As evidenced by the bustling crowds coursing through the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center the week of Nov. 5, exhibitors are reporting their most successful showings in the Collision Repair & Refinish section of the show to date.
"In a word, awesome!" shares Frank Terlep, CEO of Summit Software, of his company's experience as a vendor at the 2013 SEMA Show. "I am amazed at the level of growth that the Collision Repair & Refinish section of the show has experienced in a few short years. What's also very encouraging is the steady increase in number of collision players coming through. Every year, we meet more and more buyers and professionals directly related to the business of collision repair, and in terms of quality leads, this was our best year yet."
As he explains, part of Terlep's enthusiasm as an exhibitor stems from the positive direction the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has taken in promoting the industry through the SEMA Show. "As soon as I heard SCRS was taking a larger role [at SEMA] with the Collision Repair & Refinish section, I immediately said, 'I'm in,'" he recalls. "They do an amazing job of promoting the industry and the collision repair pros that comprise it, between a strong presence at the show itself and a ton of awesome educational opportunities. As I've experienced, every year that SCRS partners with the SEMA Show is better and better. If you're into cars and the business of repairing them, there's no place like SEMA for you."
"I can't say enough good things about this year's show," says Tim Morgan, managing director of Spanesi Americas. "Everything about the event is so exciting — from the new products to the nonstop traffic of current and future customers. We don't often get to meet all our customers face to face, so SEMA is a terrific opportunity for us to reach out to these people in person to thank them for their business, answer any questions they may have and tie together their experience as a customer."
The Spanesi team showed their support in a big way at the 2013 SEMA Show, from various show specials to a celebrity booth appearance by television star Mark Boone Jr. (Sons of Anarchy) and educational support with Morgan himself presenting "Maximizing Efforts Through Blueprinting and Shop Layout" on Thursday, Nov. 7, as part of SCRS' Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series. "I am completely blown away by how SCRS has helped bring an already fantastic event to the next level," Morgan notes. "From a training standpoint alone, they've raised the bar immensely. As long as SCRS is a part of SEMA, we will be, too."
First-time exhibitor The Hertz Corp. is likewise pleased with their participation at SEMA. As Off-Airport Operations Region General Manager Pete McGinnis reports, "We had a great showing and experienced a lot of quality booth traffic. SEMA has proven to be a great opportunity for Hertz to increase its presence throughout the industry and we're confident, working with SCRS will prove beneficial to ourselves as well as our future collision repair partners."
NAPA Paint & Supply (NAPA) showcased its largest exhibit space to date at the 2013 SEMA Show, and as NAPA's Chris Nichols, director of PBE (U.S Automotive Parts Group) explains, the team has already noted a return on their investment with increased booth traffic and publicity. "We came to SEMA this year with a completely redesigned, expanded booth, and we experienced a great deal of traffic through our area every day of the show," he offers. "We've participated in SEMA as part of the Collision Repair & Refinish section every year since SCRS has been involved in its development, and this was without a doubt our largest presence, not to mention the largest show."
As Frank Jemiola, global technical manager (pigments-solventborne) for PPG Automotive Refinish adds, in term of quality trade shows, SEMA is a clear winner. "The crowds here are different from those at any other event in the world," he says. "They are the most committed to being here, in my opinion. They expect to leave with solutions and understanding, and we are able to provide them with informative solutions and quality products to take back to their businesses."
"We had a great show, and we're so pleased to work with SCRS this year," adds Jemiola, a panelist at one of SCRS' RDE additional free educational sessions that were held on the Collision Repair & Refinish (CR&R) stage. "They are incredibly helpful not only to us as an exhibitor, but to the collision industry in general. They've taken an already great location and event, and enhanced it even more with training opportunities and a ton of knowledge you can use in your shop tomorrow. We've received great support from SCRS, and have enjoyed our show greatly."
"We are encouraged and pleased to be witnessing a steady build in both size and support of the Collision Repair & Refinish section of the SEMA Show," states SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. "Every year, we are proud to welcome a number of new exhibitors to the CR&R section, all of which embody the mission of SCRS to 'educate, inform and represent the collision repair professional in all aspects of the industry.' This year's supporting companies are among the absolute best in the industry, and we look forward to working with them as we begin planning next year's event."
The 2013 RDE series is sponsored by supportive industry organizations such as SEMA, PPG Automotive Refinish, GM Genuine Parts, BASF Refinish, Ford Motor Company, AkzoNobel Coatings, HERTZ, Axalta Coating Systems, Goliath Carts, PBES (a division of AAIA), LKQ Corp., SATA, Spanesi Americas, Sherwin-Williams and AASP.