SEMA Member News—July 2021

ARMO Shares Tips and Tactics for Navigating Car Shows

The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) has initiated quarterly membership meetings in order to keep members informed of the latest happenings and address important topics. The first virtual session was held in March. Others are slated for June, September and November.

Each session includes a council update followed by a panel discussion centered on an industry-related topic such as recruiting and keeping talented employees, trademark licensing and legislative issues. During the March meeting, members were first treated to an overview of ARMO activities at Spring Carlisle. A soon-to-be-aired Live Chat series with top-tier builders was also discussed. The prerecorded video chats are hosted by Sabra Johnson of City Classic Cars.

The meeting then segued to a panel discussion titled “How to Navigate Swap Meets and Car Shows.” Organized by Communications Subcommittee Chair Joanna Agosta Shere, the panel featured Randall Bates of Auto Custom Carpets; ARMO Chair Ben Tucker of Camaro Central; Tray Smith of H&H Classic Parts; and moderator David Alkire of RPUI.

Implementing Best Practices
Ben Tucker
Ben Tucker.

After months of few if any car shows, restoration pros are gearing up for what is expected to be a solid car-show season. As eager as folks are, however, there are concerns over how to make car shows and swap meets successful, even as pandemic restrictions are relaxed. To help members make decisions regarding event participation, the panelists shared some best practices based on their own
experiences.

On the subject of how promoters are handling COVID-19 protocols, Tucker said the panelists agreed that safety procedures at indoor events are being observed, such as social distancing and monitoring how many attendees are allowed inside. He also noted that hand sanitizers and masks are generally available at indoor and outdoor shows.

What about keeping employees safe and interacting with attendees?

“Our employees wear masks and must use hand sanitizer after handling cash transactions, and customers need to wear masks,” Tucker said.

To prevent customers from entering his booth, he sets up a service counter with a front-facing monitor so that they can view the transaction. As an added precaution, he noted that he and other vendors now take fewer employees to events.

In reflecting on the meeting, Tucker said, “It went very well. About 30 people stayed the whole time, and many people reached out afterward to say the meeting and panel discussion were very informative. We’re just trying to raise the bar and help people navigate this new world by giving them the best information we can.”

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