buyers and manufacturers alike, these vehicles act as ideal barometers of trending products in the marketplace.

9. Get a Handle on the Latest Tech Advances

   Ideas Alive: Featuring the New Products Showcase is the SEMA Show’s number-one buyer destination. It’s set up to offer one-stop shopping of all the industry’s hottest new innovations, with free barcode scanners to make information acquisition quick and easy.
Ideas Alive: Featuring the New Products Showcase is the SEMA Show’s number-one buyer destination. It’s set up to offer one-stop shopping of all the industry’s hottest new innovations, with free barcode scanners to make information acquisition quick and easy.
   
Technology has been changing rapidly, as new regulations and new concepts evolve from OEM sources. These trends can affect suspension, powertrains, safety and infotainment, and staying abreast of the latest developments can be daunting. Yet for aftermarket jobbers and manufacturers, anticipating the effect of future innovations is crucial. Thankfully, the SEMA Show’s Vehicle Technology Center (VTC) provides in-depth information and hands-on understanding from leading industry experts relating to advanced vehicle technologies, emerging systems and cooperative programs. This area is designed to enhance communications between OEMs and the aftermarket. For 2011, the SEMA Show unveils a significantly expanded VTC experience, including a theater, exhibits and sessions designed to inform and educate attendees on the technological changes that promise to revolutionize the industry. The VTC is located in Booth #35185 of the upper South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more information, visit here.

10. Get More From SEMA

As a trade association, SEMA is much more than its annual Show. The association also offers business insurance, freight-savings, consumer credit programs and expert research relating to both domestic and international products and markets. Plus, SEMA provides legislative advocacy, career development and training, employee recruitment, industry news, international relations and technology transfer programs that provide CAD and other design data directly from manufacturers. Members also get access to all of the organization’s networking events. Make sure to visit the Show’s Association Center in the Grand Lobby (just outside the North Hall) to learn about all of the year-round opportunities of SEMA membership.

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