As the event manager at Calumet responsible for trade shows under the Bel-Ray and Royal Purple the first week in November is probably one of the busiest in my entire calendar. Not only are we exhibiting at SEMA, but across town at AAPEX as well and for 2016 we had two additional consumer marine shows that I responsibility for. But as always, with the help of a great support team of designers, sales people, marketing help and of course a great booth building company we were able to pull it off.
Set-up, for me, began on Saturday afternoon, three full days before show opening but with so many moving pieces it is essential to be on-site getting things in order. I am happy to say that the booth was pretty much assembled by the time I arrived on site and with the help of our Marketing and Event Coordinator cars were parked and final booth set-up went smoothly.
For SEMA this year we had a 30×80 space in Central Hall right next to Mothers and a short distance from the giant Ford display. We started with three vehicles including the G-Code Camaro from Ringbrothers, (more on that later), Kevin Stickle’s Limbo C10 built by Delmo Speed and an exclusive Supermodified racecar driven by Otto Sitterly. All three vehicles drew the attention of show attendees as did our schedule of events.
Show opening on Tuesday with TV personality Courtney Hansen signing autographs at 11:00, followed by a group of established racers at 1:00. This group included athletes from all types of 4 wheel competition and included the likes of Paul Tracy, PJ Jones, Robbie Pierce, Otto Sitterly, Tim Wilkerson, Arie Luyendyke Jr and Ed Carpenter. And is if that wasn’t enough we hosted the media unveiling of G-Code at 3:00. All in all, it was a super busy day filled with great customer interactions and tons of social media posts and events.
Wednesday was much less hectic with appearances as Katie Osborne from PowerNation TV stopped by to sign autographs and interact with her fans. Following Katie’s appearance, the booth was busy with customers and sales people taking meetings and discussing business. Thursday and Friday were much of the same with the traffic dying off around 2:00.
Saturday was the long flight home from Vegas to NJ. 5 1/2 hours in the air & a 3 hour time difference made for a long, long day.
In the end, the show was a huge success. The G-Code Camaro was picked by Velocity for the Battle of the Builders and left our booth on Thursday night. We were fortunate enough to roll in Andrew Lowe’s Phat Cat Dodge to fill in the empty space. The layout featured enough space to conduct meetings as well as allow people a place to sit down. Our new product Max Blast was prominently featured as were several other items from the vast line of performance oils and chemicals.
My iPhone step counter registered just under 100,000 steps for the eight days equating to almost 50 miles of walking. Time to start getting ready for SEMA 2017. See you in Vegas next year.