Auto Service World
Feature   October 1, 2007   by Auto Service World

Jobbers and WDs to Lead International Contingent at SEMA

The majority of early-registered international buyers for the 2007 SEMA Show are from wholesale and distributor-type businesses. Other business categories with a high number of registered international attendees for the show include accessories and installation centres, auto parts retailers, and automobile dealerships.

The large number of registrations from international wholesalers and distributors is increased from 2006, when accessories and installation centres and auto parts retailers tied as the top business segments to which international attendees reported they belonged.

For the second consecutive year, accessories was the leading product category in which international buyers reported an interest, with nearly 60% reporting an interest in the category in 2005 and 2006. Other product categories of interest to registered attendees include tires and wheels, performance parts and equipment, safety equipment, engines/engine parts, and truck parts and accessories.

International attendance at the SEMA Show has increased nearly 30% since 2004, and nearly one out of every five attendees at the 2006 Show came from outside the United States. The majority of international buyers attending the 2006 Show came from businesses that had been in existence for over 11 years, 66% reported annual sales of over $5 million, and 80% said they did at least some wholesale business.

Education Also a Major Focus For ’07

Professionals in the automotive specialty equipment market will also be able to home in on some of the industry’s most challenging issues by taking part in SEMA Education Week, which is held in conjunction with the SEMA Show.

The 2007 SEMA Education Week begins Monday, October 29, 2007–the day before the official opening of the SEMA Show–and includes nearly 50 opportunities for attendees to expand their business knowledge, discover new strategies and improve their leadership skills.

“As a trade association, SEMA is committed to giving industry professionals knowledge, motivation and resources for succeeding in the business world,” says Pat Benson, SEMA director of education. “With more than 100,000 industry professionals in Las Vegas for the SEMA Show, SEMA Education Week is a key component to this commitment.”

The 2007 program, which features 49 sessions taking place starting at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, October 29, and continuing until Thursday, November 1, includes a comprehensive list of industry-specific topics and speakers. All seminars are held in the Las Vegas Convention Center, and anyone registered to attend the SEMA Show is able to participate in the seminars free of charge.

“The specialty equipment market is unique, and so are the needs of industry professionals,” says Benson. “The educational program we put together addresses the industry’s most pressing needs and brings to them real-world solutions.” Benson says that this year’s educational program is the association’s best ever, with topics focusing on hot industry issues presented by some of the nation’s leading business experts. Through this year’s SEMA Show seminar schedule, attendees will discover:

* secrets to building a top-notch team

* hot trends in search engine marketing

* low-cost ways to maximize marketing effectiveness

* what’s new in the performance diesel market

* what RFID is all about

* what makes a successful counterperson–how to stop unproductive meetings

* and more.

Seminar details, including topics, dates, times, locations and descriptions, are posted on The website also includes updates and information about the SEMA Show, as well as an online registration form. Industry professionals who attended the 2005 or 2006 SEMA Show are encouraged to register using their personalized alumni number, which will save them time and allow them to register without having to resubmit proof of trade status. Alumni numbers were sent to all past attendees or can be obtained by contacting customer service at or calling toll-free at 866-229-3687 or 301-694-5243.

The SEMA Show attracts more than 100,000 industry leaders from 100 countries each year. In addition to business and professional development seminars, the event features more than 2,000 exhibiting manufacturers, product demonstrations, special activities and networking events.

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