SEMA Exhibitor Checklist

When you’re looking to create an exhibit to present at trade shows, the most important thing is planning and preparation, and that’s wha...
Trade Show Shipping
December 4, 2019

When you’re looking to create an exhibit to present at trade shows, the most important thing is planning and preparation, and that’s what our SEMA Exhibitor Checklist is all about. There are lots of things you’ll need to give your attention to as you prepare to attend a trade show such as SEMA. There are plenty of opportunities to exploit and ways in which your business can draw attention to its products or services. But it’ll only play out that way if you’re prepared for what lies ahead and understand what you need to get right in order to succeed as a SEMA exhibitor or an exhibitor at just about any trade show.

Items on the SEMA exhibitor checklist should include:

  • Understand all deadlines
  • Create a schedule for your preparations
  • Schedule meetings with clients and prospects
  • Make your presence at the shown known on social media
  • Plan logistics and trade show shipping
  • Rehearse conversations and prepare selling points
  • Consider giveaways and other booth events
  • Plan for follow-ups and post-show strategies

So, if you’re going to be attending SEMA next time around, you should start thinking ahead and planning your exhibition at the soonest opportunity. You can start doing exactly that by making the most of our SEMA Exhibitor Checklist and ensuring you’ve got all of the most important things in order.

What is SEMA?

SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association and consists of more than 6000 companies in the automotive industry around the world. Those companies are involved in many different areas of the automotive industry, including original equipment manufacturers, aftermarket manufacturers, car dealers, media outlets, retailers, restorers, equipment distributors and many more besides.

The SEMA Show is the biggest event hosted by SEMA and it attracts representatives from companies all over the world. They come together to exhibit new concepts and products that they’re looking to take to market in the near future. It’s one of the biggest events in the calendar for the industry each year.

  • 2500 parts were debuted at the SEMA show last year and that number is expected to rise in the years ahead
  • It’s the world’s foremost specialist automotive products trade event and its reputation and influence are growing year on year
  • Educational seminars are held at the event, giving attendees the chance to gain new insights and learn while they’re there
  • More than 150,000 industry specialists, buyers and manufacturers attend SEMA

The first SEMA Show happened in 1967 and it’s been going from strength to strength ever since then. More and more companies have realized the power the event holds, as well as the opportunities it offers to companies. There are incredible opportunities for product demonstrations, as well as some of the best marketing opportunities out there.

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Who Displays Goods at SEMA?SEMA Who Displays Goods at SEMA

There are many great reasons to display goods and services at the SEMA Show, and there are lots of different types of businesses out there that do exactly that. They know that they can get their new concepts and products in front of the right people. It’s the biggest event in the industry and everyone in attendance has an important role to play in how the industry develops in the future.

But who exactly displays their goods at SEMA? It’s a question with many different answers because, as you might already realize, there are lots of different strands to the industry and many important developments and enhancements that are currently ongoing. Here’s a list of some of the people and organizations likely to display at SEMA.

  • Automotive and parts manufacturers
  • Aftermarket automotive groups
  • Car dealers
  • OEMs (original equipment manufacturers)
  • Experts in automotive restoration
  • Specialty equipment distributors
  • Retail companies
  • Installation professionals
  • Anyone developing new technologies that are relevant to the future of the automotive industry

Why Should You Attend SEMA?

There are lots of important reasons for attending the SEMA show. This show is not open to the public, so it’s not going to be filled with casual spectators who are just there for a day out; it’s a much more serious gathering than that. It’ll be filled with professionals from all corners of the automotive industry, giving your business the chance to be seen and heard by people with genuine power and influence.

One of the main reasons why many people feel SEMA is valuable to their business is the networking opportunities it offers. Simply building industry contacts and meeting people that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet in other contexts can have a really big impact on the future of your business. As they say, it’s all about who you know in the world of business.

The educational sessions and workshops that are hosted at the SEMA Show are also hugely valuable to all kinds of businesses and individuals. There are so many people who learn new things that they wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance to learn, simply because they took the chance to attend the SEMA show. You should make the most of that too.

What Are the SEMA Deadlines?What are the SEMA Deadlines

If you’re going to attend the SEMA show, it’s important to meet all of the relevant deadlines. Getting this sorted out and properly organized ahead of time will ensure you don’t miss out. There are deadlines for applying for exhibitions, as well as a range of other deadlines that you’ll want to know about.

  1. 120The First deadline you should know about is the deadline for the feature vehicle display application. This is for vehicles that are going to be displayed outside of a booth. The deadline for this is July 31st
  2. You need to submit any press releases for pre-show publications by August 2nd. Advertising space reservations need to be submitted by August 20th and listing information should be submitted by August 23rd.
  3. All of the deadlines relating to the SEMA Show can be found by following this link.

Failing to meet these deadlines will make your life a lot more difficult. The deadlines tend to be quite strict as well. If you miss them, the chances are you’re not going to get another chance to get your application in. As you might expect from such a popular and heavily-attended event, there’s plenty of competition for places and if you miss out, there’ll always be another company that’s more than happy to take your place.

It’s important to plan ahead and think about the things you need to finalize and arrange before you place your application. And by planning ahead and making sure you get all of this right, you can secure a place and take advantage of all the benefits that come with exhibiting at the SEMA Show. Now that you know what the deadlines are, you can start planning ahead for the next show.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

What is the SEMA Exhibitor’s Manual?What is the SEMA Exhibitor’s Manual

The people at SEMA take steps to ensure their exhibitors have a full understanding of all the aspects of exhibiting at the trade show. That’s where the SEMA Exhibitor’s Manual steps in. It’s a document that’s been written to answer any and all questions exhibitors might have when they attend the show and display their booths. They discuss all the resources you should know about.

Every aspect of the show and what exhibitors should know about it is discussed in the clearest and basic way possible. They don’t assume that you already have an understanding of the show and how it works from an exhibitor’s point of view. That makes it an ideal and truly helpful manual for anyone who is looking to exhibit at the SEMA Show for the very first time.

First of all, they provide a section on the trade show, what it’s all about and all of the basic information that you should know about it before exhibiting at it. They’ll also talk about things like badges, registration and special events that take place. This is important information for exhibitors to have available to them ahead of the show.

Logistical issues, such as parking, hotels and travel are all covered because that stuff is important too. Booth information and display information is also provided, which is key because that kind of thing tends to differ from trade show to trade show.

Things like timing are discussed, so you’ll know when your freight needs to arrive at the show. Again, these are logistical factors that will be utterly vital to the smooth functioning of your exhibit at the show.

All the information about marketing and advertising opportunities at the SEMA Show are included as well. You should definitely take the time to read all of this information if you want to get the most out of the exhibit.

SEMA Exhibitor Checklist

It’s vital to have a complete SEMA Exhibitor Checklist at your disposal ahead of the event so you can be clear about all of the things you need to do and get right before you exhibit your display at the next SEMA Show. It’s easy to miss things and fail to cover all of the relevant bases when you’re planning for a trade show appearance, so let this helpful checklist make your life easier.

  1. Start by understanding all of the deadlines and everything that you need to do ahead of the trade show. SEMA has a range of things you need to do and things you need to submit if you’re going to display at the event, and you’ll need to meet those deadlines, as we discussed above.
  2. Create your own schedule for your own preparations. Decide what the aims of your display will be and which goals you want to hit at the event. Make sure each department that’s going to be involved understands what they need to do and what’s expected of them.
  3. Think about scheduling booth meetings with clients and other important prospects. The booths that do things like this tend to be the ones that are most successful at SEMA.
  4. To make the most of the event, you need to make it clear that you’re going to be there. Be active on social media and make sure that your presence is felt. You never know who might see those posts and decide to pay your booth a visit. It’s also good for your audience to see you’re attending these important events.
  5. Your forward planning should involve logistics, which we’ll talk more about later. If you’re traveling to the SEMA Show, you should plan ahead to ensure your goods and all the elements of your booth arrive at the show location on time and ready to use.
  6. It’s a good idea to think about giveaways. What are you going to hand to clients and prospects to ensure they remember your business and the interaction you shared after they walk away from your booth? Something similar and audience-appropriate could make a real difference.
  7. Practicing conversations and planning out how you’re going to direct discussions and interactions is important. The people doing the talking should have good interpersonal skills and know how to engineer productive interactions. That comes through planning and practice between you and your team.
  8. You should think about what’s going to happen after the event as well. Plan some debriefing exercises and think about following up with the people you spoke to. For this to happen, you need to plan it in advance and come up with workable strategies.

Hopefully, this checklist will have helped you gain a better understanding of the things you need to get right before you attend the next SEMA Show. The SEMA Exhibitor Checklist can help all kinds of companies looking to attend the show. Whether you’re attending the SEMA Show for the very first time or you’re a seasoned veteran, good preparation is always key.

The companies that get the most out of the many benefits the SEMA Show has to offer are the ones that prepare in advance and get everything right. It’s impossible to do that if you’re not planning ahead and making preparations for how you’re going to come out of the SEMA Show with the best possible outcomes.

The SEMA Exhibitor Checklist above should provide you with all the help and guidance you need when you’re preparing for a big trade show event. It can be confusing a little overwhelming, especially when you’re planning to attend the SEMA Show for the very first time, but you’ll find it much easier with the help of our exhibitor checklist.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

What Else Do SEMA Exhibitors Need to Know?

There’s plenty you need to know about the SEMA Show before you attend as an exhibitor. First of all, it’s vital to know that if you want to exhibit at the show, you’ll need to submit an Exhibit Space Design Notification if you’re planning on creating a display that’s more than 20’ x 20’. For multi-level exhibits, even more information and details will need to be provided in order to ensure safety and structural integrity well in advance of the event.

Freeman Electrical Services are available at the event, and you should make the most of these services. The people at SEMA know how challenging it can be to set up a display and to get it all working as it should. During that whole process, good electrical support is vital and you should make the most of it.

SEMA uses freight target dates so that you know exactly what you need to have your freight arrives at the location where the event is taking place. If you miss the target date, it’ll be more difficult for everything to be set up on time and ready to go by the start date of the show. It’s one of the reasons why shipping and freight planning are so important and should never be overlooked.

Exhibitor staff will need to be registered ahead of the event. You should receive an email from SEMA telling you about this and how you go about registering them. But don’t assume that you can just turn up with a team of people ready to work at your booth for the duration of the trade show if you haven’t first registered them as employees. It doesn’t work like that and they won’t be allowed to work if they don’t have registrations.

Trade Show Shipping with R+L Global Logistics

If you’re thinking of attending the SEMA trade show as an exhibitor and you want to make sure that all of your stuff and the things that are going to make up your exhibit get there safely and on time, our shipping services are for you. R+L Global Logistics has established partnerships with trade show booth shipping organizers, making us ideally placed for clients looking to ship their things to trade shows like SEMA.

The whole process will be easy and seamless at your end. And as long as you follow the SEMA exhibitor checklist outlined above, you’ll be able to ensure the task of presenting at SEMA is smooth from start to end. After all, that’s the way it should be. We’ll support you throughout the process and keep you informed so that you never have to worry at any point throughout the process.

We have a very large network in place - even for selling Canadian goods -  to ensure your shipment makes its way to the trade show in a timely, efficient and safe kind of way. You’ll find the whole process effortless because our professionals will take care of everything on your behalf. Call or reach out online to get a quote today!

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

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