SEMA Show 2019 Summary

Today marks the end of the 2019 SEMA Show. I had several objectives when I came to the show and feel I made the best effort to achieve them. These goals were to attend a lot of the educational classes, find suppliers for gaps in the product line, see some cool cars and enjoy the time at the show with friends and family that continue to support BenzForce.

  • Education. I had 3-4 hours of seminars daily on the social aspects of running the business. This included Instagram, Facebook, data driven marketing, mobile first business strategies, etc. Producing content is very time consuming and it is often difficult to carve out time. Most of the seminars served as reinforcement to what I am already doing in terms of customer service and social platforms, but the quality of content needs to be improved. This will be an ongoing effort to get more comprehensive information to you in an engaging way.
  • Suppliers. Meeting the account rep from my aftermarket supplier was huge. He is very supportive of the monthly awareness campaigns and offered to work with me to see if additional discounts can be applied over and above my order level rebates. Getting the word out that BenzForce now has a huge catalog at its disposal is the target here, not profitability, so some offers have been at cost or even slightly lower. The awareness offers will not be a long-term strategy once the store is fully built out.

    At SEMA I wanted to find a different alternative for pistons, bearings, springs, turbos, nitrous, etc. Except for a spring and cam manufacturer, Nitrous Express (who own Snow Performance) and Zex, I really didn’t walk away with much. Most booth personnel did not understand their offerings at a basic level. Several booths I didn’t even get to talk to someone because the staff was too engaged in their own conversations or the staff was totally absent all together. It is a shame because I came with the intent to put relationships in place to private label their products.
  • Cars. Naturally the build vehicles were cool. I honestly feel that most of the SEMA attendees didn’t come here to do business, they came to see the cars and the celebrities. It’s all well and good but I think the exhibitors have been groomed to expect this, leading to the lack of product information in booths. Regardless, the builds themselves were outstanding. I am finding myself on two ends of the spectrum now. Part of me likes the old, unexpected super-street cars with the cage, stanced, and a wide tough look and the other side of me thinks I need to jump in the exotic market. I liked the Lamborghinis’ with the body kits and think there is enough room in that market as well.

One thing was for certain: Mercedes is grossly underrepresented. I found two builds of interest and they were not sporting Mercedes powertrains. I can’t say that I blame them for jumping ship because the market on the newer gas side is overpriced. I honestly feel I can address that market. Diesel will always be my entry point into the Mercedes realm but our gas counterparts need help too!


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