SEMA News—September 2013
By Steve Campbell
Information for New Exhibitors at the 2013 SEMA Show
Take Advantage of the Programs, Promotions and Tools
The SEMA Show is the world’s most valuable automotive specialty-equipment trade show. More than 2,100 companies have already secured space for the 2013 event, including more than 415 first-time exhibitors. And while the information provided here is particularly urgent for those who are new to the SEMA Show, it is also must-know content for all exhibiting manufacturers.
More than 130,000 industry professionals are expected at the Show, which is open only to those individuals who are employed in the automotive industry. It is designed to provide manufacturers of automotive products and accessories with a venue to connect and do business with buyers from throughout the world, so the better informed exhibitors are, the more successful their experience will be.
Read the Exhibitor Manual
The number-one tool for new exhibitors—for all exhibitors, really—is the online Exhibitor Services Manual, where the Show organizers have housed all of the resources pertinent to successfully displaying at the SEMA Show. The online ESM has been redesigned this year and includes general information as well as a list of cost-saving deadlines and all of the online forms an exhibitor might need to secure booth items. Each section is broken down to the basics for ease of navigation. Simply click the buttons on the left side of the table of contents webpage to see the products and services available.
The headings include
About the Show
Badges, Registration & Special Events
Hotels, Parking & Travel
Marketing, Advertising & Sponsorships
The number-one tool for new exhibitors—for all exhibitors, really—is the online Exhibitor Services Manual, where the Show organizers have housed all of the resources pertinent to successfully displaying at the SEMA Show.
Guidelines & Policies
Target Times—When Your Freight Must Be at Your Booth
Freeman Ordering Procedures
Carpet, Furnishings & Booth Rentals—Freeman
Hanging Truss & Chain Hoist—Freeman
“The redesigned ESM comes at an ideal time, as exhibitors are now gearing up to register staff, book hotel rooms and planning the physical layout of their booths,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications and events. “Of particular interest is the information under the ‘About the Show’ section, where exhibitors will find a list of frequently asked questions, a glossary of terms, details about what is included with a booth and deadlines that started appearing as early as July but are still ongoing. In many cases, exhibitors will see significant cost savings and generate maximum exposure by beating those deadlines.”
We’ve included a few highlights from the manual here, but every exhibitor should get to know the ESM thoroughly to better understand the available tools and ensure ease of participation, provide better visibility with buyers and save time and money. Exhibitors may wish to also have key staff and agencies familiarize themselves with the ESM; more sets of eyes can find more usable information and greater savings.
The companies mentioned in the ESM are the official vendors of the SEMA Show. They were chosen for their understanding of the Show and their high levels of customer service. The Show organizers worked with them to create value pricing and flexible terms, and the organizers recommend that exhibitors consider all of these companies as they create their Show plans.
Included With Each Booth
Even basic SEMA Show booths consist of far more than just floor space. For instance, exhibitors who contract for 400 sq. ft. or less of exhibit space receive free handling for up to 500 lbs. of materials. Those with 450 sq. ft. or more receive a special discount on carpeting of only $1.85 per sq. ft. And every exhibitor receives one SEMA Industry Awards Banquet ticket for each 100 sq. ft. of exhibit space (while tickets last), though they must reserve up to a maximum of 10 tickets per exhibitor.
Every exhibitor is additionally provided with access to Education Days seminars and one free entry in the New Products Showcase or Featured Product Showcase (see below), which is a major attraction for buyers and media from throughout the country and the world. Other included media benefits are company listings in the official SEMA Show Pocket Guide and SEMA Show Directory for booths who confirmed by the August 30 deadline (after August 30, companies will be listed in the Show Directory Addendum). In addition, each exhibitor’s company and product listings are maintained throughout the year in the official SEMA Show online floorplan and directory.
Certain physical booth accessories are included. Each linear booth comes equipped with an 8-ft.-high drape backdrop and 3-ft.-high drape side dividers. Linear booths that are adjacent to a peninsula booth will have an 8-ft. drape between the two booths, and each peninsula exhibit is fitted with an 8-ft.-high full back wall drape. Peninsula exhibits may also construct a full back wall to a maximum of 16 ft. No drape is provided for island exhibits. All aisles are carpeted, and every booth receives a 7x44-in. company identification sign with 24-hour exhibitor hall access.
New Products Showcase
The SEMA Show is all about new products. Thousands of buyers come from literally all over the world to discover innovations that will sell in their home markets, whether that market is an accessories outlet in Boston or an off-road shop in Abu Dhabi. For most, the New Products Showcase is a must-see area, and it’s a great way to attract new buyers who may not be familiar with an exhibitor’s products. New buyers are less likely to have specific exhibitors on their schedules—and there were more than 16,000 buyers last year who had never been to the Show before.
The New Products Showcase is now located in the Upper South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition to descriptive signs positioned adjacent to each product, electronic scanners are provided to attendees for use in downloading information for every product entered. The showcase allows exhibitors to introduce new products, packaging and merchandising to industry buyers and media—but the exposure doesn’t end when the Show closes.
Products are photographed before being placed in the display cases, and the photos and descriptions are housed throughout the following year on a SEMA website at www.SEMAphotos.com for use by media and consumers. Products that meet the new-product criteria may also qualify to receive inclusion in the judging for New Product Awards, and displayed products are also featured in SEMA News magazine.
The first product entered in the New Products Showcase is free when submitted online. All additional entries are $75 per product category if entered by Friday, October 11. After October 11, the fee is $150 per product category. Entries submitted on-site will be accepted based on space availability.
For more complete information, visit here.
Exhibitors may start drawing buyers to their booths long before the SEMA Show begins through the use of buyer mailing labels. The user-friendly online attendee list rental and marketing system helps exhibitors reach qualified buyers for specific products and services through professional-looking marketing messages. The buyers can be targeted by industry segment, demographic profile or geographic area, and the list counts can be modified to meet individual budget requirements. Complete information is available here.
Generate, Establish and Follow Up With Leads
The use of lead-retrieval products and services from CompuSystems offers another way to connect exhibitors with Show attendees before, during and after the event. The TrafficMax attendee promotional service can be used to send customized marketing messages to the exhibitor’s target audience, and once buyers are on-site, their information and qualifications can be quickly captured using CompuLEAD lead-retrieval products. When the Show ends, exhibitors that used a CompuLEAD device have access to BuyerConnect, a post-Show follow-up service. This suite of products is designed to help exhibitors maximize their return on investment. Complete information is available here.
Displaying a Vehicle
There’s nothing like displaying a product actually installed on an eye-catching vehicle to attract the attention of buyers and media, and the SEMA Show provides two opportunities to do so: either in the exhibitor’s booth or in another location on the Show floor or grounds.
Booth vehicles may occupy no more than 80% of the contracted exhibit space and must be set back 10 in. from the aisle. There are strict rules pertaining to the promotion of products from non-exhibiting manufacturers (visit here), but exhibitors do not need to check in their booth vehicles; they simply report to the freight door nearest their booth at any time during exhibitor move-in hours.
Vehicles displayed in other areas of the Show floor or grounds may be entered in the SEMA Show Feature Vehicle Program, which provides extensive exposure. Vehicle spaces are $399 each, and while any exhibitor may submit multiple applications, each company is guaranteed only one vehicle placement, with additional placements dependent upon space availability. Multiple vehicles from the same company may not be placed together.
Each vehicle must be sponsored by a company exhibiting at the 2013 SEMA Show, with the same rules noted above concerning the promotion of products from non-exhibiting manufacturers. Confirmation of placement for companies submitting multiple vehicles will be sent no later than October 11.
SEMA Publications and Sponsorship Opportunities
Members of the press from every type of outlet and from all over the world converge every year in Las Vegas to cover the SEMA Show, and that equates to terrific opportunities for exhibitors to promote their products. In addition, SEMA produces multiple publications that provide information and promotional opportunities well in advance of the Show. These publications are distributed to the full breadth of industry professionals and include the monthly SEMA News magazine, weekly electronic newsletter SEMA eNews and SEMA Show Daily, which is produced on-site in Las Vegas throughout the Show.
In addition to the advertising options, the SEMA Show also offers numerous sponsorship opportunities, including everything from billboard kiosk ad panels and hanging banners to sponsorship of the SEMA Media Center and Wi-Fi sponsorships. There are also multiple-feature value packs and—specifically for newcomers—a First-Time Exhibitor Sponsorship package.
The first-timer package includes one aisle sign, a single-sided billboard kiosk panel, a ½-page four-color (horizontal only) ad in the official SEMA Show Directory, a ½-page four-color (horizontal only) ad in the SEMA Show Pocket Guide and inclusion in a sponsor-acknowledgement ad in the official SEMA Show Directory.
For information about advertising and sponsorship opportunities, contact Brian Paik at 909-978-6677 or Monica Terlouw at 909-978-6695.
Public Relations Opportunities
As noted, media coverage can play a significant role in the success of exhibiting at the SEMA Show, and there is a wealth of avenues for generating coverage of a company and its products. The programs include press-release distribution—both online and as hard copies placed in the SEMA Show Media Center—as well as press conferences, listings of celebrity appearances, product training sessions, social-media connections, after-hours parties and special events.
Media throughout the world will use information from these sources to fill their publications, the airwaves and Internet content sites. In most cases, these opportunities are limited and are accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis, and media begin visiting the online media center at well before the actual Show. For complete information about PR programs, either prior to, during or after the SEMA Show, contact SEMA Director of PR Della Domingo via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 909-978-6723.
Last-Minute Webinar for First-Timers
Exhibiting at the SEMA Show takes some planning and preparation, and there are a number of details that may not occur to a first-timer until just a few weeks before the doors open. The Show organizers have put together a webinar—an online seminar that requires only a computer and an Internet connection for participation—designed to answer some of the most frequently asked logistical questions. They include what to do when you arrive at your hotel, how and where to arrange transportation, parking while at the Show, moving in and moving out, taking care of yourself, eating well and much more.
The webinar is scheduled to take place September 19. For information about participating and to register, visit here.
See you at the SEMA Show!