Exciting Changes in Store for ARMO

SEMA Member News—March/April 2015

Exciting Changes in Store for ARMO

General membership meetings provide opportunities for all council members to voice concerns and ideas.
General membership meetings provide opportunities for all council members to voice concerns and ideas.

The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) has been hard at work behind the scenes over the past few months. Quite a few exciting changes are in store for the group, as the leadership has solicited feedback from members to determine the future focus and goals of the council.

The council’s goal-setting process began more than a year ago when members met to discuss the group’s priorities at a general membership meeting during the 2013 SEMA Show. Taking attendees’ concerns into careful consideration, the select committee met again this past fall to discuss the question, “Who is ARMO?” The committee also took a survey designed to illuminate the strengths of the group and to assist in aligning the leadership’s strengths with task force and subcommittee positions. This assessment brought to light the skills that were missing so that future select committee appointments can better round out the group.

Chair-Elect Erika Wiesman is confident that this evaluation process, rather than maintaining the status quo, will help the council to be stronger than ever before. While the process is ongoing, several changes have already been implemented, with select committee projects being streamlined and combined to better serve the needs of members.

“We want to grow and continue providing value for the membership,” Wiesman said. “To do that, we really have to drill down to who we are as a select committee and as an entire council. We’re not finished—it will be an ongoing process—but good things are up and coming.”

Now subcommittees focus on ongoing initiatives, such as membership, SEMA Show events, communications and so on. A subcommittee focused on data is currently receiving special attention, including educating members about the SEMA Data Co-op and providing technical information. Under discussion and development is a data repository.

Since the restoration market relies heavily on accurate technical and application information, hard-to-find data from the ’80s and ’90s is an important piece. A new subcommittee is specifically dedicated to exploring options for making the information, now primarily stored on microfiche and CDs, readily available to members. This would ultimately benefit both manufacturers that are developing products for older makes and models and shop owners who are working on vehicles.

Task forces fall under the subcommittees and are formed for shorter-term projects with specific end dates. Task forces currently exist to work on projects such as roundtable discussions at shows and researching industry events where future general membership meetings can be held. Members’ reactions are important throughout the entire development process.

“We want to ask, ‘What can ARMO do to help you? What do you need?’” said Wiesman. “ARMO is the ambassador between your shop and SEMA.”

Members are encouraged to voice concerns or ideas at general membership meetings or to the select committee directly. Council Director Jim Skelly can be reached at jimsk@sema.org. Wiesman also suggested beginning these discussions via the council’s Facebook or LinkedIn groups.

Hot Product Showcase Returns to Spring Carlisle

The Hot Product Showcase will take place April 23–25, once again at the Spring Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet, Corral & Auction in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This event is an opportunity for ARMO members to display one or more products in front of one of the largest gatherings of automotive restoration enthusiasts in the world.

In addition to placement in the Hot Products tent, each product will be shot by a professional photographer. The photos will then be available to the manufacturers and will be used in ARMO’s SEMA Show efforts. For anyone who was unable to attend the Carlisle event, a gallery on the ARMO webpage also houses each of the photos along with a
product description.

The Hot Products Showcase tent is located in a prime spot on the Spring Carlisle grounds across from the event stage, ensuring that virtually all of the nearly 100,000 attendees pass through at some point during the event. This publicity is available to ARMO members for only the cost of shipping the product entries to the Carlisle Fairgrounds. If you have not yet registered your product, visit www.sema.org/armo to get started. Registrations will be accepted until April 17.

ARMO will also host a networking mixer in the Hot Products Tent on Thursday, April 23, from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. An ARMO tradition at Spring Carlisle, the mixer offer a chance for members to enjoy a drink and interact with council leadership and fellow members.