See You At SEMA - BodyShop Business

See You At SEMA

Editor Jason Stahl looks back on his first experience at the SEMA Show.

I’ll never forget my first SEMA Show experience. Someone had tried to prepare me by saying, “Imagine the biggest trade show you’ve ever been to…then multiply that by 100! It’s that big!” Still, when I showed up, the size and scale blew my mind.

I remember walking through the tire section and feeling like I had just stepped into an ultra-exclusive, high-end nightclub. The bass was pumping, the lights were turned low, and tall, voluptuous women were approaching me left and right (where they usually run screaming in the opposite direction).

Indeed, that trip was my first to Las Vegas ever! Up to that point, the basis for most of my knowledge of that town was the infamous book written by Hunter Thompson, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” So of course I half-expected to see animals doing acrobatic stunts on trapezes. While I didn’t quite see that, I did see people getting tattoos of tire treads on the show floor. And the cars…oh my. Every single one I passed, I found myself daydreaming about the same thing: me jumping in behind the wheel, tearing out of the show with a stylish squeal of the tires and heading into the sunset.

The growth of the Collision Repair & Refinish section at SEMA and the Repairer Driven Education seminars offered by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists has been encouraging to me. In fact, with all that’s being offered this year, including a discussion on State Farm’s controversial parts bidding program and a “Game Changers – Innovation Forum,” I think that any collision repairers who don’t go will miss out on staying in touch with the very information they need to grow their businesses in today’s ultra competitive and changing market. Check out our special SEMA Show preview section to see what else is going on. And hopefully I’ll see you there!

You May Also Like

Meet the Auto Body Instructor: Norm Markham

Norm Markham was a student at Dennis Technical Education Center in the early 1980s and is now one of the collision repair and automotive refinishing instructors there.

Norm Markham is one of the collision repair and automotive refinishing instructors at the Dennis Technical Education Center in Boise, Idaho. It turns out Markham is right back where it all started! He was a student in the very same school in the early 1980s and began his teaching career there too, where he has now helped find careers for 700 kids as well. 

Auto Body Shop Financials: Breakeven Point and Beyond

Knowing your fixed costs and breakeven point up front may be the difference in making money in a month or not.

Putting Your Passion for Your Auto Body Business to Work

It’s critical to create a culture where everyone embraces doing his or her job with the highest quality and providing excellent customer service — with the same passion that you as the owner have.

Don’t Eat the Bear in One Bite: Planning Your Future in Steps

Just like you don’t need to eat the bear in one bite, you don’t need to have a fully fleshed-out plan in order to have a successful future as a retired body shop owner.

Mystery of the SEMA Show Sticker Man Solved!

Meet Mickey Kahl, owner of Kahl’s Body Shop who’s been fighting insurers in his town a lot lately.

Other Posts

Meet the Auto Body Instructor: Amanda Levine and Deana Jones

With Amanda Levine and Deana Jones both dedicated to teaching collision at the Center for Applied Technology North, the school can offer a more focused approach.

Electric Vehicle Repair: It’s Inevitable

Now is the time to evaluate your needs and prepare for the EV evolution in collision repairs.

Does Process Improvement Really Work in the Auto Body Shop?

The question is not, “Do process improvement methodologies work in collision repair facilities?”
It’s, “Why don’t they work more often?”

Meet the Auto Body Instructor: Kevin Lester

Kevin Lester’s excitement for his collision repair and automotive refinishing program at Gaithersburg High School is contagious.