Trade-Show Hacks for Successful Buyer Attendees

SEMA News—October 2018

Trade-Show Hacks for Successful Buyer Attendees

Chris Kersting

Chris Kersting

Based on years of casual input, surveys and observation, the SEMA Show team has gathered a very useful collection of the tips and tricks used by seasoned buyer attendees to make the most of the SEMA Show. “Expert buyers” come to the Show knowing what they are looking for, cover new ground efficiently, and take advantage of every available resource.

For starters, the expert buyer arrives at the Show with a plan. One of the best ways to do that is via the interactive floorplan on www.SEMAShow.com/floorplan, which makes it possible to scout booth locations and, with just a few clicks, build a personalized Show plan. The tool allows attendees to find exhibitors they are interested in meeting with, sort by location, and add personal appointments to make the most of their time. It’s the quickest, smartest way to set up a SEMA Show schedule.

Experienced buyers also know that the New Products Showcase is their most important stop—and the single biggest time-saver. The New Products Showcase has thousands of products on display, all barcoded and sorted by category, and there are free digital scanners available to compile data about each one with just a click. And because the Showcase opens an hour ahead of the Show and stays open for an hour after Show close, there is no need to sacrifice floor time to comb the Showcase for the newest products.

Having a plan is essential, but a good plan leaves some free time to browse—especially among first-time exhibitors. Every year, hundreds of new companies come to the SEMA Show with fresh and often innovative ideas and products. For buyers, every first-time exhibitor represents a possible new partnership that could supply growth in the coming year. Those newest exhibitors are clustered in the Westgate, Racing Annex, Upper South Hall and Performance Pavilion.

Because the SEMA Show is loaded with opportunities to hone professional skills and acquire expert business guidance, the smart buyer makes time for Education Days offerings at the Show. There are numerous educational sessions about online marketing, vehicle technology, marketing strategies and business management, just to name a few. Sessions extend all week, from Monday through Friday.

The expert buyer is also a master of logistics. For example, he knows that the Blue Lot can be a less crowded location to grab a taxi or an Uber, and that there are food trucks in the same area. Another shrewd move is to sign up for the Member Buyer Rewards (MBR) benefits program, which allows buyers a special taxi line during the busy afternoon hours, among other perks.

Lastly, a tip on a growing trend: Our post-Show surveys indicate that more exhibitors are employing special Show-only discounts and favorable terms for orders placed during the Show. By placing an order at the Show, the expert buyer can take advantage of a vast, global marketplace and return home one step ahead in finalizing his 2019 product lineup—and with a discount to boot.

Buyers attending the SEMA Show expend a good deal of time, energy and money to be in Las Vegas. With a bit of preplanning, and savvy use of Show resources, you can get an inside track and pull tremendous value from the Show. Invest in yourself. Take a moment to make your Show plan now by visiting www.SEMAShow.com/floorplan (click on “My Show Planner”) and start looking forward to having your best SEMA Show ever!

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