This year marks the 50th birthday of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), and it is celebrating with a bigger, better SEMA Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center Nov. 5-8.

Going on the same time as the SEMA Show on Nov. 5-7 is the expanded Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.

These are both part of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW), which brings together more than 130,000 automotive industry professionals to Las Vegas who are involved in the $477 billion global motor vehicle aftermarket.

The SEMA Show

This year’s SEMA Show is the associations 47th, and it is 12% larger than last year.

The show floor will offer more than 2,000 new products from over 2,400 exhibiting companies including close to 450 first-time exhibitors.

The 2013 SEMA Show also includes more than 90 educational seminars focused on helping auto-related business professionals sell more products and be more productive.

Topics range from marketing, to cash flow and industry trends, social media, email marketing and customer service. Most sessions are available free of charge to those with SEMA Show credentials. Sessions begin the day before the official opening of the show and continue at various times throughout the event.

“We recognize that participants have made an investment to leave their businesses and attend the SEMA Show,” says Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of events and communications.

“The main attraction is on the show floor where exhibitors and products are. However, the educational seminars connect the dots and teach businesses how to better promote their products and compete in today’s marketplace.”

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The seminars are taught by industry leaders and business experts from all over the world. Some of the SEMA Show sessions include:

•  Build a winning marketing strategy

•  Industry trends and forecasts: Enthusiast purchase journey

•  Shoestring marketing

•  Vehicle dynamics forum

•  Successful teams: Turning passion into a successful business

•  Stand out! Differentiate or disappear

•  Creating and executing a smart business plan

•  Who’s in the driver’s seat? A comprehensive look at generational trends in the automotive industry

•  Online marketing: Twitter

•  Creating the best possible sales team

The SEMA Show will offer 12 sections covering a wide spectrum of automotive specialty equipment.

The North Hall will house:

•  Collision repair and refinish

•  Mobile electronics and technology

•  Restyling and car care accessories

•  Tools and equipment

In the Central Hall you will find:

•  Racing and performance

•  Restoration marketplace

•  Hot rod alley

South Hall Upper will house:

•  Trucks, SUVs and off-road

•  Powersports and utility vehicles

•  Business services

•  Featured exhibitors

And the South Hall Lower will have:

•  The Tire Industry Association’s Global Tire Expo

•  Wheels and accessories

In addition to 11 designated floor sections, the SEMA Show includes three different areas where first-time and featured exhibitors can be found.

In order for SEMA to accommodate all the exhibitors,  “We’ve expanded our footprint,” says MacGillivray. “Collectively, the first-time and featured exhibitor areas include hundreds of new and innovative manufacturers that represent all markets in the industry. These are must-see areas for everyone in the industry.”  

The three areas are found in the:

* Upper South Hall, east end near the New Products Showcase: This is the same area where First-Time and Featured Exhibitors were located in 2012.

* Bridge, between Central and South Halls

* LVH South Pavilion area, near Central Hall: The LVH is located across the street, but adjacent to the north side of North Hall. Several exhibitors will be located in the Pavilion area of the LVH, along with general registration.

There also will be more than 1,500 vehicles on display including cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs and UTVs showcasing the latest tires, wheels and automotive products.

And to showcase the industry’s top trend-setting vehicle models, the SEMA Awards will be announced and presented to winning automakers during the show.

Through the program, SEMA exhibitors that make the products and accessories for today’s popular models, will identify the vehicle platforms they believe are best for accessorizing, and ideal for showcasing the coolest new products.

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“The SEMA Show has always been about highlighting the industry’s most innovative new products and the trends that emerge each year,” says Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “The SEMA Award celebrates the new vehicle models that SEMA exhibitors expect will be the major trend-setters in the months ahead.”

Show organizers will take a tally of every booth vehicle at the show to identify the most popular vehicle models in four categories (Hottest Car, Hottest Truck, Hottest 4x4-SUV, and Hottest Sport Compact). With each booth vehicle representing one vote, the most prominent models will be named the SEMA Award winners for the year.

“SEMA Show exhibitors have traditionally served as the true visionaries of the industry,” said Kersting. “They’re making a strong statement about what they see as the year’s hottest new cars and trucks through the vehicles they select and modify for display in their booths.”

“The SEMA Award is always a strong indicator of which vehicles are likely going be most popular with consumers in the coming year,” says Kersting. “Vehicles chosen for display at the SEMA Show are by definition the hottest-trending and most accessory-friendly models among enthusiasts, and these models often become high-demand vehicles for the car-buying public.”

Last year’s SEMA Award winners were the Ford Mustang in the car category, the Scion FR-S in the sport compact category, the Ford F-Series in the truck category and the Jeep Wrangler in the 4x4-SUV category.

Cars & Coffee

Among the new attractions at the 2013 SEMA Show will be Cars & Coffee — SEMA Edition. Taking place in the outdoor patio on the south side of the LVH (adjacent to the LVCC North Hall) from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. each morning of the show, Cars & Coffee gives attendees a place to start their day.

Attendees will be able to grab a cup of coffee and a donut, check out show cars, mingle with colleagues then get a jump start on their day by visiting the newly expanded Featured Exhibitors section at the LVH. Featuring some of the industry’s newest exhibitors, the LVH exhibits open at 8 a.m. — before the Las Vegas Convention Center show floor opens.

“There are lots of new features and attractions taking place at the LVH,” said MacGillivray.

“Cars & Coffee gives attendees a fun, informal event where they can see what’s new at the LVH.”

SEMA awards banquet

“The Industry Awards Banquet is a time for the industry to celebrate,” says MacGillivray. Awards will be presented for SEMA Person of the Year, Rep Agency of the Year and W/D of the Year. Entertainment will be provided by comedians John Heffron and Jon Reep, as well as by former American Idol winner Taylor Hicks.

For more information, see SEMA’s website at www.semashow.com

AAPEX will offer show goers domestically and internationally sourced new and remanufactured parts, learning sessions and more.

AAPEX will offer show goers domestically and internationally sourced new and remanufactured parts, learning sessions and more.

At the AAPEX

AAPEX is jointly sponsored by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). It is the place where warehouse/distributors, retailers program groups, jobbers, service providers and others go to source products from both domestic and international suppliers.

AAPEX also is offering a learning forum covering close to 40 topics. All sessions are accredited by the University of the Aftermarket toward the Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) and Master Automotive Aftermarket Professional (MAAP) professional designations. Sessions will be held at the Venetian Hotel and include:

• Brand supremacy: Building strength in the automotive aftermarket

• Marketing and selling to millennial consumers

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• Import parts explosion: Are You Taking Your Share?   

•SWAT team selling: Leading your team to a competitive advantage        • Implementing account planning to increase your team’s selling success  

• Sales and marketing trends: The latest technology that will increase your  cash flow

• The three quickest ways to grow your bottom line with mobile marketing

• Handling the phone shopper: Turning phone shoppers into customers

The AAPEX show floor is broken down into sections, including:

•  Automotive Warehouse and Distributors Association (AWDA) and NARSA (the International Heat Transfer Association) sections

•  Paint and body

•  Remanufacturing

•  Tools and equipment

•  Auto international

•  International pavilions

Geared for W/Ds

Well-known professional experts on distribution and management will be presenting topics of  interest to warehouse/distributors in learning forum sessions.

The sessions include how to achieve profitability and success, future forces in B2B markets, sales and marketing optimization, building tomorrow’s workforce and trends affecting today’s distribution businesses. 

Featured speakers include: 

• Garrison Wynn, Wynn Solutions — The real truth about success: What the top 1% do differently and why they won’t tell you,  and Being the best vs. being consistently chosen. 

• Steve Diest, Indian River Consulting Group — Channel evolution: Lessons from other industries,  and Future forces in B2B markets.

• Barry Lawrence, Texas A & M Distribution Program — Optimizing distributor profitability: Best practices for improving return on investment, and Sales and marketing optimization: Driving growth and market share.

• Gene Marks, The Marks Group — Economic, political and tech trends: 10 things happening today that will affect your business tomorrow.

• Dan Schawbel, Millennial Branding — Building the workforce of tomorrow: How to recruit, retain and grow your young talent.

Feature on the AAPEX show floor

Two engine builders from Hendrick Motorsports will assemble and run a NASCAR R07 Chevrolet engine in less than 30 minutes during this year’s AAPEX show.

Engine rebuild demonstrations will be held daily at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and will allow buyers the opportunity to examine the parts, talk to the builders and learn about remanufactured engines.

The engine rebuild area is sponsored by the Engine Rebuilders Council (ERC), the AERA Engine Builders Association, the Production Engine Remanufacturers Association (PERA) and MAHLE Clevite Inc.

It is part of the new Remanufacturing Section at AAPEX, co-hosted by the Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA) and ERC. The event will be on the upper level of the Sands Expo Center.

For more information, see www.aapexshow.com    ■

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