Community-Building Opportunities for Restoration Professionals at the SEMA Show

SEMA Member News—November/December 2014

Community-Building Opportunities for Restoration Professionals at the SEMA Show

Immediate Past Chair Alex Tainsh welcomed guests to the ARMO reception during last year’s SEMA Show.

Early open house arrivals gathered outside the SEMA Garage entrance on the evening of July 17, ready for an insider’s glimpse of their new Industry Innovations Center. Personalized tours explained every facet of the facility to SEMA members. The Garage stands opposite SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, but offers programs and services to help members with their product innovations, wherever they may hail from.


For members of the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO), the council-specific SEMA Show offerings are primarily about building community.

The council offers many such options each year, and 2014 will be no different. Here are a few items for members to mark on their SEMA Show schedules.

ARMO Industry Awards Reception

The week will begin for ARMO members with the council’s annual industry awards reception on Tuesday evening, November 4. The event will take place in Ballrooms D–E of the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino (formerly the LVH) from 5:15 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

In keeping with tradition, the event will include food and drinks, creating a relaxed opportunity to catch up with peers and meet some new friends, too.

During the reception, the council will take time to honor a few of the individuals whose lives and work have left a mark on the industry. The ARMO Business of the Year award honors a company that has demonstrated exceptional contributions to the restoration industry over the previous year, while the ARMO Person of the Year is presented to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution or impression on the restoration industry.

ARMO Open Meeting

ARMO will conduct an open meeting in conference rooms 4–6 of the Westgate on Wednesday, November 5, from 7:15 a.m.–9:00 a.m. The meeting is open to all employees of ARMO-member companies or prospective members and offers one of the best opportunities for members to interact with their select committee. The council leadership looks forward to hearing from council members in this forum each year. By participating in the discussion, individuals can help determine the focus and direction of the council for the next year and beyond.

Last year’s meeting actually resulted in one of the group’s newest initiatives—a repository of technical information that the council is working toward providing for members. The restoration market relies heavily on accurate technical information and application information, but it is sometimes challenging to obtain. The information was on paper until the ’80s, and the restoration segment has done a good job of preserving and cataloging it. Information about late-model cars is also relatively easy to find, because it is all stored digitally. However, there is a gap from the ’80s through the ’90s, during which time the information was stored primarily on microfiche and CDs.

The ARMO-HRIA booth #23395 features vehicles representing the restoration and hot-rod niches.

The ARMO-HRIA booth #23395 features vehicles representing the restoration and hot-rod niches.

Another issue is providing a centralized index or catalog where restoration professionals can locate the myriad of make, model and type-specific information anywhere in the world. While the council leadership is still working to flesh out the scope and details of the project, a dedicated task force is exploring options to make the process of transferring information to members as simple and painless as possible.
ARMO Roundtable

Education remains an important initiative for the group, and the annual Builder’s Roundtable is one of the best ways to stay informed about the issues facing the industry. This year’s event will take place on Thursday, November 6, from 9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m. in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N236 (North Hall, second floor). Geared toward small businesses and shop owners, the discussion is another opportunity for companies to exchange information about challenges, opportunities and solutions.

ARMO-HRIA Booth in the Restoration Marketplace

One of the SEMA Show’s premier sections, the Restoration Marketplace spotlights the work of some top-notch builders and restorers in the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Located in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, this section features some of the industry’s brightest manufacturers and displays their latest innovations alongside outstanding Show vehicles.

As in past years, ARMO will be represented in this area alongside the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) in booth #23395. Members are invited to stop by and network during Show hours. Select committee members from both councils will staff the booth throughout the week and will be available to answer questions about the groups and the programs they offer. While visiting the booth, be sure and check out the feature vehicles representing the best of both councils.