ARMO - Summer Time!

SEMA Member News - July/August 2009

Ramping Up for Education, New Products and the SEMA Show

By Jim Barber

ARMO recently presented its annual New Products Showcase, held in conjunction with the Spring Carlisle event. A record 64 new products were entered from ARMO-member manufacturers this year. All of the new products displayed during the event were photographed for display at the ARMO booth during this year’s SEMA Show, and they will be listed on 
It’s hard to believe another summer is here. For most of our members, this is the busiest time of year, as car shows and swap-meet events are in full swing.

I am pleased to report that the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) education session held in conjunction with the Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show was very well received, with more than 80 people in attendance. Brian Offenberger presented “10 Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Website Tomorrow.”

The ARMO education subcommittee is chaired by Select Committee member Kim Mitchell. Mitchell and her team did an excellent job of researching topics that are important to our members. A review of the evaluation forms following the session revealed that 98% of the attendees thought that the meeting was “a good value and well worth my time.” And 99% stated that “the overall presentation was very effective.” One person said that Brian Offenberger’s presentation was the “best seminar of the week; many very good ideas and concepts.” Kim and her subcommittee have already begun reviewing topics for next year’s session.

One last note on the Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show: We are discussing the idea of expanding the number of ARMO-sponsored seminars with Bobit Business Media. If you have any topics that you would like to suggest, please contact Kim Mitchell, Council Liaison Jan Desma, myself or any of the Select Committee members. Our contact information is listed on the ARMO section of the SEMA website.

New Products Showcase

ARMO recently presented our annual New Products Showcase, held in conjunction with the Spring Carlisle event. We had a record 64 new-product entries from ARMO-member manufacturers this year. From new tools to soft parts, wiring to wheels and sheetmetal to subframes, everything was on display in a 20 x 60-foot tent in front of the main stage. The chair of the New Products Showcase task force is Select Committee member Roger Niehaus. Just like Mitchell, Niehaus and his team did an excellent job of contacting members and coordinating the products to be displayed. Special thanks must go to Jim Vinarski of Carlisle Events for all of his time and effort as well as the Carlisle staff for hosting the New Products Showcase.

This being our fourth year at Carlisle, those of us who staffed the tent noticed that people are beginning to recognize our presence and return year after year. It is also very satisfying to hear visitors state how happy they are to see a certain new product being reproduced. Additionally satisfying is answering questions for consumers and directing them to where they can buy the new products on display.

As a further benefit this year, all of the new products were photographed for display at the ARMO booth during this year’s SEMA Show, and they will be listed on the ARMO website. Also, our New Products Showcase mixer was held on Thursday evening, providing a networking opportunity for ARMO members attending the event to meet and talk with one another. As with the showcase, this event also continues to grow.

SEMA Show Reception Sponsorships

Speaking of the SEMA Show, it’s also time to call for reception sponsorships. This is a great opportunity to get your company’s name in front of 450-plus of the who’s who of the restoration industry. Sponsorships are available at numerous levels and for various budgets. As with last year, the ARMO reception will be chaired by Sandy Patterson. If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact Patterson or Desma.

In closing, I want to thank everyone associated with ARMO for investing in yourself, your company, your trade association and your industry through your support of all the programs that the ARMO Select Committee has put forth. I remain amazed at the number of new products and growing attendance at these events, even when many talk of economic doom or the fact that our industry is in a slump. Please remember to contact any one of your Select Committee members and give us your thoughts or needs. We would love to hear from you. And don’t forget to tell your friends about ARMO and get them to become members!