SEMA’s Silver Lining

November 4th, 2021 by Chris Collier

The 2021 SEMA Show arrived amid a lingering pandemic and uncertainty over whether or not the event would take place. Window film companies are noting lighter crowds and less congested aisles this year, but sometimes less is more.

The FlexiShield family poses for a photo.

“It’s odd—obviously, the foot traffic is way down than it normally would be,” said Aaron Miller, director of international sales for FlexiShield. “However, the quality of the traffic is much higher. We have people that are coming here directly, [and] we’re already getting samples to them by the time we get back.”

Eagle Enterprises’ team is emphasizing its new template program, taking stock of the industry and looking ahead to 2022 during supply chain challenges. Tj Clayton, sales, said the aisles are lighter in density but packed with business opportunities.

“It seems like the people that are here are truly trying to seek the next best thing,” Clayton said. “They’re really the ones investing into their company. The numbers are down, but the people here are legit—they’re the ones wanting to do something big.”

West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center reverberated with similar sentiments on business to consumer (B2C) interactions. Ryan Scislowics, director of sales and marketing for KPMF, said, “People know exactly what they want, and they’re going to the booths they want to see. Maybe in a busy year, they don’t get as much direct attention. I think when we look back on this in a few years, we’ll all be glad we showed up for this.”

This year’s show came with hurdles, but Subramanyam Krishnan, sales director of Global Window Films, has encountered engaging customers.

Oscar Lopez and Rea Jose Vilmer are displaying new film at SEMA.

“Earlier, there used to be large crowds,” Krishnan said. “But the quality of the crowd was such that even the most interested customer would walk past you. Seeing that we’re able to give individual attention, we seem to get a good, quality crowd. People are interested in the business, wanting to buy [and] wanting to associate themselves with the brand.”

This year’s show is Protec Window Film’s seventh and an opportunity for its team to display its new nano ceramic film. Sales representative Oscar Lopez said crowds have been lighter, but he’s glad to be back in person after a year of fostering digital connections—a sentiment shared by attendees and exhibitors alike.

“We had to make some changes,” Lopez said. “We had to start talking to people through media, Instagram, Facebook—we had to make some changes in order to survive in business … Being back, it’s been amazing.”

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