Once again, the SEMA Show has been selected by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to participate in the International Buyer Program (IBP), a service that significantly enhances our ability to make the Show a truly global marketplace. Through this program, SEMA offers a number of services to help international attendees make the most of their experience at the Show.
Through the IBP and its globally integrated network, the U.S. Commercial Service assists small- and medium-size U.S. businesses to export their products and services worldwide. Overseas staffs in U.S. embassies and consulates work to recruit foreign buyer delegations and help advertise the SEMA Show in regional media outlets. More than 20 official DOC delegations have been recruited to attend the Show, including those from Australia, Mexico, the Philippines, Jordon and Costa Rica, to name a few.
During the Show, trade specialists from the Commercial Service will manage the International Center located in the SEMA Center For International Commerce (LVCC Room S229), along with international registration assistance, where buyers may negotiate with sellers, use the meeting rooms (free of charge, first-come first-serve) and use the facility to plan their visits around the exhibit floor. We also encourage exhibitors to visit the International Business Center for our interpreter services and export counseling from the Commercial Service.
And with its network of domestic and international offices, the Commercial Service uses its presence and marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. This assistance includes export counseling, market research, matchmaking, pre-arranged business appointments abroad through its Gold Key Service, advocacy, video conferencing, international partner searches, trade events and more.
"SEMA appreciates the efforts of the U.S. Department of Commerce in helping to drive international buyers to the SEMA Show,” says Linda Spencer, SEMA Director of international and government relations. “Dozens of automotive industry specialists from U.S. Commercial Service offices abroad will be attending the SEMA Show. Meet with these representatives during the Show for information on their respective markets or contact these U.S. government employees beforehand to learn more about the products the businesses in their delegations are seeking to buy while in Las Vegas.”
Intellectual property rights is another area of international commerce foremost on the minds of many specialty-equipment companies. According to SEMA research, 30% of member companies surveyed ranked knockoff and counterfeit products as a primary obstacle facing their businesses today. Additionally, 37% registered an "increase" or "very large increase" in the number of counterfeits/knockoffs of company products over the past year.
It is SEMA's objective to ensure proper protection of intellectual property rights of its members and Show exhibitors. This includes the protection of trademarks, service-marks, copyrights and patents. With the support of the SEMA Board of Directors, a stringent policy has been put in place, and every effort will be made to eliminate product conflicts and protect those that have legal rights to the products involved.
If you suspect another company has copied your product or has infringed on your legal rights, contact Show Management at 702/450-7662, ext. 104 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about protecting your IPR overseas, click here to download SEMA webinars on the subject.
For more information on the U.S. Commercial Service, visit www.export.gov or call 800/USA-TRADE.