Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
November 9th, 2016

Why SEMA is Important for Automotive Installation Companies

This past week was the annual gathering of the automotive industry in Las Vegas, otherwise known as SEMA. This year wasn’t just any other year, though—this was actually the show’s 50th anniversary. With the show continuing to grow beyond even pre-recession levels, I wanted give three reasons why this show is important to the automotive segment of our industry, and why you should consider attending in 2017. sema

  1. New Trends – One of the best things about SEMA is that the entire automotive aftermarket industry is in one place. This allows us to walk the show and be exposed to what is happening in different parts of the customizing industry. By paying close attention to what we see in other industry segments, we may be able to spot upcoming trends that will impact our business. An example of this might be the increased attention being paid to older European cars that are now considered classics. These cars typically are not getting a dark film, as people often want to retain a stock appearance. However, they can still use the performance of a quality film for heat rejection and interior preservation. Understanding this will help you have the proper films available for these types of applications when these consumers stop in.
  2. New Products – SEMA is also a great place to be able to shop all of the products related to your business in one place. In many cases product demonstrations are possible, so you can actually get hands on experience with numerous products all in a matter of days. This would be difficult, if not impossible, to do in your own shop. This also enables you to fully understand not only the products that you offer, but all of the other products available in the marketplace. The more informed you can be with first-hand knowledge, the more you can educate your customers regarding the decisions they should make.
  3. New Friends – I don’t just mean in the traditional definition of “friend,” I was more intending the meaning of a mentor or someone you can discuss business with. Because people at SEMA come from all corners of the globe, you have a unique opportunity to meet many people that operate businesses like yours in other areas. As a result of you not being local and competing, they are often more willing to share best practices and things that are working for them. It is invaluable to cultivate these relationships so that you have a group of people that you can openly discuss business and strategy with. Both parties learning from each other’s mistakes, or getting a tip on something that is working, will save both companies’ time and money as they build your business.

The truth is SEMA is all of what I mentioned and much more. If you have never made the trip, I encourage you to consider it for 2017. You won’t be disappointed!

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