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SEMA Show 2023 education expanded, 99 sessions starting Oct. 30

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Associations | Education
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Education offerings at this year’s SEMA Show will be expanded to begin on Monday, Oct. 30 including two comprehensive three-part programs on digital marketing and electric vehicle (EV) certification. An inaugural SEMA Women in Automotive symposium will also be held this year.

The 2023 SEMA Show will be held Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“We want to support our attendees by offering a customizable learning journey for skill development and competency-based education inclusive of the show and throughout the rest of the year,” said Pamela Brown-Matthis, SEMA director of education. “Our goal is to engage showgoers by creating high-energy learning situations throughout the show environment and creating educational opportunities that are delivered in various formats, whether they be ‘fireside chats,’ workshops, Main Stage Experiences, or celebrity showcases.”

“Digital Marketing Bootcamp: The Impending Evolution of Digital Marketing & What You Need to Do to Thrive” will be held on Oct. 30 from 1-5 p.m. Discussions and workshops will delve into the latest industry “megatrends that are disrupting and fundamentally changing how marketing is done,” SEMA said.

Specifically, three megatrends will be covered: consumer privacy legislation and how it results in less insight on who customers are and their buying journey, platform consolidation and the reemergence of “walled gardens,” and the rise of new marketing tools and technology trends including artificial intelligence (AI), black boxing and ChatGPT.

Participants that complete the boot camp sessions with at least two additional digital marketing sessions will earn a SEMA Certificate of Completion.

The bootcamp schedule is as follows:

    • 1-1:30 p.m. – Kickoff keynote “Digital Persuasion 2.0 – Navigating the AI Revolution” by Erin King
    • 1:45-3 p.m. – Workshop Session No. 1: “The Future of Digital” by Jim McKinley
    • 3:15-3:45 p.m. – Workshop Session No. 2: “Unlock the Power of AI, Black Boxing and ChatGPT” presented by Darrel Booker with Microsoft
    • 4-5 p.m. – Panel discussion moderated by Dan Kahn with Khan Media. Panelists will be Erin King, Strikepoint Media; Jim McKinley, (un)Common Logic; Darrell Booker, Microsoft; Ashley Cavazos, Walser Automotive Group, and Chelsea Craig, Rhino Reviews.

The EV certification program, from Legacy EV, will be held on Oct. 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will include hands-on training for technicians that want an upskill understanding of EV anatomy, powertrains, and electrical theory. Participants that complete the program will receive an EV101 certificate from Legacy EV.

“SEMA Women in Automotive Symposium: Tools to Empower, Equip and Elevate” will be on Nov. 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. SEMA says it will be a way for women to network, mentor and participate in professional development programs geared toward helping women accelerate and advance in their careers and in business.

Common challenges faced by women in the industry and solutions to them will be covered. Tools and essential skills to drive business and career advancement will also be discussed.

During the symposium, there will be an opening keynote speech and a four-part microlearning workshop called “A Business Case for Cultivating Purpose.” The workshop will be “perfect for those who need to glean key concepts in a shorter time span,” SEMA said. A panel discussion will also be held to close out the symposium.

The schedule is as follows:

    • 11 a.m.-12 p.m. – Opening keynote
    • 12-12:45 p.m. – Lunch, networking, and keynote
    • 1-2 p.m. – Microlearning lab (mini workshops)
    • 3-4 p.m. – Panel: “Driving the Future of Automotive,” moderated by Cheryl Thompson, president of CADIA

The workshops will be:

    • “Becoming A Woman-Owned Certified Enterprise” by Melanie White, CEO of Hellwig;
    • “Self-Branding: The ACTION Behind Building your Personal Brand” by Jacki Lutz, senior marketing manager at Sensata Technologies;
    • “The Power of Mentorship, Sponsorship, Allyship as a Strategy for Success” by Deanna Singh, managing partner at Uplifting Impact; and
    • “Make the Jump! 4 Steps to Becoming the Authority in Your Industry” by Shaundra Dineen, president of Rubyz Global Coaching and Consulting.

There will be six “highly focused” SEMA Education tracks this year: “Inside the Shop,” “Aftermarket Updates and Future Trends,” “Small Business Strategy,” “Sales and Marketing,” “Vehicle Technology and Electric Vehicles,” and “Legal and Regulatory.”

Other education opportunities include Dale Carnegie’s “Leadership Essentials” — a six-part series by executive coaches from the world-renown Dale Carnegie Program, designed to enhance leadership skills, as well as education sessions from SEMA partners Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), and the Tire Industry Association (TIA).

SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg told Repairer Driven News the society has made a conscious effort every year to receive attendee feedback and reimagine its Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series. The biggest change this year will be holding the IDEAS Collide Showcase on Monday instead of the usual Friday.

“We think there are a ton of really valid reasons to make this change, least of which being that it sets the stage for finding solutions for your business through the week ahead while introducing attendees to a number of really phenomenal speakers,” Schulenburg said.

The showcase features 10 fast-paced presentations, similar to TED Talk sessions but specific to the collision repair industry. The topics “seek to rattle the status quo with ambitious ideas that could have a transformative effect on the industry and your business.”

“I can’t think of a better kickoff to the week, and it’s a good reason to get into Vegas early, on Sunday or Monday morning,” Schulenburg said.

This year’s showcase includes, according to SCRS:

    • “A Health Plan Your Employees Can Love: Fantasy or Within Reach?” from Ben Simmons with Gravie: Simmons will cover a health plan that combines access to benefits people actually use with a customer experience that prioritizes ease and simplicity — while also reducing premium and claim expenses. He’ll share how one industry disruptor has been successful in innovating one of the most challenging industries in the nation, and learn how its flagship health plan is creating benefits its members and employer customers love.
    • “Culture: The Real Job Market Currency” by Michael Bradshaw with K&M Collision: Establishing and building a winning, team-centric culture is the key to success in today’s ultra-competitive collision repair landscape. Learn how to instill a winning culture that encourages growth, provides increased productivity, and makes you stand out as the employer of choice in your market.
    • “Being Burdened with the Burden of Proof” by Richard Desvousges with 3M Collision: The steps to research repairs to the OEM standard, capture repair procedures, and document repair costs can be time-consuming. As insurers continue to handle claims virtually, body shops and their staff are being burdened with a burden of proof. Recent trends are moving towards a 1:1 ratio of technicians to estimators to document proper repair procedures. Desvousges will discuss how to capture procedures, validate safe repairs, and ease the burden of proof in the body shop.
    • “Mentoring: Opportunity Amidst Labor Crisis” by Kyle Holt and Marc Brune with Mentor Mentee: Holt and Brune will tackle the topic of the industry’s technician shortage and how to use on-the-job training, mentoring, and entry-level technicians as tools to consider when shops are evaluating options. Learn how to succeed in building a plan centered on the achievement of long-term success, assess the right people for your program, develop technician-specific career paths, set actionable goals using task lists, andbuild engagement with your mentors.
    • “Death of the ‘Estimator’ Role” by Andrew Batenhorst with Pacific BMW Collision Center: Batenhorst will tease solutions to transition away from a now antiquated job role in a sneak peek of the idea behind Tuesday’s full course on the “Death of the Estimator Role.” He’ll provide perspective on why shops might consider implementing a shift from estimating to more thorough repair planning, and insight into the takeaways promised in the 90-minute session later in the week.
    • “Growth through Acquisition — What You Need to Know” by Bing Wong with Collision Builders: The key things body shop operators need to know when considering growing their business through acquisition will be covered by Wong. Attendees will leave the session having a better understanding of the benefits of growing through acquisition, what to look for in a potential target, how much should be paid for a shop, top tips on deal structure, and three things to avoid when buying a shop.
    • “The Power of One More Booth Cycle Per Day” by Jason Garfoot with 3M Collision: Learn what paint booth efficiency really means and how to maximize the efficiency of paint booth cycles. Learn the massive gains you can achieve by getting one more booth cycle per day.
    • “The Culture Code” by Tracy Dombrowski with Collision Advice: This session aims to answer why some organizations become greater than the sum of their parts while other groups fall short based on concepts presented in “Culture Code” by Daniel Coyle and applied to the collision repair industry.
    • “Creating a Build Sheet for Your Garage Liability Insurance” by Shaughn Kennedy with SPARK Underwriters: Learn how to create a build sheet of the core coverages needed to protect your collision repair business, what coverages are required, how insurance distribution affects getting coverage, what the risk exposures and correct coverage limits are, how to avoid common pitfalls, and determine if you need optional coverages.
    • “Fixing the Faucet: How to Increase the Flow of Technicians into the Industry” by Alex Crays with Career Technical Education Center: Crays will share his experience as an auto body instructor deeply involved in fostering talent in young men and women who are interested in the industry and the strategies he’s learned to foster interest and growth at the local level.

SCRS has also adjusted class times to allow for an hour between each class, facilitating less of a rush for attendees from one class to another and for more time on the show floor.

The OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit will be held on Thursday. While SCRS hasn’t shared the lineup yet, Schulenburg said it will be one of the most interesting and diverse OEM Summit sessions to date. The summit, made up of three sessions, is designed to put the audience in a room with innovators of automotive trends, design, and technology.

For more information about the SEMA Show, this year’s Education Program, or to register, visit


Featured photo credit: MortonPhotographic/iStock)

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