SEMA Member News—September 2018

SEMA Show 2018: Your Gateway to Business-Building Connections

By Ellen McKoy

The Show offers SEMA members yet another opportunity: a once-a-year chance to build enduring business and personal relationships, both on and off the Show floor.

There’s no business like show business—trade-show business, that is. Just ask buyers. The vast majority of them rank trade shows as the number-one place to see new products, discover new sources of information, learn about industry trends, and make long-lasting connections.

With the 2018 SEMA Show fast approaching, it’s no surprise that tens of thousands of industry players are now gearing up for their annual trek to the industry’s premier trade venue in Las Vegas. In a town that’s all about glitz and glitter, the SEMA Show sizzles with excitement and energy, and Showgoers will be presented with new opportunities at every turn.

But beyond the vast array of new products, interactive displays and educational programming, the Show offers SEMA members yet another opportunity: a once-a-year chance to build enduring business and personal relationships, both on and off the Show floor. The SEMA Show offers opportunities to link up with other industry professionals, explore ways to play an active role in the association, and share ideas with like-minded colleagues at meetings and social gatherings. But taking full advantage of the power of networking requires some
advance planning.

Connect and Engage With SEMA Councils and Networks

SEMA membership has its perks, and one of the most rewarding—especially for those members who are new to the SEMA community—is the opportunity to join and participate in a SEMA council or network.

There are 10 groups in all—six councils and four networks. Each is unique, insofar as each group serves a specific professional constituency or market segment. Though councils and networks have distinct identities, they all strive to provide their respective members with resources, programs and activities that can help to advance careers, help members’ businesses grow and prosper, and help to shape the future of the market segment they serve.

So how does one begin to engage? It all starts with making connections, interacting with and becoming part of a community of peers. And there’s an abundance of networking opportunities to make that happen.

For instance, four councils have a presence on the exhibit floor: the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO), the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA), the Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA), and the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO). These council exhibits enable each group to promote its particular market segment while also offering potential new members a chance to interface with council leadership and learn how and why to get involved.

In addition to the aforementioned councils, the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN), the Wheel & Tire Council (WTC), and the Young Executives Network (YEN) also allow members to connect and engage through meetings and social gatherings during Show week. In fact, there’s no shortage of nightlife in Las Vegas, with all councils and most networks hosting popular after-hours events—ideal places to wind down after a long day on the Show floor, hobnob with industry leaders, and start building those long-lasting connections.

Gary Vigil, SEMA’s director of membership, encourages new members to take advantage of the opportunities afforded through councils and networks. While noting that membership recruitment isn’t typically a key association focus prior to the Show, Vigil said that a pre-Show initiative linked to the buyer registration process last year resulted in 500 new signups. A similar outreach this year is running ahead of last year’s pace.

“The people who joined last year were excited about going to the Show, so they took advantage of the opportunity to sign up as members when they registered to attend,” Vigil said. “And because we expect that most will attend the Show this year as well, we want them to feel that they are truly part of the association. Networking reinforces why they joined in the first place, and participation in a council or network is a great way for new members to use their membership to grow their connections.”

To learn more about SEMA councils and networks, visit and click on each logo to connect to the council/network page. For a schedule of council/network events, visit the Show website at, and be sure to stop by SEMA Central in the Grand Lobby of the Central Hall to learn more about maximizing your SEMA membership.

Latest Related News

Member News
SEMA Member News
April 2023
View Article
Member News
SEMA Member News
January 2023
View Article
Member News
SEMA Member News
October 2022
View Article