SEMA Member News—March/April 2013
YEN Fellowship Program Participants Gain Experience
The SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) Fellowship program helped to fund travel expenses to the 2012 SEMA Show for 10 member-company employees under the age of 40. The participants were asked to take part in a number of specific Show events—including the SEMA Awards Banquet, YEN Reception and SEI education seminars—focused on developing their business skills and expanding their professional networks. Nine of them provided a few words to SEMA Member News about their experiences.
My visit to the SEMA Show was a platform to educate and network with emerging talent and visionaries of the automotive aftermarket. The Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) halls were filled with the founders of the industry. From meeting Bob Spina at the concession stand and a 45-minute conversation with Troy Trepanier to meeting Chip Foose on the live set of ‘Overhaulin’,’ the SEMA Show gave me the tools to continue growing myself and the brand I represent.”
Exotik Auto Werkz Inc.
“The SEMA Show showcased products, hosted educational seminars and provided an environment to connect with colleagues. I don’t think anyone can truly grasp just how many products are in our industry until you walk around the halls. The SEMA Show and YEN also provided multiple valuable educational opportunities each day from some of the best and brightest minds in the industry, leaving me feeling inspired and motivated with the tools to perform my job at a higher level.”
“The SEMA Show provides attendees with educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, networking opportunities and more. Who could pass on that? It was a great way to observe the trends and the creativity of people today for the portal of tomorrow. I learned about marketing trends, customer service and sales as well as new-business development. Having an understanding of these things enables me to give our customers a better level of service.”
“SEMA and its senior members want to know what younger people are interested in and how to relate to them. The first seminar we attended was about creating brand awareness through social media and what most would think is unconventional marketing, and the rest of the seminars were a wealth of knowledge. The advice was priceless. The SEMA Show is now a place for me to learn and network. I cannot thank SEMA and YEN enough for this experience.”
Callaway Cars West
“There is a lot more to absorb at the SEMA Show than one could imagine. Something I took personally from the seminars I attended this year is that attitude is a big deal, and the presentation of your product is directly reflected in your attitude. One thing our bosses have always said about trade shows: No chairs! Now that I’ve experienced the Show from a walking perspective, I see exactly what chairs do: disengage you from the customer. The SEMA Show is full of must-see and must-do events.”
“When I walked into the LVCC and saw the cars, the people and the action all around me, I felt a rush of adrenalin. Two seminars—‘Selling Like a Pro’ and ‘Customer Service & Sales’—gave me more insight and knowledge about selling than any class I took in college or elsewhere. Attending the SEMA Show was a moment in my career where I saw my future in the automotive aftermarket industry. I came out of it with bright new insight and fresh ideas.”
“The Show seminars dealt with three main issues: changing automotive aftermarket demographics, mobile and customer service. And the YEN Fellowship Program gave me an opportunity to interact with the other impressive young executives while providing access to events that included the Speed Networking Breakfast hosted by the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network. I’m confident that many of the contacts I made at the Show will be part of my professional network for years.”
“Being a member of SEMA is not just beneficial for the four days of the SEMA Show; staying active and participating with SEMA’s various networks and councils throughout the year can provide businesses with endless networking opportunities. The SEMA community’s sheer mass, the enthusiasm of its members and its desire to support businesses and help them grow make it unique. My business and I have grown as a result of my SEMA affiliation, and I expect that to continue.”
“I was already impressed with the industry, the projects, the people and all the things involved, but the 2012 SEMA Show gave me a whole other perspective and appreciation. The love and enthusiasm that this industry has is so supportive and so real. The receptions we attended in the evenings were very informative and entertaining, and the awards ceremony recognized many deserving people in the industry. I can’t wait until the next SEMA Show!”