SEMA News—November 2015


Continuous Improvement: Responding to Your Feedback

Chris KerstingThe 2015 SEMA Show is upon us, but when the Show is over, don’t be surprised if we ask for your feedback. Our annual post-Show survey goes out to more than 3,000 Show attendees. It is part of our process to provide a SEMA Show and an association that are responsive to needs, lead the industry to future opportunities and deliver return on investment. We consider it essential, and you should, too.

Here are a few facts to consider:

  • Since 1990, our industry has grown 500%, from $7.2 billion to $36.2 billion.
  • New-vehicle technology is developing rapidly as computers increasingly control most of a car’s systems.
  • Advanced manufacturing systems can develop prototypes in a matter of hours.
  • The world has gone online, connecting our industry and its products to customers more quickly but often less personally.
  • Data is becoming a key business asset and need.

Your feedback to SEMA has led to new member resources, such as our vehicle technology initiatives, the SEMA Garage and the SEMA Data Co-op. At this year’s SEMA Show, you’ll be able to see firsthand some of the tools and services SEMA is offering under these initiatives.

In the Convention Center’s Grand Lobby, now known as SEMA Central, Show attendees can learn about our vehicle CAD library and our 3D scanning services, along with a chance to meet SEMA staff experts to learn how to certify your products for emissions regulations. You can also find out about the SEMA Data Co-op’s new SEMA Search, which gives industry members a powerful look-up tool that contains all the brands and products in the SEMA Data Co-op. This is your invitation to come by and say hello.

Another big opportunity is about improving consumer awareness. (We think of it as stoking the growth of the gearhead nation.) Social media gives us new opportunities to reach more consumers than ever before. One of the newest and most visible tactics has been the creation of SEMA Ignited, the consumer-facing, social-media-friendly event held on Friday after the SEMA Show.

Ignited allows enthusiast customers to interact directly with SEMA Show exhibitors and allows exhibitors to leverage their SEMA Show investments by gaining more exposure for their brands and products. We estimate that more than 10,000 people will attend, but perhaps more significantly, the event is designed to leverage the reach of new media. Factor in thousands of consumers with their cell-phone cameras, and this event has the potential to reach consumers like never before. And the event works for traditional media as well. Last year’s one-hour television special on Velocity Network, “SEMA Battle of the Builders,” drew more than
2 million viewers.

Speaking of improvement, SEMA Ignited will take place this year right across the street from the Convention Center, which will make it easier for Show exhibitors and attendees to participate. This time around, we have strengthened consumer marketing efforts, added attractions and revamped the layout, but just like last year, if you are a SEMA Show attendee, your badge will get you in.

Also based on information from our annual survey, we’ve worked to improve key Show features. For example, the New Products Showcase is now centrally located on the Skybridge. The New Products Showcase houses nearly 2,000 products, so we now offer free use of laser scanners that will allow attendees to capture product data more easily than ever. Busy buyers can scan the bar codes of products and receive the product data via e-mail.

We’ve also taken steps to create wider food options and new transportation upgrades, so there should be shorter lines and more time left to do business.

When all is said and done, this year’s SEMA Show will offer hundreds of improvements, large and small, that we hope will add up to a big difference. Our goal is to make the 2015 SEMA Show the best ever—and do even better in the years to come.

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