Committed to Delivering Value

SEMA Member News—November/December 2012 

Committed to Delivering Value


Manufacturers representatives will have the opportunity to discuss issues critical to the industry in a closed, private forum during the Rep Technology Roundtable.

Sunday, October 28, 2012, marks the unofficial start of the 2012 SEMA Show, and the Manufacturers’ Rep Council (MRC) will be ready to go. As in years past, MRC will be hosting an educational session and awards recognition Sunday afternoon from 3:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. in Ballroom D of the Las Vegas Hotel (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton). The Rep Conference, as it had come to be known, has been given a makeover and is now called the Rep Technology Roundtable.

In reviewing feedback from past attendees and given the evolving role of representatives in the marketplace, the council made the decision to go back to its roots and build an exclusive program geared toward the challenges and opportunities confronting the rep industry. At the educational session on Sunday, attendees will learn how to take advantage of a technological economy and be more profitable.

Technology, data and e-commerce have made tremendous impacts on the way reps do business. The session will start with a panel discussion moderated by Bryan Shirley, CPMR, and attendees will then take part in intimate roundtable discussions led by industry experts, such as SEMA’s Data Co-op CEO Jon Wyly, eTool Developers President and Founder Luanne Brown, Upshift Marketing Principal Bernard Bolisig (formerly of’s Performance Parts Category) and Cie Studios Vice President of Business Development Tyler Tanaka. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive practical solutions that address critical areas, including software applications, business efficiency, e-commerce, web development and product data.

The conference also serves as the platform for the council to recognize the Sales Team Annual Recognition (STAR) award, which honors an industry manufacturer that supports manufacturers representatives in a professional and ethical manner. MRC will also recognize a new inductee into the group’s Hall of Fame, which honors those who have elevated the image of representatives and the industry as a whole.

Another important change for MRC this year concerns the Rep Center, which provides MRC members with private meeting rooms, business services and a lounge area. Traditionally located in the Central Hall, the Rep Center will now be a part of the SEMA Members’ Lounge. The decision to relocate was based on the increased traffic and exposure to all critical segments of the industry afforded by the Members’ Lounge (North Hall, rooms N245–N251).

“The new location will provide increased awareness to industry influencers of the value manufacturer’s representatives bring to the distribution channel,” said MRC Chair Tommy Jourdan of True High Performance Sales.

As an exclusive benefit to MRC members, the Rep Center will again house the Manufacturer’s Representatives Matching Forms. The SEMA Show offers exhibiting companies an array of tools and resources to ensure that their experience delivers value at and beyond the Show. For manufacturers with an established or new product line, the challenge often becomes how to best take advantage of the notoriety and exposure the Show can bring by getting their products to market effectively and efficiently. Many companies utilize in-house sales teams to accomplish this, while others opt to partner with professional manufacturers representatives.

The Manufacturer’s Representatives Matching Form connects manufacturers to MRC reps who are looking for new product lines. The completed forms are kept secure in the Rep Center, where MRC members can review and contact participating manufacturers to schedule meetings.

In addition to direct MRC programs and services offered during the Show, the group has again elected to “power” selected educational sessions that the council identified as a priority for its membership.

“The Truth about Sales & Marketing: Who Works for Whom?” will be presented by Tom Marx of The Marx Group on Monday, October 29, from 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N257.

“How Not to Be a Showroom for Amazon” will be presented by Bob Phibbs of The Retail Doctor on Wednesday, October 31, from 9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m. in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N258.

As you make your plans for the SEMA Show, be sure to mark your calendar to join MRC to take full advantage of the programs and services created specifically for manufacturers representatives. For more information, contact Zane Clark via e-mail at or by phone at 909-978-6696, and be a part of the network for professional agents and representatives.