ETTN Takes a Field Trip to the Consumer Electronics Show
By Regis Finn
The Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) is still a relatively new SEMA network, but the group’s stated mission is to educate members about the latest trends, including those in marketing. One way the network accomplishes this objective is by sharing with members the way other industries operate and display at conventions and trade shows.
ETTN is now offering select members the chance to visit a variety of industry shows outside the automotive specialty-equipment market through the network’s Field Trips program. The information gained from attending these events can give ETTN members some great ideas of their own.
ETTN sent five of its select committee members to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas back in January. James Yim of Falken Tires and Michael Alvarez from Roush Yates Performance Products shared their experiences with SEMA Member News.
SEMA Member News: What did you learn from attending CES?
James Yim: I did not expect to see so many OEMs at a consumer electronics show. It was good to learn that in-car technology and integration is a large part of current and future vehicle models. Member companies should be prepared for this trend. There are also a lot of creative and innovative in-car integration products, such as rearview cameras utilizing rearview mirror displays. In addition, in-car entertainment utilization of radio apps was pretty significant, as were specific iPhone and Android apps developed for EFI tuning and OBD-II monitoring.
Michael Alvarez: One of the biggest impressions I was left with was the first-class service. As soon as I arrived in Las Vegas, I was able to pick up my badge at a branded airport kiosk (with the option of picking it up at my hotel, too). This ease of gathering my credentials made my experience smooth and comforting. I also noticed that some exhibiting companies used a host hotel to further their reach with off-site events and conferences. They advertised their hotel location to trade-show attendees via websites and social-media outlets. ETTN members can benefit by maximizing their customer service to attendees and capturing their attention with engaging displays.
SMN: What did you find most interesting about the CES show?
JY: Strong OEM involvement, including announcing new technologies and emerging in-car integration, along with future concept vehicles.
MA: I was intrigued by the ingenious and grand displays. The layout of each booth was exciting and captivating. I distinctly remember Nikon’s booth, where they had set up real-life scenery backgrounds for attendees to use with their brand of cameras.
SMN: How did attending this show benefit you and your business?
JY: It gave me a different industry’s perspective on how to go to market with brands and new products. The exhibitors also found unique ways to improve traffic to their booths, such as offering charging stations, coffee and seating.
MA: The Consumer Electronics Show booths were remarkable and very appealing. I learned about the best ways to engage consumers.
If you are interested in joining ETTN on its next investigative industry trade show field trip, the first step is joining the group. ETTN is open to all employees of SEMA-member companies. Visit www.sema.org/ettn or contact Senior Manager of Networks Bryan Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org or 909-978-6691 for more information.
ETTN Sponsors 2014 Product Development Expo
As vehicle technology continues to rapidly evolve, so do the tools that can take your product from a concept to a working product. Knowing that tomorrow’s consumers will look for different capabilities in their vehicles, the challenge becomes understanding how connectivity influences the user experience.
In April, ETTN sponsored SEMA’s Product Development Expo, fueled by the SEMA Garage. The day was packed full of presentations and networking time with experts in the fields of vehicle technology and the automotive aftermarket, helping members stay on the cutting edge in their businesses.
More than 80 members of the industry attended to learn from these leaders. Attendees also had the chance to tour the newly renovated SEMA Garage and get a first peek at the media cove, which is available to SEMA members for a nominal fee.
After the educational sessions wrapped up, attendees gathered for dinner and networking to continue the day’s conversation about some of the trends and technology impacting the industry.