Chris Kersting

Exhibitors: Success Starts…Now

Chris Kersting

The SEMA Show, a global marketplace that mirrors the industry, creates an environment that annually attracts some 70,000 buyers seeking new products and new ideas. For exhibitors, it’s an opportunity to attract new customers to their booths, generate productive conversations, and build brands and customer lists in one short week.

Our Industry Heritage: Recognition and Preservation

Chris Kersting

SEMA is an industry collective representing all facets of the specialty aftermarket, and we are fortunate that our industry is also part of a rich American automotive culture. In this issue of SEMA News, we honor individuals who have made a distinct contribution to our industry through invention, innovative practices or conspicuously outstanding service. Their stories will be added to the trove of life stories we admire in the SEMA Hall of Fame. But the Hall of Fame is just one way in which the association seeks to gather and preserve our industry’s unique slice of automotive history and heritage. SEMA is working on other fronts as well.

Under Construction: The 2018 SEMA Show, SEMA Ignited and Battle of the Builders

Chris Kersting

As we write this, preparations for the 2018 SEMA Show are in full swing. Booth selection is nearly complete, and exhibiting companies are already coordinating with the staff at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, to firm up plans for the upcoming Show. As we construct the Show each year, the focus is on creating value for exhibitors and making sure to include productive opportunities for buyers to do business. In the process, we look for new ideas to build on the shoulders of the SEMA Show, to expand audiences and create more excitement not only within the industry but beyond the Show walls to the consumer world as well.

Trendcasting: An Eye Toward the Future

Chris Kersting

Over the years, SEMA has played a role helping our members see upcoming opportunities—and challenges—by looking at prior-year industry sales data. To that end, the association provides a research department that publishes studies documenting both industry growth and recession and establishing data about the size of the various markets that make up our large and extremely varied specialty products industry.

Together, We Can Do More

Chris KerstingAt a recent SEMA Town Hall meeting held at the K&N facility in Riverside, California, an attendee asked what SEMA is doing to help build the next generation of enthusiasts and to get young people interested in automotive careers. It’s a question that takes time to answer, because SEMA has long been working on a variety of programs and initiatives to enhance youth engagement and highlight career paths open to students.

Keeping Up With Technology

Chris Kersting

As many members know, SEMA opened the SEMA Garage a little less than five years ago. The facility and its staff exist to help our manufacturer members with product development. Member utilization of the Garage makes clear that the industry is becoming more tech savvy, with wide use of SEMA’s library of OEM CAD data (Tech Transfer), sophisticated scanning devices and rapid prototyping technologies. That’s a positive outcome, and now we want to encourage more members to turn to the Garage to capture opportunities—and overcome challenges—as the industry addresses increasingly complex vehicle technology.

The World Loves the Builds…and the Builders

Chris KerstingIn this issue, we review highlights of the Battle of the Builders competition, which has become one of the industry’s notable and prestigious vehicle-build competitions in just a few short years. Celebrating this year’s top builders is also an opportunity to note that Battle of the Builders and SEMA Ignited were launched so that more people all over the world could get a chance to see—and be inspired by—the incredible vehicles, innovative products and gearhead personalities gathered at the trade-only SEMA Show. From social media to top publications and conventional television, the visibility of content from the Battle of the Builders is the result of SEMA and our industry members working together to help grow the base of enthusiasts and our future market.

February: Strategic Planning Month

Chris Kersting

The Specialty Equipment Market Association exists for the benefit of SEMA members. To serve well, the association relies on input and guidance from industry representatives on the SEMA board and councils. The board meets quarterly to lead and oversee priority initiatives, but it is in February each year that we dedicate our meeting to more strategic, long-range planning.

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