SEMA News—January 2013


The Racing and Performance Industry Wins Again

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO By now, most of the industry—and certainly those operating in the racing and performance segment—will have heard that SEMA has acquired the International Motorsports Industry Show, otherwise known as IMIS.

Significantly, SEMA also purchased the Orlando-based Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show earlier this year. By taking the step to acquire IMIS, which also operates in the racing and performance space, we now have the opportunity to consolidate the two shows to produce one, centrally located show in Indianapolis—a motorsports stronghold—and a successful home to the PRI Trade Show in the past. We think this is a development that will deliver great value and benefits for the racing industry for a variety of reasons.

On one level, we made these moves because they align perfectly with the SEMA mission: to help the industry succeed and prosper. Steve Lewis, Chris Paulsen and his partners have had the same mission; they are dedicated supporters of the racing and performance segment and have helped the businesses at their shows grow and do well. As a not-for-profit trade association, SEMA’s number-one goal with PRI is the racing industry’s success, ensuring that the newly consolidated event in Indy will be managed and operated with the segment’s best interests in mind and will remain a value-driven, hardcore racing industry event.

Then there are the benefits of the consolidation itself. Those businesses that stayed in Indianapolis all along will benefit because the combined shows will bring together the entire industry, opening new sales opportunities. Those that participated in Orlando will benefit by avoiding the problem of not reaching those exhibitors or buyers attending only the Indy event.

Perhaps the biggest winners will be those companies and attendees that have been participating in two separate shows in an effort to cover all the opportunities presented. They can now eliminate duplicate travel, logistics, exhibitor fees and marketing expenses conservatively estimated in the millions of dollars annually. A single show will result in improved efficiency and return on investment for the entire industry.

A consolidated PRI show in Indy, supported by SEMA, will also present new opportunities for the racing industry. Imagine a single annual racing-industry gathering that can host industry conferences, training sessions and association-supported networking events to help individuals and the industry as a whole. We have already received expressions of interest and support from domestic and international organizations to build such opportunities at the newly consolidated show. The possibilities are very exciting.

The SEMA and PRI teams are looking forward to building a closer relationship with the individuals and companies in the racing segment and coming up with new programs, services and initiatives to make a positive difference to PRI participants. In the end, we expect that the investment SEMA has made in acquiring these two events will truly result in an important “win” for the racing industry and for the PRI Show participants. 

—Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO

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