By Linda Spencer
Each company is provided a turnkey booth at a local specialty-equipment show. “The SEMA Middle East Business Development Program was a perfect opportunity for us as a new entrant to the Middle Eastern market,” said Michael Sampson (left), director of operations and foreign sales for Rock-Slide Engineering. “Attending the SEMA Middle East Business Development Program allowed us to find our first customers and begin what should be a long and profitable relationship in the Middle East for Rock-Slide Engineering.”
Visiting speed and off-road shops is on the SEMA Middle East Business Development Program schedule.
Join SEMA for the sixth-annual Middle East Business Development Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), March 28–April 1, 2017.
The following is included:
- A turnkey booth at the Custom Show Emirates—the largest specialty-equipment show in the Middle East.
- A hands-on workshop with vehicles popularly customized throughout the Middle East but not sold in the United States.
- Hotel accommodations and all meals.
- Tours of local speed and off-road shops.
- A briefing with U.S. government officials and seasoned exporters on the “do’s and don’ts of setting up successful distribution in the region.”
- Pre-trip support and a pre-trip briefing on what to bring and what to expect.
What your peers are saying about the SEMA Middle East trip:
“Participation was excellent this year and gave the attendees a great opportunity to share their passions with top-tier custom, racing and performance businesses in the Middle East. “It was another successful event, not only for creating new opportunities but also for gaining the knowledge to create export-ready products for key markets.”
—Wade Kawasaki, CEO, Coker Tire, and chair-elect, SEMA Board of Directors
“If you are a manufacturer and have no distribution in the area, these trips are a no-brainer. SEMA sets you up with prescreened buyers and gives you the opportunity to talk business. If you already have distribution in place, that’s even better. The program gives you the opportunity to go talk to your customers and see what really drives their businesses.”
—Sean Crawford, director of marketing and business development, JE Pistons
“We participated in 2015 and again in 2016, even though at first we were a little skeptical at the potential our BOLT products would have in the GCC countries, primarily because our target market is for pickups and SUVs. We were pleasantly surprised to see many of these vehicles on the streets in 2015, including Jeeps, Toyota HiLuxes and Land Cruisers. The Nissan SUV Patrol is super popular, as are American pickups, including those from Chevy, GMC and Ford. We are now working with two distributors in the area as well as two retailers/installers.”
—Erika Garcia, sales manager, BOLT Locks
“The only way to understand this region is to go there yourself. Talk to business owners, talk to consumers and make your own opinions. We can’t successfully run our manufacturing business and plan our company’s future based on hearsay and opinions from others. What you learn on these SEMA trips would not be learned by traveling around in a rental car. SEMA does an excellent job of acclimating you to these business climates during the event. I welcome anyone to call me and learn more.”
—Steve Whipple, vice president of sales, Edelbrock LLC