Media Trade Conference Returns to El Segundo

SEMA Member News—July/August 2011

Media Trade Conference Returns to El Segundo

With MPMC Chairman Kyle Fickler (right) looking on, Steve Wolcott of Pro Media LLC accepted the council’s Robert E. Petersen award, which is given annually to a media representative at the MPMC Media Trade Conference in recognition of outstanding contributions to the council and the motorsports Industry.
The 2011 Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Media Trade Conference (MTC) returned to the Embassy Suites LAX South after a one-year detour in 2010. This marks the eighth time in the last nine years that the event was hosted at the location in El Segundo, California, and by all accounts, the return proved to be the right move after record-setting rains during the 2010 event at a facility with an open-air setting.

“This property continues to serve the event well,” said MPMC Chairman Kyle Fickler of Weld Racing Inc. “The layout lends itself to our purposes, and it’s completely under a roof—something we will never again take for granted after last year! The hotel staff was very attentive to our needs, responded to feedback from previous years and was very accommodating to last-minute changes on site. It’s cliché, but 2011 was definitely the best Media Trade Conference yet!”

SEMA staff is already working on the 2012 MTC, which will mark the 15th consecutive year for the event. Online exhibitor registration is scheduled to open July 18 on the MPMC webpages. Exhibitor suites are limited to a total of 100 each year, but well over that number of registrations are received. The lucky 100 are chosen via a lottery process.

The MTC is a unique event that features three days of prescheduled, 30-minute meetings between 100 MPMC-member manufacturers and editorial staffs from national and international media. The meetings run from 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. on each of the three days, with 30-minute breaks in the morning and afternoon and a one-hour lunch that is provided for exhibitors and attendees.

“The scheduling process itself has taken years to develop,” said MPMC Chair-Elect Vic Wood of Hedman. “It was actually done manually on a spreadsheet the first few years. As the event grew to 80, 90 and then 100 exhibitors, an automated system had to be developed, and it just keeps getting better each year. The bigger challenge faced by staff now is how to accomplish on-site scheduling and notify both exhibitors and media of changes. They currently utilize a manual change sheet in conjunction with texting and e-mailing notifications, and I’m sure they will implement further improvements next year.”

In addition to three days of meetings, MPMC also hosts an opening awards reception on Tuesday evening of the event and a closing “appreciation” reception on Thursday following the last meeting of the day.

For more information about the MPMC Media Trade Conference, visit

MPMC Breakfast Mixer at U.S.Nationals

MPMC invites all member companies to a breakfast mixer on Friday morning of the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. The mixer will be open from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. on Friday, September 2, 2011. All MPMC-member companies and companies exhibiting on the Manufacturer’s Midway at the event are invited to attend.

“This is a take-off on the SEMA Town Hall idea,” said Fickler. “Given the benefits we see from networking at places such as the Media Trade Conference, the SEMA Show and PRI as well as the success of SEMA’s Town Hall approach, we thought we’d try something similar. Our long-range planning this year also showed us the value of getting members together face to face.

“We’ll take just a few minutes to speak to the assembled group about MPMC and field questions from the attendees. With everyone running and working longer hours with less staff and resources, we more and more see value in providing simple networking opportunities for our members. We’re all so busy that it’s virtually impossible to find time unless it’s scheduled in our Outlook calendars. We’re looking forward to this event. If it’s successful, we’ll look to extend it to one or two other venues throughout the year.”