SEMA News—October 2012
By Mike Imlay
Put Your New and Featured Products Front and Center
Each year, hundreds of specialty-equipment businesses debut their newest products at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. If you’re an exhibitor in search of buyer and press attention for your latest and greatest innovations, there’s no better way to get it than the Ideas Alive: Featuring the New Product Showcase section.
“There were approximately 2,000 new products representing about 800 companies in our 2011 New Products Showcase,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications and events. “These numbers show that plenty of people are taking advantage of this tremendous opportunity, but we think there are even more exhibitors who could benefit by their participation at the upcoming Show.”
That’s because tracking data indicates that Ideas Alive: Featuring the New Products Showcase is the SEMA Show’s number-one destination and is especially popular among buyers and media. The reason is obvious: There’s no better way to survey all of the industry’s hottest offerings in one fell swoop. Plus, Ideas Alive last year introduced a Featured Products section where exhibitors were able to display their most popular creations, regardless of introduction date.
“We’ve polled buyers, and they say that what most draws them to the SEMA Show is their search for new products; so of all the areas of the Show that they prioritize, the New Products Showcase tops the list,” said MacGillivray. “Moreover, last year’s Featured Product section turned out to be a very successful addition. Now, if a company has a product that’s not necessarily new but still wants to Showcase it, they have that chance as well.”
Are you seeking ways to draw more buyers and media to your booth at the 2012 SEMA Show? Start by entering a new or featured product in the Ideas Alive: Featuring the New Products Showcase section. Show officials and experienced exhibitors agree that it’s a winning strategy, especially for new companies trying to get on the map.
Located in the upper level at the east end of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall, Ideas Alive: Featuring the New Products Showcase represents more than 25,000 sq. ft. of product innovations, all barcoded so that buyer and media attendees can easily scan, capture and download essential information for easy follow-up. (The data is available in several formats, including one for smartphones.)
All of this spells opportunity for any exhibiting company—but especially for a newly established or small to medium enterprise vying for attention in a crowded aftermarketplace.
“Ideas Alive: Featuring the New Products Showcase instantly puts a company on the map,” said SEMA Show Director Tom Gattuso. “That’s where buyers and media are going to look first for new and exciting things. With more than 2,000 exhibiting companies at the Show, it’s a matter of how much time they can spend walking and talking to people. If your company can put itself front and center by having an innovative product in the Showcase, it helps buyers and media to see and prioritize you as someone they want to visit as part of their plan for the week. From that respect, it’s an extremely cost-effective way to boost your profile and develop your business.”
Palmer Performance Engineering’s DashCommand application was a star of the 2011 SEMA Show New Products Showcase, garnering the most scans from buyers and media in search of fresh, innovative products. The company plans to leverage the Showcase again this year to increase brand awareness.
A case in point is Palmer Performance Engineering, a family-owned company that sells diagnostic scan tools, data loggers and vehicle telemetry and communications products. Founded in 2003, its diverse, worldwide market includes home consumers, professional mechanics and select automakers. Last year, the company introduced its new DashCommand car application to SEMA Show attendees via the New Products Showcase, garnering the highest number of attendee scans in the process.
“The app turns your PC, laptop, mobile phone or tablet into an advanced display for your engine data,” explained Brian Palmer, the company’s president. “Want to know why the check-engine light keeps coming on? You can check it with DashCommand, which also offers real-time gauges displaying horsepower, torque, acceleration, fuel economy, consumption and cost, an enhanced trip computer and much more.”
Palmer sees the entire Show as a great way to connect not only with buyers and media, but with other SEMA-member companies to forge business partnerships and joint marketing efforts.
“The SEMA Show New Product Showcase has helped us increase brand awareness and has given additional booth traffic from buyers and media interested in the products we’ve displayed,” he said. “It’s another avenue to put products out in front of people, and we’ve seen a huge response from buyers and the media both during and after the Show. We will be introducing a new edition of DashCommand as well as another one or two new products at the upcoming 2012 SEMA Show. We definitely plan to utilize the New Products Showcase for all the fresh products that we end up having.”
According to Gattuso, Palmer seized on exactly the right strategy. Gattuso also advised that new exhibitors avoid the common mistake of trying to display literally everything they do at their booth—a tactic that can overwhelm and confuse visitors.
|Showcasing Your New or Featured Products
To enter new or featured products in the upcoming SEMA Show’s Ideas Alive: Featuring the New Products Showcase section, go to online registration. It's easy and takes just minutes. To get the most from your Showcase experience, be sure to read all of the rules and guidelines associated with the registration process.
“Knowing that buyers are principally in search of new products, you need a strategy that both introduces new products in the Showcase and features them prominently in your booth,” Gattuso said. “In other words, lead every business conversation with your new products, then build on that conversation with your core products and everything else you and your company are good at.”
If your company has not yet considered showcasing a new or featured product, there’s still time.
“They can actually be entered right up to the last day of the Show,” Gattuso said. “We do have a deadline to take advantage of some price discounts if you have more than one product to showcase. But the great thing is, regardless of the timing, exhibitors are always allowed to enter one product for free. In other words, if you miss a deadline associated with a price increase, there’s still no charge if you’re just exhibiting one product. That product can be for either the new or featured category—you get to decide.”