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Posted: September 20, 2013

Making The Most Out Of Attending The SEMA Show

Jeff Fink at Advantage shares his insights and tips on attending this year's SEMA show

By TTM Staff

With the 2013 SEMA show quickly approaching, we reached out to many truck accessory retailers, like Jeff Fink at Advantage Truck Accessories, who told us it was difficult for them to attend the show. Many can only go for one day. So we asked Fink to give us some tips on how to make the best use of your time at the show, and how to be sucessful in making appointments with key manufacturers.

TT: What tips do you recommend for truck accessory dealers and restylers to maximize their time and contact with manufacturers at the show? 

Fink: Pre-show planning is key to getting the most value out of the show. Gain an understanding of where the exhibitors are that you want to see and schedule booth appointments with all the “must see” exhibitors in an order that makes sense so you don’t have to back track all over the place. Then walk the sections of the floor that mean the most to you and your business, followed by secondary sections where you may find some surprises that you may consider offering. If you get through all that, you may have a chance to check out the coolest vehicles in the world that are staged throughout the exhibit halls and outside. I would allow a minimum of three full days to get through the show. 

TT: Many truck accessory retailers find it difficult or inconvenient to attend SEMA. Do you think they are missing out on unique opportunities for product presentations, one-on-one contact with sales people and special promotions at the show?

Fink: I think that everyone who is in the truck accessory business should come to the show. First, It is the best place to see and learn about new products. It is also a great opportunity to meet and network with industry peers and suppliers. Plus, it provides a the forum for you to get your voice heard with the key players from suppliers regarding product issues and recommendations.

TT: Overall, what do manufacturers like Advantage do to promote it's brands at the SEMA show?

Fink: Advantage ties in its trade advertising, sends out email blasts to our customers and prospects and requires our sales team to personally contact all active and prospective customers.

TT: What's the best way for a potential new dealer/jobber to approach your company at SEMA?

Fink: If it is important to the dealer/jobber,  we recommend making a booth appointment by calling or emailing myself or any member of the Advantage sales team so that they can be assured the person they want to talk with is in the booth at a time convenient. Or, if they would like, simply stop by our booth during the show. THI has two booths at the show, 33097 has Advantage Truck and BedRug and 31099 has Extang, Truxedo and Undercover.

Advantagte Truck Accessories is just one of several manufacturers we spoke with about attending the SEMA show. Make sure to get the September/October 2013 issue of Trucking Times, to find out more helpful tips, new products and special show discounts manufacturers are offering at the show. Many of the tips will help maximize  your time at the show, even if you can only attend for one day.

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