The PRI Road Tour: Building Buzz for an Industry
By Chris Kersting
For most folks in the racing industry, this past year has seen far more than a fair share of cancellations. When the team at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) made the announcement in September that the 2020 PRI Trade Show could not take place this year, the racing community was going to have to do without a key annual business gathering that helps set the stage for success in the year ahead.
We are quickly approaching the launch of SEMA360, introduced this year to help fill the void left by the absence of the 2020 SEMA Show. By now, hundreds of industry manufacturers, from the most prominent to the newest upstarts, have loaded the SEMA360 platform with this year’s new products, Show vehicles and contact information to connect supplier personnel with SEMA’s extensive list of qualified industry resellers. It all kicks off the morning of November 2, and it will be an exciting moment for many reasons.
The decision to forego the SEMA Show in 2020 has been disruptive to all in the industry, but without assurance that the Las Vegas Convention Center would be available for our Show dates, moving forward was no longer feasible.
SEMA is a member-driven organization that is governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by member companies. In this way, the industry guides its own strategic direction, sets priorities, and balances goals and opportunities.
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.
Currently the industry is making tremendous adjustments, not only to our businesses but also to our personal lives. At this stage, we’re still getting more information about the various ways that companies are adapting to the COVID economy. As an industry, we can be proud of how we are continuing to find ways to do business while providing for the health, safety and well-being of all involved.
More recently, SEMA has evolved a wide variety of new programs and even new business units such as the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) and SEMA Garage, each offering more specialized services. As those specialized benefits become available, SEMA aims to reach relevant individuals within each company who might want to know about them. For example, a product data manager would be specifically interested in the SDC’s benefit of digitized product information—necessary to allow broader B2B and B2C exchanges in an increasingly online world. Similarly, SEMA Garage offers services specifically useful to product-development specialists and engineers, and SEMA legislative and regulatory alerts are of interest to company CEOs, legal advisors and those who communicate with the enthusiast community. It’s quite possible that information about such services and opportunities reaches its intended target less frequently if the member company’s primary contact is the only one informed of it.