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SEMA Show, Day Three: Attendance looks promising

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Organizers of this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association, or SEMA, Show estimate attendance will be up when the final numbers are tabulated.

This was a very important year for SEMA. Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications and events, says the association has been much more proactive in running the show since meeting with its show partner, the Tire Industry Association (TIA), late last year.

They resolved to make changes to better meet the needs of exhibitors and attendees. Marketing the show began earlier, and telemarketing was increased. TIA revamped its part of the show and introduced the first Global Tire Expo -- Powered by TIA.

These are the first steps in improving the shows. SEMA will continue to study traffic areas and send out its annual post-show survey to find out how successful it is and what more needs to be done. There's nothing more important than feedback, says MacGillivray.

"We have an open door policy. We want to hear the good, the bad, the great and the ugly."

According to Wayne Crosell, TIA's immediate past president, TIA's board of directors wants to hold another focus group with tire manufacturers, continuing a line of communication it began in preparation for this year's Global Tire Expo.

According to preliminary numbers for this year's show,

* the number of buyers will be up 3% to 5%, to 57,000 people.

* international buyers will be up 22%.

Tire and wheel-related new product submissions for the New Product Showcase were up more than 45%, another good sign that the 2010 SEMA Show will outperform the 2009 show. Also, exhibitors in the Global Tire Expo were up 11.5%, to 194; 47 were first-time exhibitors.

"It's really about the quality of the buyer," says MacGillivray. "That's the ultimate goal for us."

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