SEMA News—October 2013


The SEMA Award: You’re All Invited

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO There are many prestigious awards handed out at the SEMA Show. While each is significant in its own way, there is one award that should be of particular interest to everyone at the Show, and potentially, everyone in the auto industry. That would be the SEMA Award because it represents the collective voice of the industry.

By counting and sorting the vehicles displayed in exhibitor booths, we can gauge which vehicle models SEMA exhibitors believe will lead the way when it comes to generating accessory sales. The SEMA Award is a way to spotlight our exhibitors’ unique ability to identify which models are hot, just as the trends are gaining momentum.

This will be the fourth year of the SEMA Award, which includes current model-year cars, trucks, 4x4s and sport compacts. To determine the winners, dozens of Show workers will fan out across the entire Show floor, looking at vehicles and VIN numbers to tally up the score on exhibitor booth vehicles. The survey will identify where our exhibitors invested their product development dollars, and by extension, the vehicles they believe are high-fliers for their products for this year’s market.

This year’s SEMA Award winners will be announced the morning of Tuesday, November 5, at the SEMA New Products Breakfast. Along with hundreds of writers and photographers, there will be more than a thousand Show attendees on hand to learn which vehicles aftermarket manufacturers collectively believe are likely to drive future profits.

That insight is certainly useful for anyone in the automotive industry, but we think there is another, broader benefit. Because the SEMA Award generates vast media coverage that extends beyond traditional enthusiast circles, the award contributes an element of consumer awareness that other awards do not. Thousands of social media mentions, web discussions, YouTube views and hundreds of print media articles ripple outward the moment the winners are announced. This kind of publicity benefits the industry as a whole, right down to the manufacturer who makes a single product. We think it also boosts new-vehicle awareness and sales too.

From a logistical point of view, the SEMA Award is not an easy one to administer, but it’s something we think is well worth the effort. Only at the SEMA Show, the world’s largest gathering of automotive trendsetters, would this kind of data-driven award be possible. That’s why I’m looking forward to making the announcement on Tuesday morning at the New Products Breakfast…and we hope you’ll be there to join us.


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