By Becca Butler
As the foundation of the automotive specialty-equipment industry, Racing & Performance is the SEMA Show’s largest section. These exhibitors kicked off the Priority Booth Space Selection Process earlier this week, selecting their space at the 2015 SEMA Show. As exhibitors plan and prepare for the upcoming Show, taking place November 3–6, in Las Vegas, designated account reps are available to help exhibitors navigate the SEMA Show process. Each exhibitor has one account rep dedicated to helping the exhibitor with all their SEMA Show needs.
Below are the six sales reps assigned to assist Racing & Performance exhibitors. Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show exhibitors should contact the SEMA Show rep below who also assists them with the PRI Show. Those who are unsure as to who their account rep is can contact email@example.com or 909-396-0289. Find your rep and get to know him/her today!
Show Section: Racing & Performance
Account Rep: Jeff Swoboda
Years in the industry: 15
Year of first SEMA Show: 2003—I remember thinking how fantastic it was to see the sheer scale and breadth of products all in one place!
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-373-9212
Advice for exhibitors: Put as much emphasis on pre-Show marketing as possible. On-site, you are competing with more than 2,000 exhibitors for the attention of buyers on the floor. It’s important to set a clear plan going into the Show regarding who you want to reach while you’re there and how you can communicate with them before they arrive.
Biggest misconception: Securing a booth and setting it up guarantees success. There are more than one-dozen factors that go into your success at the Show, including your pre-Show marketing, budget control, booth staff, follow-up system, your products and more.
One thing for exhibitors to know: Exhibiting at the SEMA Show is incredibly valuable in relation to what it would take to reach that many buyers otherwise. Exhibiting at the Show is expensive and is a lot of work, but compared to shows in other industries, what SEMA provides in terms of value per dollar is second to none.
Advice for the 2015 SEMA Show: Plan as far ahead as possible, while still building flexibility into your plan.
Account Rep: Reed Morales
Years in the industry: 15
Year of first SEMA Show: 2002—I thought I could do the Show in two days, but ended up staying the whole week and had to go buy clothes for the final days.
Contact: email@example.com or 949-373-9210
Advice for exhibitors: Don’t keep your exhibiting presence a secret. Reach out to your current and prospective customers to let them know you will be exhibiting at the SEMA Show, and invite them to see your latest product offerings. You have to make some noise before the Show; there’s more than 2,000 exhibitors competing for your customers’ attention.
Biggest misconception: It’s not worth the cost. Imagine how much it would cost to personally visit all of the people that you connect with at the SEMA Show.
Favorite thing about the SEMA Show: Seeing exhibitors conducting business and being successful.
Account Rep: Andrea Brake
Years in the industry: 4
Year of first SEMA Show: 2011—I couldn’t believe how huge it was!
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-373-9222.
Most common mistake: Exhibitors who do not market or promote their booth in any way. Leads will not just fall into your lap.
One thing for exhibitors to know: If you want to exhibit at the SEMA Show and you don’t get your “ideal” booth space, it’s still important for you to be there. There are things you can do to draw exposure to your booth, such as sponsorships or getting a remote booth outside. The SEMA Show is the best place for exhibitors to come and do business with serious buyers in the industry.
Biggest misconception: You will get lost in the shuffle because it’s so big. Exhibitors can avoid that by taking advantage of the opportunities to draw extra attention to their brand.
Account Rep: Francisque Savinien
Years in the industry: 20
Year of first SEMA Show: 2000
Contact: FrancisqueS@performanceracing.com or 949-373-9247
Biggest opportunity for exhibitors: The SEMA Show is a concentration of opportunities. The halls are filled with tens of thousands of industry professionals with business needs. Some people are there to buy, some are there to sell and all are there to network. Opportunities are everywhere, and you’ll notice that conversations continue beyond the Show floor. Be present and make every effort to engage with attendees.
Most common mistake: Sitting in the back of your booth. Try to engage with buyers and other exhibitors. Business happens everywhere.
One thing for exhibitors to know: The SEMA Show only happens once per year, which means you’ve got to be prepared. The next Show is in 12 months, so take full advantage of all opportunities while you are there.
Account Rep: Judy Kean
Years in the industry: 17
Year of first SEMA Show: 1999
Contact: email@example.com or 949-373-9214
Advice for Exhibitors: Don’t expect potential buyers to just walk by your booth. You need to have a plan to target potential buyers through pre-Show marketing. Know who you’re going after and how you’re going to get their attention.
How exhibitors can be successful: SEMA offers a number of opportunities to help exhibitors get their company message out to the industry. Take advantage of all that SEMA has to offer!
Most Common mistake: Not marketing new products and product lines prior to the Show.
Account Rep: Eric Jurado
Years in the industry: 12
Year of first SEMA Show: 2005
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-373-9220
Biggest opportunity the SEMA Show provides: Exhibitors can develop new leads, service existing customers, develop brand recognition and gain valuable market share.
One thing for exhibitors to know: SEMA remains a uniquely powerful link between racing and performance product manufacturers and the volume of buyers in this business. Make sure you follow up with your leads after the Show. I’ve heard countless times that attendees are still waiting for exhibitors to contact them!
Most common mistake: Not pre-marketing your presence at the Show. Most buyers already have a plan mapped out of who they will be visiting at the Show, and most of them base that off of the marketing materials they’ve received.
About SEMA’s Account Representatives
As part of SEMA’s initiative to enhance customer service and raise awareness of member benefits, each exhibiting company has a designated account representative. Assigned based on business categories, these in-house reps are available to assist with things such as booth space, sponsorships, magazine ads, Show registration, as well as non-Show programs, such as Measuring Sessions, Tech Transfer, research, education and more. Your rep will bring you the expertise and insight needed to accomplish your goals and receive the greatest return on your SEMA Show investment. Connect with your account rep as soon as possible so they can assist in creating the best SEMA Show strategy for your business.
Don’t know who your account rep is? Find your Show section below, and get to know them! For questions, contact email@example.com or 909-396-0289.
Show Section: Trucks, SUVs & Off-Road; Powersports & Utility Vehicles; and Restoration Marketplace
Account Rep: Alan Josse
Years in the industry: 20
Year of first SEMA Show: 1994
Favorite event at the Show: SEMA Cruise
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 909-978-6666
Advice for exhibitors: Pre-market your presence and location at the SEMA Show to maximize your ROI. Update your website, e-mail your customer list, advertise in industry publications and post your pre-Show activities on social media because everything you do exponentially increases your chances for success at the Show.
Most common mistake: Checking out. Not literally, but figuratively. At some point during the week, everyone feels the fatigue of staying mentally focused and being on their feet for so long. Try not to sink back into your booth, where unintentionally, you seem unapproachable.
Advice for the 2015 SEMA Show: Major components of the SEMA Show can change locations in the convention center from year to year. Familiarize yourself with the online facility layout prior to arriving at the Show.
Show Section: OEM, Wheels & Accessories; Mobile Electronics & Technology
Account Rep: Warren Kosikov
Years in the industry: 20
Year of first SEMA Show: 1996—I remember being overwhelmed by the “acreage” of the Show; I had never been to a trade show as large as the SEMA Show.
Contact: email@example.com or 909-978-6665
Biggest opportunity at the Show: One of the best and biggest opportunities for exhibitors is the potential media coverage of their products. Coverage from the SEMA Show continues for many months, keeping your new-product launch fresh and providing you with ROI from the SEMA Show long after the doors have closed.
Advice for exhibitors: Don’t be overly concerned about booth location. The look of your exhibit, the products that are being displayed, pre-Show marketing efforts and the demeanor of your booth staff can all play a significant role in the success of your Show than the physical location of your booth.
One thing for exhibitors to know: Although the SEMA Show is the most visible thing we as an organization do, we work year round to help our members’ businesses succeed. Things such as the SEMA Garage, Tech Transfer program and SEMA Data Co-op are all tools and resources available to SEMA members. I work with exhibitors throughout the year helping them take advantage of these programs and continuing success beyond the Show floor.
Advice for the 2015 SEMA Show: sensible shoes.
Show Section: Restyling & Car Care Accessories; Collision Repair & Refinish; Hot Rod Alley
Account Rep: Monica Terlouw
Years in the industry: More than 20
Year of first SEMA Show: 1986—I remember thinking I will never bring a suitcase of “cute high-heel” shoes again!
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 909-978-6695
Biggest Opportunity: The free promotions available to exhibitors. I have three freebies that are a must. First is the free product submission in the New/Featured Products Showcase. Second is to post a press release on the SEMA Show Online Media Center. Third is for exhibitors to submit their Show specials and incentives to SEMA for free promotion.
Advice for exhibitors: Take advantage of the exhibitor education available to help you be profitable and successful at the Show. Videos are recorded at the yearly Exhibitor Summit that are available online at www.SEMAShow.com. Become familiar with the Exhibitor Services Manual—there is priceless information in there, including a printable “Budget” and “Deadline” checklist.
Biggest misconception: That you need a large booth to be successful. By being strategic and taking advantage of all the resources and savings the Show offers. A 10x10 can have as much success as a larger booth.
Advice for the 2015 SEMA Show: SEMA Ignited will be an amazing experience in 2015 and should not be missed.
Show Section: Global Tire Expo; Tools & Equipment; Business Services
Account Rep: Brian Paik
Years in the industry: 13
Year of first SEMA Show: 2000—Was only there for one day and remember seeing the sheer number of project cars under one roof.
Contact: email@example.com or 909-978-6677.
Biggest opportunity: One of the biggest opportunities for exhibitors is to enter your product(s) in the New Products Showcase.
Advice for Exhibitors: Have a plan to promote your products and booth before the Show, during the Show and following up with potential customers after the Show.
Most common mistake: Purchasing a booth and expecting buyers to come find you.
One thing for exhibitors to know: The Exhibitor Services Manual will answer 99% of your questions. I will also be available to help answer all of your questions—even the tough ones!
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 909-396-0289.