SEMA and ETTN Are Investing in You

SEMA Member News—March/April 2015

SEMA and ETTN Are Investing in You

Join the Network for Upcoming Professional Development Programs

Make it a priority to become more effective in your organization by keeping your skills sharp and your knowledge relevant.
Make it a priority to become more effective in your organization by keeping your skills sharp and your knowledge relevant.

Ten Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) members recently participated in a professional development program designed to enhance their leadership skills, improve task skills and provide insight into the latest trends and technical advancements. The Social Media Strategies Summit was the first of three events for 2015, held at the beginning of February at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As a part of the ETTN’s vision to keep members on the cutting edge of innovation, the participants joined SEMA staff for the event and learned about a few of the challenges common to marketing professionals in social media, customer service, employee engagement and analytics.

The summit included seven hands-on workshops and 30 interactive sessions, allowing attendees to gain new perspectives and develop skills to better incorporate social media into their organizations. They were also able to tailor their own experiences by choosing one of three tracks that best represented what they hoped to gain: advanced strategies for social platforms; mastering content marketing and storytelling; or customer service, engagement and experience. Speakers included representatives from companies such as Twitter, Blue Shield of California, MGM Resorts International and more.

“Participants relished the experience of taking time to better themselves and ultimately their organizations and the industry at large,” said Matt Boice, ETTN select committee member and vice president of sales at TEN: The Enthusiast Network.

The select committee chose each of the conferences and events with members of the automotive industry in mind. While the events for 2015 were not specific to automotive technology, the topics were carefully considered and ultimately selected because of their universal appeal. Social media, customer service and similar topics are important for business development regardless of the industry.

To participate in ETTN’s professional development programs, members must fill out an application (available online) and go through a selection process. Applicants have the opportunity to be selected to attend one of three conferences per year, along with SEMA staff and a group of 10 like-minded industry professionals. Participants receive a specially negotiated conference registration rate, and the company of the participating employee receives a $500 grant from SEMA to reduce the costs associated with registration (all benefits received are considered taxable income).

Participants can attend one professional development program event per calendar year and will share their experiences through a 200-word reflection essay and four social media posts during the event.

“Professional development isn’t a one-time experience,” said SEMA Senior Manager of Networks Bryan Harrison. “By design, it is an effective tool throughout the career of an employee to continuously develop their knowledge and skills to advance a company. We were pleased to report that the participants had a great experience at the summit and have already began to implement many of the lessons learned. And, between the negotiated registration summit rate and a SEMA grant, our members saved more than $15,000 on the trip.”

The original cost of the Social Media Strategies Summit was $1,795, but between the discounted program rate and the SEMA grant, member companies that sent their employees paid only $216 in registration fees.

Another upcoming option for members is the Disney Quality Service course, which will take place September 23 in Anaheim, California. This one-day training event will give participants the background and skills needed to provide outstanding customer service by focusing on the small details that make a big difference for both customers and staff. Not only will this course introduce attendees to the principles Disney team members live by, but it will also provide the resources for participants to adapt the ideas to their own unique brands. Learn more. Applications for this professional development program will be accepted by ETTN until
August 18.

To learn more about ETTN’s professional development programs or to join the free network, visit or contact Bryan Harrison via e-mail at or by phone at 909-978-6691.