SEMA Member News - May/June 2010

MPMC Media Trade Conference

Successful Meetings Shine Through Historic Rains

The Radisson Suites in Covina, California, proved a worthy partner in the MPMC Media Trade Conference. In spite of torrential rains and challenging conditions, the 13th annual event was given a thumbs-up by most participants.  

In spite of record-setting rains that fell on Southern California for five consecutive days, the 13th annual MPMC Media Trade Conference (MTC) was deemed another outstanding success. Mother Nature gave everything she had, but manufacturers and attendees shrugged off the downpours and conducted three days of productive, face-to-face meetings.

“The MPMC Media Trade Conference allowed us the opportunity to lay out our 2010 marketing plan with our media partners in an excellent environment with the ‘right’ people,” said Vic Wood of Hedman Performance Group. “This is a must-attend event, period.”

The annual MTC brings MPMC member manufacturers together with editorial staff from various media outlets for three days of person-to-person exchanges. A block of hotel suites is reserved for exhibitors, and preregistered media are then scheduled for up to 42 individual, 30-minute meetings with the manufacturers. Ad sales and product sales are not part of the curriculum at the Media Trade Conference; it’s all about editorial content.

Many media representatives claim that most—and sometimes all—of their technical editorial content for the entire year comes from this one event. Likewise, manufacturers view the conference as an opportunity to establish contacts and relationships with the media that are not available anywhere else.

This year’s event moved to a new venue—the Radisson Suites in Covina, California—for the first time in six years. The MTC is an awesome undertaking for even an experienced facility, but the hotel staff at the Radisson never stopped in its efforts to overcome the problems brought about by the radical weather conditions.

“Even with all of the positives about this new property, we still had some apprehension about moving the event,” said MPMC Chairman Bill Floyd. “The weather was the only variable, since this hotel is ‘outside’ as opposed to having a dome over it like the previous property. And sure enough, we got the worst rains to hit Southern California in something like 20 years! But the efforts of SEMA staff and the hotel brought us through it all, and we had another successful conference. Rain or shine, SEMA staff works to make this event better every year, and they did it again for 2010.”

Just how successful was this year’s event? “We find the MPMC Media Trade Conference to be one of our most effective tools when introducing new products to the racing and high-performance markets,” said Floyd. “The pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings, the networking opportunities and the business-to-business relationships generated have been extremely successful for me. In fact, I really shouldn’t discuss it because my competitors may not be aware of the event!”

The MTC is a total networking event. In addition to the meetings, breakfast and lunch are provided each day, and the annual Robert E. Petersen Award is presented at a media reception on Tuesday evening. Manufacturers and media also had the option of attending a motorsports panel discussion at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum or attending an open house and barbeque at Spectre Engineering in Ontario, California, on Wednesday evening. Shuttle buses were available to take people to and from both functions and back to the hotel.

Thursday evening featured a closing reception, followed by karaoke sponsored by On Friday morning following the event, MPMC held a post-show-analysis meeting to document successes and challenges in preparation for next year’s event. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

“For ADDCO, the 2010 conference was the best yet,” said Ron Johnson of ADDCO Manufacturing. “While mother nature didn’t do us any favors weather-wise, the industry enthusiasm was second to none. When the final day of the conference came to a close, we had a group that stayed in our suite for two extra hours! TV, web, print and freelance were all well represented. ADDCO has already done a TV deal and shipped products for three more projects. While that alone is exciting, we have many others lined up, too. Way to go MPMC and SEMA staff!”

  Vic Wood of Hedman Performance Group was chosen by the MPMC Select Committee to be the council’s new chair-elect. Wood will assume those duties on July 1 and then succeed Kyle Fickler as council chair in 2012.  
SEMA sent satisfaction surveys to all participating manufacturers and media attendees and will use the results for selecting a venue for the 2011 Media Trade Conference. Online manufacturer registration will open at sometime in mid-June. Stay tuned! 


MPMC Select Committee Chooses Vic Wood as New Chair-Elect

The MPMC Select Committee chose Vic Wood of Hedman Performance Group as the new chair-elect of the council. Wood has spent the majority of his career in or around the specialty-parts industry, including appointments to the board of directors of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association and the Australian National Drag Racing Association. He started drag racing at 16 and drove all types of vehicles through 2004, when he clocked 234 mph in a modified roadster at Bonneville. When not working, Wood is busy with his ’64 Chevrolet pickup, and he crew chiefs a nostalgia Funny Car that competes in the NHRA Heritage Series.

“It is a great honor to be elected chair-elect of MPMC,” said Wood. “SEMA has been a part of my life in some form or another for nearly 30 years. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to serve the members of this historic SEMA council, and I look forward to supporting our current chairman over the next two years as we address the challenges of our market sector.”