SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 32, August 9, 2012

How to Avoid Potential SEMA Show Scams

   travel planners
Travel Planners is the only official housing bureau associated with the 2012 SEMA Show. Only the official housing bureau has this seal.
   

Over the years, exhibitors were periodically contacted by non-official contractors to offer them “better deals” on items and services at the SEMA Show. The SEMA Show only contracts with and endorses the Official Service Contractors listed in the Exhibitor Services Manual and under Contact Information. These contractors are held accountable to provide the best possible customer service and ensure consistent and negotiated rates to all exhibitors at the SEMA Show.

SEMA does not sell exhibitor lists or contact information to anyone. Companies oftentimes use public information available on the Internet to acquire exhibitors’ contact information. SEMA only provides an exhibitor list to its official service contractors to inform companies about services they provide at the SEMA Show.

Services

While not tolerated or endorsed, SEMA does recognize that exhibitors will unfortunately be solicited for the following services by non-official contractors:

  • Carpet
  • AV/Computers Equipment
  • Exhibit Design/Installation
  • Booth Cleaning
  • Floral
  • Freight Shipping
  • Hotel Rooms
  • Photography
  • Security
  • Vehicle Detailing

If you decide to use a non-official contractor, make sure you do the following:

  • Compare prices between contractors.
  • Ask if the price includes everything. Ancillary expenses, such as shipping, drayage or labor may not be included or disclosed, yet will be incurred on-site.
  • Ask for a 24-hour contact person (non-official contractors are not allowed on the Show floor after hours without written permission from Show management, or sometimes don’t even come to the Show to assist with set-up).
  • Exhibitors must register the contractor with SEMA as an Exhibitor-Appointed Contractor (see EAC Application and Guidelines).

Housing/Travel Agencies

SEMA has contracted with Travel Planners to be the official housing company for the 2012 SEMA Show. Please be vigilant if approached by any other company or service other than Travel Planners that implies or claims to be an official housing provider of the SEMA Show. SEMA has been made aware of other housing companies or travel agencies that may be aggressively pursuing you, or your company, to book your guest rooms through their company at supposedly significant discounts. Reservations made through an agency other than Travel Planners will be at your own risk.

Such companies to avoid, as they are not affiliated with the SEMA Show, include:

  • HDMC Group
  • IEP Group
  • International Events
  • Le Company LLC
  • TradeShow Housing
  • Book My Rooms LLC
  • Convention Housing Management
  • Convention Expo Travel
  • Elite Corporate Planners
  • Expo Housing
  • Global Housing Management (GHM Travel)

Directory Guides (Domestic and International)

For several years, different companies selling listings in their “Exhibitors Directory” or “Fair Guides” have been actively soliciting exhibitors who participate at numerous trade shows throughout the country, including the SEMA Show. The companies typically make it appear they have received your information from the SEMA Show and that there is a connection between their “guide” and the SEMA Show.

In their information, they may imply that your company has engaged with their “guide” before saying “update your pre‐registered listing in our exhibitors’ directory...” or “updating is free of charge.” However, in the agreement in very small type is a binding agreement that automatically renews every year (some up to three-year commitments charging $1,500–$5,000 each year).

Here are some examples:

  • Fair Guide
  • Expo-Guide Mexico
  • World Business Guide – Madrid, Spain

SEMA has no relationship with these entities and strongly encourages all companies to have nothing to do with these programs. To find out if any company is reputable, regardless of the service promoted, or if you have any questions, please call Lisa Schafer at 909-978-6742, or e-mail at semashow@sema.org.

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