SEMA News—October 2015


By Mike Imlay

Educating Yourself at the SEMA Show

Five Top Learning Events You Won’t Want to Miss
SEMA Launch Pad
Returning for its third year, the popular SEMA Launch Pad is just one of the many must-attend educational presentations offered at the annual SEMA Show. All of the Show’s educational programs are designed to motivate, inspire and arm participants in every industry segment with the professional insights and skills they need to grow their careers and businesses.

Known worldwide as the specialty-equipment industry’s premiere trade event where business gets done, the annual SEMA Show is more than a week-long extravaganza of hot aftermarket products, customized vehicles and industry networking. It’s also heavy on learning opportunities.

“Throughout Show week, attendees will find a huge roster of educational seminars and learning events geared toward every segment of the industry,” said Zane Clark, SEMA director of education. “Our focus in creating these presentations is to help arm industry professionals with the tools and resources to foster career advancement and businesses growth. We’re especially proud of the wide-ranging programs we’ve put together for 2015, along with the leading experts we’ve gathered to deliver our education tracks.”

The following list and descriptions represents a sampling of some of the 2015 program’s top, not-to-be-missed opportunities at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). More complete information, along with registration for these additional topics and market-specific tracks can be found at or the SEMA Show app.

Keynote & Coffee

Back by popular demand, the SEMA Show’s dynamic Keynotes & Coffee event presents industry and business thought leaders who will have you seeing your own business from fresh perspectives. The free seminars kick off Monday, Show week, at 9:00 a.m., and continue Tuesday through Thursday at 8:00 a.m., before the exhibit halls open and conferences begin.

Grab a free cup of coffee and gain valuable insights into a diverse range of topics, including the impact of social media, the emerging market of Millennial women and their buying habits, becoming an “approachable leader,” and fun but vital new approaches to customer service. Speakers include Bridget Brennan, CEO of the Female Factor; Scott Ginsberg, a company leader famed for embarking on a “silly name-tag experiment”; and Dave Carroll, a songwriter with a YouTube video about an airline breaking his guitar that became a viral sensation. You’ll find the daily gatherings in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Upper North Hall, room N258.

Emerging Leaders Conference

Do you have any up-and-comers in your organization who are ready to go to the next level of leadership? The SEMA Emerging Leaders Conference might be just the nudge you can give your promising employees to help them reach their full potential.

Planned for Monday, November 2, the day before the Show starts, the inaugural conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center offers participants personal assessment and insights into leadership strategy, concepts and styles from some of the Show’s most inspiring speakers. In the process, participants will gain valuable skills to think more strategically about their careers and your company’s future while discovering and leveraging their own strengths as leaders. Plus, your company will benefit by taking an important step toward
employee retention, job satisfaction and succession planning.

Nomination is required to attend this special program. To nominate an attendee, please visit

Vehicle Technology Briefing Seminars

Running from Monday through Thursday of Show week, the SEMA Vehicle Technology Briefing Seminar (TBS) program focuses on advanced vehicle technologies and government regulations immediately impacting aftermarket businesses, as well as future legislation, technologies, systems and engineering trends being implemented by OEMs. Led by cutting-edge industry experts, the seminars will help you grasp the latest vehicle technologies and leverage SEMA-developed vehicle technology solutions as well as new business opportunities.

This year, four Vehicle Technology Briefing Sessions are planned, revolving around the theme of “Fast, Smart, Cool and Connected.” They will cover “The Intersection of Cars and Car Culture,” “Customizing With Confidence and Ensuring Compliance,” “The Future of Motorsports and Performance” and a Vehicle Electronics Forum panel discussion. All sessions will be held in the SEMA Show Vehicle Technology Center, located in LVCC rooms N258–N260.

SEMA Launch Pad

Entering its third year, SEMA Launch Pad is more than a business competition propelling exciting new automotive products and services to market. It’s also a must-attend educational experience delivering audience participants an exciting glimpse into creativity and entrepreneurship.

The contest gives top young innovators under the age of 40 an industry platform in which to showcase their ideas and business plans, with five finalists taking center stage on November 4, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m., before a live panel of industry-icon judges. Making the call to help launch this year’s most promising entrepreneur will be Doug Evans, executive vice president/COO of Luken Communications and SEMA Chairman of the Board; Ron Coleman, owner of COMP Performance Group; Myles Kovacs, co-founder and president of DUB Magazine; Wade Kawasaki, president/COO of Coker Group; and TV personality Jessi Combs. Observe the contestant presentations in Room N258 of the LVCC Upper North Hall and see if you agree with the judges’ decision.

OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit

Slated for Thursday, November 5, the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit is a unique collision-and-repair-industry networking and learning event that puts attendees in a room with leading innovators in automotive structural design and technology. With sessions addressing “Advanced Automotive Technology,” “The Future of Aluminum in the Automotive Industry” and the “Continuing Evolution of Advanced Steels in Automotive Bodies,” the summit focuses on emerging trends in vehicle construction and technology and their impact on vehicle repairability and collision industry preparation.

Organized around individuals and companies with rich histories of sophisticated advancements in the field, it promises to offer deep insights into how vehicles and materials are evolving, what it all means to the repair process and what will be expected of those performing the repairs. Sessions can be selected individually or as part of a full-series pass, but space is limited, so early registration is encouraged.

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