SEMA Member News – July/August 2016

By Katie Carson

TORA Looking Ahead: Media Preview

TORA Media Preview
The TORA Media Preview provides an optimal opportunity for TORA members to connect with the media and gain added exposure for their products.

The Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) will once again host its Media Preview at the 2016 SEMA Show. The event is designed to connect members of the media to TORA-member companies that are spotlighting new products. The event traditionally attracts more than two dozen exhibitors and is open to all members of the media. The 2016 event will be held in the Media Center, located on the Sky Bridge in the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, October 31. Save the date!

The alliance has looked to model its event on the successful Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council Media Trade Conference to add value to the light-truck accessory industry. Providing an opportunity to connect the TORA membership to the media in an intimate setting supports the ultimate goal of the council: to ensure the viability and longevity of this increasingly expansive and vibrant market segment.

The Media Preview is a valuable opportunity for TORA members to gain added exposure from media companies that have multiple channels that reach thousands of buyers. Exhibitors are encouraged to bring their latest and greatest products and have the benefit of discussing them one-on-one with the media. Participants will maximize their media contact lists and learn creative ways to market their products. The benefit of participating in this event before the SEMA Show opens is the ability to concentrate on properly promoting products without missing customers in the booth on the Show floor. TORA members are encouraged to register to participate in the Media Preview. Visit for more information.

Members of the media will gain an exclusive first look at the hottest new products to hit the light-truck accessory market one day before the SEMA Show opens. Exhibitors will have their products at the event, allowing media to touch, feel and photograph them for an enhanced experience. Key staff members will also be available to provide product details and demonstrations. Media attendees are invited to maximize their SEMA Show schedules by meeting with some of the biggest names in the light-truck industry in a dedicated environment.

Builder’s Panel Debuting at SEMA Show

The Off-Road, Truck & Jeep Builder’s Panel, powered by the TORA, is making its debut on Thursday afternoon of the 2016 SEMA Show. Through a series of discussion topics, leading truck and Jeep builders will be addressing the challenges in the vehicle-building community and providing advice for becoming a successful builder. Some of the questions the presenters will address include:

  • What does it take to be a successful vehicle builder?
  • How do you differentiate yourself?
  • How do you grow your reputation as a top-tier builder?
  • What are the pitfalls?
  • Who do you partner with?

Pinewood Drag Races

SEMA Pinewood Races
The Pinewood Drag Races are held annually at the TORA reception during the SEMA Show, with proceeds benefiting the SEMA Cares children’s charities.

The TORA is a strong supporter of the Pinewood Drag Races benefiting the SEMA Cares children’s charities. The Pinewood drag races, entering their ninth year, have raised more than $300,000 in charitable donations to date. Each year, SEMA opens up sponsorship opportunities that include providing a pinewood kit to a child from Childhelp or Victory Junction to build and decorate, choosing to add modifications to a pre-built basic pinewood, or creating a custom pinewood using at least one component from the kit.

The Pinewood races are held annually in conjunction with Leadership Days at the SEMA Installation Gala. The winner receives a plaque and a certificate of appreciation, along with recognition through SEMA media outlets.

The TORA also holds Pinewood Drag Races at its annual SEMA Show industry reception. For a donation to SEMA Cares, participants are able to rent a finished Pinewood car or truck to compete in the races. While the races are mostly for fun and in the spirit of giving, good-natured competition is also evident during the races.

The top three finalists of the TORA Pinewood Drag Races receive bragging rights and a trophy. The council also has pinewoods on display for purchase throughout the reception. All proceeds benefit SEMA Cares.

“Our industry has a strong sense of community, and charitable giving is the sort of community activity that joins us together,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “SEMA Cares unites the industry for a great cause.”

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