Calendars don't lie. That's the bad news. That can only mean the show that we use a four-letter word to describe — SEMA — is less than three weeks away.
The madness that is the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show, or SEMA show for short, officially begins Nov. 5 at 9 a.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center and runs through Nov. 8.
Held concurrently with the event is the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo, more commonly known as AAPEX. The event, co-owned by the Auto Care Association (ACA) and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the light vehicle aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), is held at the nearby Sands Expo, Nov. 5-7.
It's hard to believe, given the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds that roam the exhibit halls, but both events are trade-only, meaning the event is closed to the general public. Only exhibitors, media members or employees of a qualified company can attend.
Many tire dealers have told me they'd love to go, or they'd love to go back again. It's difficult to get away, many say, even though it's a week spent in the sunshine and glitz of Las Vegas.
If you're one of those dealers who wish they could attend but can't, there's good news.
You still can be there.
This year, Tire Business will be broadcasting livestreams from our booth, #42051, located in the South Hall.
You can get a taste of what's going on at SEMA by signing up for one or all of our livestreams, broadcast online live from Las Vegas.
Our advertising department has seven sessions planned at this writing, at least two each on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of that week, with more yet to be scheduled. And our editorial department has one planned for Tuesday, with perhaps a surprise to come.
Here is the advertising-driven schedule thus far:
Tuesday, Nov. 5
10 a.m. (all times Pacific Coast time), Giti (USA) Ltd: Jim Mayfield, executive vice president of sales, and David Poling, director of tire development and product marketing at the Giti R&D center, will be discussing the Singapore-headquartered tire maker and its milestones, particularly the value of having its R&D and manufacturing plant together in Richburg, S.C. The company also will talk about one of its brands, GT radial, and share what's new and what to expect from the brand in 2020.
1 p.m., TireConnect: Chance Harrington, director, business development sales and marketing and co-founder of the company, will discuss the changes in consumer buying habits and why it's imperative that today's tire dealers change the way they market and sell. Bridgestone Americas Inc. acquired TireConnect in 2015.
Wednesday, Nov. 6
1 p.m., Bartec USA L.L.C: Officials from the Sterling Heights, Mich.-based maker of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) diagnostic tools will discuss some their latest products, including the Rite-Sensor, a programmable, single part, multi-frequency replacement TPMS sensor. Executives also will talk about service kits and replacement valves; diagnostic and mechanical tools; and tech and data management support.
2:30 p.m., 1-800 EveryRimOEM Wheels: President Billy Eordekian will share tips with dealers on how to profit from the sale of OEM wheels. Mr. Eordekian will discuss how to identify damaged wheels and engage the customer into making informed decisions when purchasing wheels.
Thursday, Nov. 7
11:30 a.m., Elgi Rubber Co. Ltd.: Ron Mohler, sales and marketing manager of the India-based manufacturer of tire repair, retreading products and rubber reclaim, will talk about some of the most important issues that are affecting the industry. Some of the topics include Chinese products, tariffs, repair legislation, manufacturing/production automation, digital interfaces, training, market globalization and market saturation.
2:30 p.m., Wegmann Automotive USA Inc.: Gregory Parker, national account sales, marketing and product management director, will share the latest developments and products from the international producer of wheel balance weights. Wegman executives also will talk about the history as well as the future of the brands, as well as offer tips for wheel balance and air control in the shop.
Nexen Tire America Inc.: Executives are expected to reviews the latest offerings from the Seoul, South Korea-based tire maker, whose goal is to secure 3.25% market share in the U.S. by 2020 and crack the Top 10 in global sales by 2025.
In addition, I'll be hosting a livestream on Nov. 5 at 4:30 p.m. My guest will be the 2019 Tire Business Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award winner, whose idenity won't be announced until the Tire Industry Association's honors banquet on Nov. 4.
This year's winner will discuss how he or she gives back to his or her community, as well as ways tire dealers might consider getting involved in their communities.
If you're one of the lucky ones coming to SEMA, be sure to stop by the Tire Business booth, not only to chat with members of our team, but also watch one of the livestreams in person.
And if you are unable to attend, be sure to visit www.tirebusiness.com/SEMAlive to sign up for any or all sessions.
Whether you attend in person or watch it live, each livestream will be available on our website to watch anytime that is convenient for you. All you need to do is register.
See you at the SEMA Show!