SEMA Member News—July/August 2013
2013 ARMO New HOT Product Showcase
The ARMO New Product Showcase became the ARMO “Hot” Product Showcase for 2013, and the simple name change paid immediate dividends in terms of participation. A record 71 products from 32 ARMO companies were on display at the event, which was held at Spring Carlisle April 25–27.
“Everyone likes to see new products,” said ARMO Chairman Alex Tainsh. “But our overall participation from year to year was always dependent on which companies actually had a ‘new’ product. So we decided to change the name for 2013 to ‘Hot’ products. Instead of restricting a company to new stuff, we basically said: ‘Send us whatever it is you want to push; whatever is hot.’ It appears that the plan worked because we had record participation, and the products were as cool as ever.”
Other elements of the annual event remained in place. In addition to having products on display in the Hot Product tent, a professional photographer was enlisted to take macro photographs of each one. The photos, with description and company contact information, were then loaded into a gallery housed on the ARMO website. The photos will also be shown in the ARMO booth at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas and are available to each manufacturer for the asking.
“This is really a fantastic value for the manufacturer member,” said ARMO Chair-Elect Dennis Roberts of Distinctive Industries. “For any company already exhibiting at Spring Carlisle, it’s really extra display space in a prime location adjacent to the food court and in front of the covered grandstand. For companies not attending, it’s the next best thing to being there. Your product is displayed in front of all the enthusiasts for only the cost of shipping product back and forth. SEMA staff and ARMO volunteers unpack it, set it up and then repack it. SEMA prepares signage that has your company’s contact information included next to each item. Carlisle Events makes sure it all gets delivered and then oversees the return shipping. Add in the photography, and participation more than offsets the annual ARMO dues.”
The ARMO New Product Showcase was first held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2004. It moved to Spring Carlisle in 2007, where it has remained ever since—with no plans to move it anytime soon.
“This is my first time attending the Showcase,” said ARMO Select Committee member Vic Pompino of Eckler’s. “But I can’t imagine a better venue than Spring Carlisle for such an event. Spring Carlisle is not only one of the largest gatherings of restoration enthusiasts in the country, but it’s also the first really big restoration event of spring. What better place for an ARMO manufacturer to say to dealers and consumers, ‘Look what I have for you this year!’”
If you missed this year’s event, mark your calendar. The 2014 ARMO Hot Product Showcase at Spring Carlisle will be held April 24–26, 2014.
Right of Spring
The ARMO Industry Mixer is an integral element to the Hot Product Showcase. The mixer is held inside the Hot Product tent on Thursday evening every year, with hors d’oeuvres and drinks provided by ARMO.
“I’ve been to a few of these,” said Roberts, “and we always have a great turnout. There is a very strong sense of community in our restoration industry. We may be fierce competitors with each other during the day, but beyond that, we share the same passion for restoration. Our friendships often run deeper than our competitiveness, and gatherings like this mixer give us the opportunity to break from business, enjoy those friendships and often times establish new ones.”