Thu, 05/06/2021 - 15:57

By Kristin Atwan

During SEMA’s Reverse Trade Mission (RTM), participants will have
the opportunity to meet with key global trade buyers of automotive
specialty-equipment products from Europe, Canada and the Middle

U.S. government funds are available to defray the cost for participating in two upcoming SEMA programs designed to increase participants’ export sales. The first event is the July 2021 SEMA Reverse Trade Mission (RTM), where participants will have the opportunity to meet with key global trade buyers of automotive specialty-equipment products from Europe, Canada and the Middle East right here in the United States (California: July 19–20, Michigan: July 22–23, and North Carolina: July 26–27).

U.S. government funding is also available for the inaugural SEMA Nordic trip, August 25–29, to Stockholm, Sweden, where participants will have the opportunity to meet with trade buyers from Sweden and neighboring countries. To date, buyers from Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom have registered to participate. Eligible U.S. companies may receive funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration as well as a number of states to defray participation costs. SEMA has compiled a chart on the available federal funds and state funding (selected states listed below).

States confirming funds available to defray SEMA program costs:

  • California
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

For more information on federal and state grants, click here.

If you have difficulty connecting with your state representative or are interested in whether another state (not listed above) has funding, contact Kristin Atwan at

For more information on the SEMA Nordic trip and the Reverse Trade Mission, contact Linda Spencer at

Thu, 05/06/2021 - 14:44

By Ashley Reyes

Virtual EducationSEMA’s On-Demand Virtual Education library includes comprehensive presentations, insightful discussions and short videos that teach, inform, inspire and entertain automotive specialty-equipment professionals.

The library is filled with recordings of previous live sessions, which are now available on-demand for SEMA members to access at their convenience.

Below are the most recently released sessions. For a complete list of sessions and registration information, visit

SEMA Industry Insight Series

Vehicle Landscape: Which Cars and Trucks are Hot?

Learn about the current vehicle landscape and emerging trends and opportunities in the automotive aftermarket industry in this webinar presented by the SEMA Market Research team. You will receive current information about the vehicle landscape, including what vehicles are on the road, how new vehicle sales and trends are shifting and what the hottest car and truck models for customization are.

Wheel and Tire Industry Insights, Powered by WTC

Wheel Knowledge 201: Wheel Testing Methodology

Knowing about safety guidelines and tests involved with aftermarket wheels is critical to understanding the differences between product brands and will ultimately help to sell more products. In this webinar, industry experts outline the different tests and guidelines available for wheels, what the tests mean and why they matter.

Tire Knowledge 301: Common Causes of Balancing Process Errors and How to Avoid Them

This webinar covers everything wheel and tire professionals need to know about tire balancing and how unbalanced tires impact a vehicle’s vibration, tire wear and weight distribution. Listen in as experts share the most common errors of the balancing process, how to avoid them and what can be done to minimize vehicle vibration easily, and at little to no expense.

Marketing & Sales

4 Tips to Double Your Company’s Annual Sales

Whether you’re a CEO, manufacturer, or in sales and marketing, this session is filled with helpful strategies that will change the way you think about your business and learn effective methods to double your annual sales. This seminar will guide you to bring maximum value to your company and your customers.

Sharpen Your Soft Skills, Powered by SBN

Asserting Yourself in the Workplace

This session provides attendees with strategies on how to be assertive in difficult work situations. Listen in as a panel of industry professionals share personal stories and best practices for dealing with situations in public, as well as how to follow up after an uncomfortable encounter.

Industry Talks

Facebook Live Chat Featuring Elizabeth Jacobs

Need assistance navigating your career path or the workplace environment? Get insider tips and actionable tools for landing your dream job or advancing your career from owner of HR Culture Geek Elizabeth Jacobs.

Facebook Live Chat Featuring Prashant Ahire and Russ O’Blenes

Now that every OEM has committed to either fully electric or hybrid electric powerplants for future models, now is the time to find out what OEMs are planning. Watch as two GM representatives will share their insight on electrification in the performance racing and aftermarket space.

Thu, 05/06/2021 - 14:25

By Ashley Reyes

Virtual EducationSEMA Virtual Education remains committed to empowering industry professionals by sharing innovative strategies, information and learning through new and engaging webinars.

Mark your calendars for the following upcoming webinars and stay tuned to SEMA eNews as additional sessions are announced throughout the year. For a comprehensive library of upcoming and on-demand sessions that members can access anytime, visit

Tuesday, May 11—The Growing Diversity of the Light Truck Market, Powered by TORA

Series: SEMA Industry Insight Series

Track: Trends & Research

Learn about the light-truck vehicle landscape and emerging trends and opportunities during this webinar presented by the SEMA Market Research team. Attendees will receive important information to help understand the light-truck market, detailed analyses of main truck segments, and an overview of new trends and shifts in overlanding, off-road, diesel and more.

Register here.

Wednesday, May 12—Facebook Live Chat Featuring Ben Schaffer, Presented by SEMA YEN

Track: Industry Talks

Join founder of Bulletproof Automotive and Unplugged Performance Ben Schaffer as he shares his insight on Tesla vehicles, EV tuning and the future of performance car culture. Dedicated to improving every aspect of the driving and Tesla ownership experience, Schaffer is highly experienced in the world of car tuning and modifying cars in the electrical vehicle space. Join the chat to get your questions answered in live time.

Location: SEMA Facebook page

Thursday, May 13—Reducing Micromanagement and Increasing Employee Self-Sufficiency

Series: Team Management Series, Powered by the SBN

Track: Industry Segments, Powered by SEMA Councils and Networks

Creating an environment that avoids micromanagement can be an effective way to improve trust within a team. During this live webinar, managers and supervisors will learn how to increase the confidence, efficiency and productivity of their departments and set their team up for success to ensure they are comfortable with projects, check-ins, and deadlines.

Register here.

NEWLY ADDED: Wednesday, May 19 – Preparing for National Tire Safety Week

Series: Wheel and Tire Industry Insights, Powered by WTC  

Track: Industry Segments, Powered by SEMA Councils and Networks

The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) National Tire Safety Week will take place June 28–July 4. Join two wheel and tire technical experts as they share important information that companies can use to educate their staff and consumers on proper tire care and maintenance. Topics include but are not limited to TIA highlights for tire safety, the importance of air pressure, the RIM (Read, Inspect, Mount) Safety Program, and more.

Register here.

Thursday, May 20—More Than Just Jeeping: Other Ways People Go Off-Road

Track: Industry Segments, Powered by SEMA Councils and Networks

Learn how to capitalize on the growing interest in the outdoor and backcountry lifestyle by taking part in this webinar, presented by the SEMA Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA). Participants will learn about the evolving landscape of the off-road market, the different ways people are going off-road and related products that businesses may want to consider to increase sales.

Register here.

NEWLY ADDED: Tuesday, May 25—Securing Education and Skills Training for Current and Future Positions

Series: Soften Your Soft Skills Series, Powered by the SBN

Track: Industry Segments, Powered by SEMA Councils and Networks

Securing education and skills training is imperative to ensure one’s success, relevancy and advancement in their job or future career. During this webinar geared toward entry-level to mid-level professionals, attendees will learn how to identify the training and education opportunities that best suits their needs, and how to request skills training from an employer to earn proper wages and secure advancements.

Register here.

Thu, 05/06/2021 - 14:20

By Juan Torres

Four dedicated individuals who contributed to and have had an impactful influence on the automotive specialty-equipment industry are being honored as new SEMA Hall of Fame members. They will join an elite group of icons who comprise the SEMA Hall of Fame, as they are officially inducted at the SEMA Installation & Gala, July 30 in Las Vegas.

The four newest SEMA Hall of Fame members are: Jessi Combs, Rick Love, Bob Moore and Carl Schiefer.

Jessi Combs
Jessi Combs

Jessi Combs: Jessi Combs built an accomplished career in the automotive industry as the host of several television programs, founder of a variety of businesses and an accomplished fabricator and racecar driver. With an infectious passion and youthful enthusiasm for the industry, Combs served as a host for many SEMA events, including the SEMA Installation & Gala and the SEMA Awards Banquet at the SEMA Show. As a volunteer in the historic 2012 SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) All-Female Ford Mustang Build, Combs served as a role-model for women in the industry and continued to inspire women through the launch of The Real Deal—a collaboration with fellow SBN member Theresa Contreras, designed to inspire confidence, break stereotypes and motivate other women to pursue their passions. In 2019, Combs set a land-speed record for women, 522.783 mph, on a dry lake bed in Oregon—a feat that resulted in an accident that led to her untimely death at the age of 39.

Rick Love
Rick Love

Rick Love: While freelancing as a writer/photographer for Rodder’s Digest magazine in 1982, Rick Love created a home workshop and leaned on his electronics degree to do wiring and air-conditioning installations for other hot rodders. It was this A/C work that caught the attention of SEMA Hall of Famer and founder of Vintage Air Jack Chisenhall. He asked Love to assist the company at rodding events, and continued to promote him over the years to his current position of president, in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the entire company. Despite his busy schedule at Vintage Air, Love never wavers to volunteer his time, expertise and energy to helping the industry. As a true car guy, he advocates for the industry. Having served multiple terms as chairman of the SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA), Love is an ambassador for SEMA and constantly recruits and encourages businesses to get involved.

Bob Moore
Bob Moore

Bob Moore: Bob Moore appropriately authored a monthly column in Aftermarket Business magazine entitled “Ahead of the Curve.” As electronic catalogs evolved and the internet began to dominate the way consumers researched and purchased products in the early 2000s, Moore was a pioneer in establishing standards for product data in the automotive aftermarket. As a SEMA Board member and the co-founder and chairman of the SEMA Business Technology Committee (which has evolved to what is now the SEMA Data Co-op), Moore was instrumental in the adoption of standardized data for the specialty-equipment industry. He spent years scrutinizing the industry to determine the important facets of product information that consumers look for in order to help businesses sell more products, resulting in the first industry initiative to standardize and centralize product data into a single-source data pool. Moore was awarded the 2010 SEMA Chairman’s Service Award from then-Chairman of the Board Rick Rollins, who noted, “We are fortunate to have someone with his leadership and determination driving some of our industry’s most critical initiatives.”

Carl Schiefer
Carl Schiefer

Carl Schiefer: As the son of the first SEMA Hall of Fame recipient Paul Schiefer, Carl Schiefer built a legacy of his own by founding what has evolved into a thriving marketing agency dedicated to automotive brands.” Schiefer Media was created in 1985 as an enthusiast media agency with an original focus on automotive aftermarket and related enthusiast categories. With an impressive list of clients, including Edelbrock, Mother’s, Bilstein, and Royal Purple, Schiefer Media was instrumental in bringing motorsports brands to the mainstream public. He initiated advertising for automotive brands on television—a practice that may seem standard today, but was unusual at the time and significantly expanded market reach to a nationwide audience. Perhaps what sets Schiefer apart from other marketers is his passion for the industry; he raced Top Gas and Top Fuel dragsters amongst the greats, including Don Garlits, Tommy Ivo and the Smothers Brothers. Although retired from Schiefer Media, the agency continues to operate as SCS, with Schiefer’s son James as CEO.

In addition to formally introducing Combs, Love, Moore and Schiefer as SEMA Hall of Fame members during the 2021 SEMA Installation & Gala, the annual event on July 30 will include recognitions of the newly elected and the outgoing SEMA Board members. All SEMA members and industry professionals are invited to join the celebration and can purchase tickets at

Thu, 05/06/2021 - 13:09

By SEMA Editors

The digital SEMA Show Exhibitor Service Manual—one of the most powerful online tools—was developed to highlight links to all of the resources pertinent to having a successful exhibit at the Show.

To help you navigate efficiently, each section is broken down to the basics. Time spent understanding the tools available to you will pay dividends with ease of participation, provide better visibility with buyers and save you valuable time and money.

Included in the Exhibitor Service Manual:

  1. Advertising opportunities
  2. Public-relations opportunities
  3. Directory listing—deadline to update your listing in the Show Directory is August 23
  4. Sponsorship brochures



Expo Ease


Show Security Management

Thu, 05/06/2021 - 12:56

By Ashley Reyes

HRIASEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) members and those involved in the hot-rod segment of the industry are invited to join the council for its upcoming general membership meeting, May 21, at 10:00 a.m. (PDT).

This event will provide HRIA members with details on new and existing programs, including those that will help members connect with other businesses and promote their brands to consumers. Specific programs to be discussed include:  

  • The new Searchable Council Member Company Directory.
  • HRIA Education Days—This event takes place at the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky, and provides HRIA manufacturers a chance to promote and educate enthusiasts about their products through face-to-face educational seminars with industry enthusiasts.
  • Updates on open HRIA meetings and mixers at major car show events through the year.
  • Industry awards and the HRIA SEMA Show feature vehicle program.
  • HRIA-member spotlight program and how to participate.

A virtual panel discussion focused on hot rodding for the younger generation will be presented following general council updates.

Register Now!

Thu, 05/06/2021 - 12:24

By Ashley Reyes

Ben SchafferSEMA members are invited to take part in an upcoming Facebook Live Chat featuring Ben Schaffer, founder of Bulletproof Automotive and Unplugged Performance, Wednesday, May 12, at 12:00 p.m. (PDT).

Having found Bulletproof Automotive—an international distributor of high-end tuning parts and builder of custom cars—and Unplugged Performance—a world-leading company that focuses on the customization and sports performance of Tesla vehicles—Schaffer is highly experienced and knowledgeable in the world of car tuning and modifying cars in the electrical vehicle space.

Schaffer was first met with skepticism when Unplugged Performance debuted its first modified Tesla vehicle at the 2014 SEMA Show. Since then, the company has continued to improve every aspect of the Tesla driving and ownership experience, offering an exclusive range of premium upgrades to give a new sporty performance identity to the Tesla Model S, Model X and Model 3.

During the live chat presented by the SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN), Schaffer will share his insight on Teslas, EV tuning and the future of performance car culture. Participants will be able communicate with Schaffer live, tap into his expertise and get their questions answered in real time.

Location: SEMA Facebook page.

Thu, 05/06/2021 - 11:58

By Juan Torres

SEMA Show Registration
Registration for the 2021 SEMA Show, the premier gathering for
the automotive specialty-equipment industry, is now open at

Registration for the 2021 SEMA Show, scheduled for November 2-5, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, is now open.

The premier gathering for the automotive specialty-equipment industry, the 2021 SEMA Show already has more than 1,500 companies confirmed to exhibit and many more expected before the event takes place in November. Exhibitors include major automakers and small businesses, as well as iconic aftermarket manufacturers who are enhancing their booths to heighten their presence at what will be the first industry-wide in-person gathering for the $46.2 billion automotive specialty-equipment industry in nearly two years.

“Given the restrictions our industry has endured the last year, pent-up demand for the SEMA Show is at an all-time high,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA vice president of events. “More so than other years, the 2021 SEMA Show will be fundamental in helping industry professionals grow existing relationships, create new ones, and push their businesses forward.”

Attendees at the 2021 SEMA Show will witness firsthand nearly two year's worth of innovation, technology and new products from manufacturers, as they showcase products, debut vehicles, conduct demonstrations and prepare to do business throughout all four halls of the 3.2-million-sq.-ft. Las Vegas Convention Center.

“We are ready to get back to SEMA and connect with our customers this fall,” said Michael Hamrick, Wilwood Disc Brakes events and promotions manager. “Everyone at Wilwood Disc Brakes is putting their best foot forward to have a great event and catch up with our customers. We have quite a few new products to unveil, and SEMA is the place to do it.”

With the entire Convention Center in use, the SEMA Show floor will be designed to improve traffic flow and make navigating the event simple and easy. The 2021 SEMA Show floorplan will begin to take shape during the annual Priority Space Selection process, June 7–23. Companies that submit booth space applications before May 7 will participate in the weeks-long process to determine their booth location in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Attendees will also be able to sign up for educational seminars featuring industry experts and networking events that bring market niches together.

“We’re excited to already be working with the more than 1,500 companies that have committed to exhibit at this year’s SEMA Show, and we expect hundreds more to reserve booth space before May 7,” said Gattuso. “We encourage attendees to register early so they can secure their credentials and receive updates on breaking news from what will be an amazing event.”

Registration for the 2021 SEMA Show is offered in three categories—attendee, exhibitor, and media—and everyone must qualify to receive a badge and attend.

For more information about qualifying documents and the 2021 SEMA Show, log on to

Thu, 05/06/2021 - 11:36

By Ashley Reyes

Launch Pad
The SEMA Launch Pad is a program designed to help emerging
entrepreneurs and inventors launch new automotive products into the

Applications for the SEMA Launch Pad—a program designed to help emerging entrepreneurs and inventors launch new automotive products into the marketplace—are now available.

Originally created to support young entrepreneurs under the age of 40, this year’s program is open to qualified individuals 18 and over. This year’s Launch Pad also includes expanded prize packages, with the grand-prize package valued up to $92,000. Fifteen semifinalists will be selected to participate in and promote their products at the 2021 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, and receive additional awards that may include cash prizes, complimentary SEMA membership and promotional video features that will air on SEMA’s social media networks.

Five finalists will take part in a product-pitching competition and vie for a grand prize that includes $75,000 in cash, booth space at the 2022 SEMA Show, complimentary ad space in SEMA News and more.

To qualify, applicants must be a business owner, company-leading executive (president, CEO, CFO, COO) or vice president of a company, and must offer a product or service that is a functioning prototype or concept or currently for sale.

Applications to participate in SEMA Launch Pad must be submitted online by May 30.

Thu, 05/06/2021 - 11:30

By Ashley Reyes

Virtual EducationSecuring education and skills training is imperative to ensure one’s success, relevancy and advancement in their job or future career.

During the third session of the “Sharpen Your Soft Skills” webinar series, Powered by the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) on May 25, at 11:00 a.m. (PDT), entry- to mid-level professionals will learn how to secure the training and education they need to earn proper wages and secure advancements. Register to learn more about:

  • Common obstacles to securing education and specialized skills training.
  • How to identify further education opportunities that best suit one’s career goals (graduate school, undergraduate, trade school, lean Six Sigma black belt, PMP, etc.).
  • How to fit skills training into your schedule alongside work and family life.
  • Methods for requesting the right training that suits one’s career needs.
  • Best practices for approaching a supervisor to request additional training.

Register here.