Take a Kid to a Car Show on the Web!

SEMA Member News—May/June 2011

Take a Kid to a Car Show on the Web!

The new Take a Kid to a Car Show website is an interactive, one-stop shop for both kids and adults interested in learning more about the program. Program supporters are encouraged to submit content—including event information for inclusion on the site’s event calendar—to jimsk@sema.org.  
First unveiled in 2002, the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) Take a Kid to a Car Show (TKCS) program has consistently delivered a simple message to restoration enthusiasts the world over: Take a Kid to a Car Show. Through the program, car show promoters, organizers and enthusiasts may download public service ads (PSA) and announcements in various sizes and with various images and messaging.

All of the messages are aimed at one thing: getting kids exposed to the restoration hobby at a very young age. Also available for download are the PSA images themselves, which organizers may incorporate into their own event information. Utilizing the stock TKCS images helps brand both the event and the TKCS program. In addition, stickers branded with the TKCS logo are available in rolls of 50, free for the asking. These are very popular items for goodie bags, as giveaways at a car show “kid’s area” and in other promotional offerings.

Probably the most popular TKCS promotion over the years was a coloring book that was sponsored by Year One. The coloring book provided a lasting link between young people and the cars they saw at a car show. ARMO leadership decided in 2010 that, as popular as the coloring book was, the TKCS message could be sent to far more people through the creation of a Take a Kid to a Car Show website.

Phase 1 of the TKCS website was launched on March 1, 2011 and can be found at www.takeakidtoacarshow.com. Designed to be an interactive, one-stop shop for all things TKCS, the site contains features and information for both kids and adults. Car show promoters can find information on how and why to get involved, how to download TKCS logos and ads, how to attract media to an event and more.

Kid-specific pages include instructions on downloading a free iPhone app that enables the user to color a car right on his or her iPhone or iPad. The TKCS coloring book also lives again on the website and is available for download in PDF format. There is also a page that lists supporters of the TKCS program as well as testimonials from active participants.

One prominent feature of the new site is “Find a Car Show.” Events are presented on a calendar, and clicking on an event brings the viewer to an information page for that event. The calendar is searchable using several different criteria.

“ARMO is very excited about this project,” said Chairperson Laura Bergan of American Collectors Insurance Inc. “We really believe in getting young people hooked on cars and involved in the hobby, and Take a Kid to a Car Show has proven an effective message. With the new website, we should be able to get that message out to more and more people, and some of the features of the site will appeal to kids who are into gaming and computers while sending them the message that car shows are fun and exciting.”

Future enhancements to the site include an updated “Find a Car Show” that will include a true Google Maps search feature and will allow promoters to upload event information directly. An interactive “Customize the Car” game is also being researched. It would allow kids to customize and share or swap cars over the Internet.

The current site is just the beginning, according to Ken DeVries of Auto Trader Classics. DeVries is an ARMO Select Committee member and chairman of the task force that developed the website.

“Everyone is encouraged to submit content for inclusion on the site,” he said. “If you have a good story about a youngster at an event or you simply believe in the messaging, submit a testimonial. If you wish to be counted as an active supporter of the messaging, submit your information. Do you have a cool photo, especially of a young person enjoying a car show? Send it in. If you don’t see your event on the calendar, submit the information and we’ll get it added. Eventually, we’ll add functionality that allows viewers to upload content directly, but for now, send anything you have to our SEMA liaison, Jim Skelly. Enjoy!”

Event information to be listed on the calendar should include event name, description (types of vehicles, cruise or car show, etc.), location, date and time, any special attractions and a link to a website or promotional material, if available.