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At the SEMA Show: Learn from the best

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At the SEMA Show: Learn from the best

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is on a training roll in 2012. As TIA’s new Automotive Tire Service (ATS) Training Tour winds down, TIA is gearing up for the 2012 Global Tire Expo (GTE). GTE will run from Oct. 29 - Nov. 2, 2012, in conjunction with the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. The trade show begins Oct. 30 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Now in its third year, GTE reflects TIA’s focus on training. But how does TIA know what specific training to provide?

“We discuss the reviews from the previous year and then sit down as a staff to talk about the types of questions that we get on the phone and during training classes to determine the most common topics,” explains Kevin Rohlwing, TIA senior vice president of training.

“Some seminars are a staple of the TIA educational program during GTE/SEMA. For example, we’ve been holding TPMS at 10 for years on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. After analyzing the reviews from 2011, we decided to try a new format with a town hall meeting on Tuesday where the major TPMS suppliers can update the industry on current and future technology.”

TIA’s training staff, Sean MacKinnon and Matt White, will follow-up on Wednesday, Oct. 31, with a seminar on TPMS diagnostics based on what they discovered over the course of the year during the ATS Training Tour.

“It’s a great chance for them to get out of the classroom and share those experiences with the attendees,” says Rohlwing.

For a complete schedule of TIA’s GTE events, see the sidebar on page 72.

Rohlwing says one of TIA’s goals has been to encourage more commercial tire dealers to attend GTE and SEMA. The Truck Tires at 10 program is intended to spread awareness of the Federal government’s Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) initiative for improving large truck and bus safety.

“The new CSA rules are having a huge impact on the trucking industry, which ultimately affects the truck tire industry,” says Rohlwing. “There have been some updates since last year and it’s definitely changing the market. I will present a scorecard on Tuesday morning that reflects how CSA is driving those changes. Our Commercial Tire Service Committee suggested we hold a forum for truck tire dealers to share their ideas with TIA, so that was scheduled for noon on Tuesday as well.”

With so much to offer members of the tire industry, it’s no surprise the GTE gets bigger every year.

“GTE at the SEMA Show has become the epicenter of the tire industry, and with the incredible registration we are seeing for exhibitors and attendees, the 2012 expo should be even bigger, better and more beneficial for every tire dealer looking to take it to the next level,” says Tom Formanek, TIA’s treasurer and regional sales manager for Stellar Industries Inc.

A record 132,000 people attended the 2011 SEMA Show. There were 61,000 buyers, also a record and close to 19% higher than 2010.

The number of SEMA Show exhibitors was up, too. There were 2,142 exhibitors in all sections, up 12% compared to 2010. The growth was even more significant at the Global Tire Expo. The 239 participating companies represented a 24% increase. TIA says that both exhibitor and hotel registrations are up for the 2012 Global Tire Expo.

“One of the unique things about the SEMA Show is that it represents the entire automotive specialty equipment market,” says Della Domingo, SEMA’s public relations director. “That means that industry professionals are able to identify trends and new opportunities to expand into other related segments.

“Tire professionals often find huge value in the wheels section, as well as in the off-road market, mobile electronics and even racing and performance. This is something that they don’t get from a show focused solely on tires.”

For the latest expo information and new updates, visit the “Events” section of    ■


Exhibitors: connect to powersports buyers

Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show exhibitors that manufacture and sell tires and other products for the powersports market will be able to quickly, easily and affordably connect with thousands of buyers who are specifically seeking products for motorcycles, dirt bikes, UTVs, ATVs or side-by-sides.

Through the Manufacturer Kiosk Program, an exhibitor with a booth in another area of the SEMA Show is eligible to host a kiosk that will be located in the Powersports & Utility Vehicle section of the show.

“The kiosk program was introduced in 2011 to assist many traditional SEMA Show exhibitors that have branched out into the powersports market,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of events and communications. “The kiosk program allows these exhibitors to showcase their powersports lines in the Powersports area of the Show floor. Meanwhile, they are able to maintain their primary booth location and focus on other products. It’s like being in two places at once.”

SEMA says that of the 61,000 buyers that attend the show each year, one-in-four indicates that they are interested in powersports products. As a result, a dedicated Powersports & Utility Vehicle section was introduced in 2010. “The powersports market is closely tied to many of the SEMA Show’s core segments,” said MacGillivray. “As a result, many exhibitors and buyers have expanded and found great success in the area.”

The 2012 SEMA Show takes place Oct. 30 - Nov. 2 in Las Vegas, Nev. To learn more about the event, visit

Mark your calendars!: Special TIA events

There are two TIA-hosted special events, which will be held Monday, Oct. 29.

• 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: Tire Industry Honors Awards Ceremony at TIA’s host hotel, the Cosmopolitan (ticketed event — open to all members and show attendees).

• 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.: Welcome Reception at the Cosmopolitan (ticketed event — open to all members and show attendees).

Educational sessions

Tuesday, Oct. 30

• TPMS at 10 – TPMS Best Practices: A Town Hall Meeting – speakers from 31 Inc., ATEQ, Bartec, Continental, Dill, Pacific, Schrader, Tiremetrix and TRW.

• Truck Tires at 10 – CSA Report Card: Kevin Rohlwing, Vice President of Training, TIA.

• NEW – Truck Tires at 12 – Commercial Tire Forum: TIA has added the Commercial Tire Forum to the GTE schedule providing truck tire dealers, retreaders and suppliers the opportunity to meet with association officials.

• Tires at 2 – Successful Tire Dealers Share Their Secrets

Wednesday, Oct. 31

• TPMS at 10 – TPMS Troubleshooting: TIA’s Sean MacKinnon, Director of Automotive Training Development, and Matt White, Director of Tire Service.

• Truck Tires at 10 – The Facts on Wide Singles: Speaker to be announced.

• Tires at 2 – Profits Seminar – How to keep your tire business from going flat in the next 10 years: John Bishop, Automotive Training Institute.

Thursday, Nov. 1

Tires at 2 – Making Customer Service Part of Your Brand: Kevin Rohlwing, Vice President of Training, TIA.

First-Time/Featured Exhibitors Section returns

SEMA’s First-Time and Featured Exhibitors Section is back in 2012. It was first introduced at the 2011 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.

Located alongside the New Products Showcase in the upper level of South Hall, the First-Time and Featured Exhibitors section serves as an easy and convenient location for buyers to hone in on hundreds of new and emerging manufacturers who are exhibiting at the show for the first time. The SEMA Show takes place Oct. 30 - Nov. 2, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nev.

“Last year’s First-Time and Featured Exhibitors Section proved to be successful at connecting attendees with new exhibitors,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of events and communications. “Buyers will again be able to meet with new exhibitors quickly and easily, while conveniently stopping by the New Products Showcase at the same time.”

SEMA says the New Products Showcase is among the most-visited attractions at the SEMA Show. With hundreds of products featured in display cases, the area helps attendees to get an overview of what’s new and debuting at the Show.

“Buyers and media often make the New Products Showcase their first stop,” said MacGillivray. “Visitors will note the products that interest them in the showcase and create a list of exhibitors that they want to visit.”

The First-Time and Featured Exhibitors Section includes hundreds of exhibitors representing a variety of market categories. To view a complete list of exhibitors and their booth locations, visit




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