The PRI Opportunity: Building Toward a Productive 2021—and Beyond

SEMA News—July 2020

The PRI Opportunity: Building Toward a Productive 2021—and Beyond

Chris Kersting

Chris Kersting

Catalysts for growth in 2021 include bringing the industry a productive SEMA Show in November and the PRI Trade Show in December. As this issue of the magazine goes to print, both shows are coming together as planned, with the vast majority of businesses indicating determination and plans to set themselves up for a strong 2021 bounce-back.

The association’s staff is actively working with multiple government entities and trade show industry groups to develop processes that will allow for a successful business meeting while providing a safe environment. The details are still being worked out, but updates will be shared with the industry and posted on the Show websites as processes evolve and are finalized. More will be known as the weeks roll forward.

On the matter of PRI and the racing community, we announced a long-term plan last December in Indianapolis to establish a permanent and dedicated PRI office to deliver services, tools and political advocacy specifically for the motorsports industry. The PRI Trade Show has long been a valuable industry focal point that brings racers, builders, track operators and manufacturers together. Now, resources gathered from the industry will be invested in programs to help it succeed.

The PRI mission evolution is the result of in-depth work by the SEMA Board, staff and racing industry representatives involving outreach and surveys to the PRI community to learn how PRI can best help racing succeed and grow. Last December, a new Performance Racing Industry Mission Statement had been developed, formalizing our intention to build, promote and protect the racing community. In the coming years, guided by opportunities identified by industry professionals, an enhanced PRI team will be providing additional programs, support and investment to build the future of the community.

To that effect, the addition of a new executive leader was announced last May, a key step in laying the groundwork for expanded services. The newly minted PRI president, Dr. Jamie Meyer, is based in new PRI digs in Indianapolis—a location that is central to U.S. motorsports—and is already working closely with racing-related businesses, individual racers, race teams, racing facilities, sanctioning bodies, and parts suppliers to develop programs and services to benefit the motorsports community. His passion for racing and his deep motorsports background will serve the community well. Bill Miller, the SEMA staff lead since the association acquired the PRI organization in 2012, will continue to support the PRI team while focusing on his responsibilities as senior vice president of operations for SEMA.

Meanwhile, the upcoming PRI Trade Show will be a springboard for participants to move ahead in 2021, buoyed by the reality that passionate racers and enthusiasts of all kinds will be looking for new products and fresh ideas. The future growth of PRI as an advocate for the racing industry is a reminder that we can take the steps needed to assure ourselves of long-term growth and prosperity by thinking ahead—and acting now.

For many of us, the COVID-19 disruption has put certain short-term goals and practices on hold while we adapt and reconfigure new ways of working. Thankfully, those adaptations are becoming better entrenched, and productivity is on the upswing for many. It’s during such circumstances that long-term vision and planning can make the difference between being left behind and coming out stronger. Now is a great time to consider where we want to be in six months and in the years ahead. At SEMA and Performance Racing Industry (PRI), we’re looking ahead and thinking about how the future of the industry can be enhanced in coming years.

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