26th Annual Performance Racing Industry Show, Indianapolis, IN, / December 2013

Welcome to our coverage of the 2013 Performance Racing Industry Trade Show at The Indiana Convention Center. We'll get to the new products soon, but we'll start with the seminars I attended, which I feel are an absolute necessity for any performance business. Most other media sources only focus on the exhibits on the show floor, but for those of you in the business of performance The Performance Racing Industry Show is about helping your business grow and prosper. Through the excellent educational seminars such as MPMC Education Day and Winning The eRace, to the AETC Race Engine Conference and the Race Track Business Conference, The PRI Show is really about knowledge: the knowledge of business trends, of best marketing practices, and yes, of the new products that the manufacturers are unveiling at the show. There are also many opportunities for networking in the various pre- and post-show activities, such as the Happy Hour and the Grand Opening Breakfast. It's in these casual, relaxed settings that many big deals are surely struck.

If you're in the business of performance and have never attended The PRI Show, you are missing out on the knowledge that your competitors are gaining. Make a point to attend the 2014 show, and make sure you factor Wednesday's seminars into your plans.

I attended The 2013 PRI Show from Wednesday to Saturday. Everything about my stay was flawless, from the seminars that I attended, to the new products that I saw, to the hotel accommodations. By the way, the PRI Housing & Travel office is the way to go when booking your rooms; you will absolutely get the best hotel rates if you book through PRI directly.

Seminars: MPMC Education Day and Winning The eRace
How'd you like to receive free product training directly from the manufacturers themselves? That's what the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) provides at The PRI Show at their MPMC Education Day. As a result you'll be armed with correct product info that you can share with your customers. The MPMC Education Day included COMP Cams, Flowmaster, Mahle, MSD Ignition, Jiffy-tite Company and many others. I attended this one with Painless Performance Products, where Painless' Dennis Overholser gave an excellent and easy-to-understand crash course in automotive wiring and electrical systems. Dennis' presentation was followed by an informative Q & A session. This seminar removed a lot of the mystery that has surrounded automotive electrical for me.

Track owners / operators: this is for you! The Race Track Business Conference is designed to create dialogue and interaction among track operators, sanctioning body executives, track designers, financiers and attorneys. It's all about helping tracks innovate, improve safety, attract more customers and make more money.

This is the killer seminar, and it's free. You just cannot beat this. Winning The eRace is all about helping performance businesses better understand the various components of online marketing that are crucial to success. Some of the topics covered pertain to email marketing campaigns and proper website design.

Winning The eRace is moderated by Dan Schechner, Editor of Performance Racing Industry magazine. Dan is a young, technically-savvy guy who understands the digital age and how important digital communications are in today's business landscape.
The first presenter was Lorraine Ball, whose company RoundPeg (www.roundpeg.biz) helps businesses create smart marketing strategies. Lorraine was discussing how any business could benefit by utilizing email marketing such as through Constant Contact.

I attended the first Winning The eRace at the 2012 PRI Show, and I thought that one was well-attended. This one was packed!

Next was Tim Odom, President of The AAM Group, Automotive Accessories Marketing (www.PartsPro.com).

Tim is the author of "Winning Your Share: How Aftermarket Retailers Can Compete At The Intersection of Digital and Brick & Mortar." He discussed how to make your business more findable to those searching the Internet for automotive parts and services, and the importance of understanding the sales process once those customers are in the door.

Next up was the Social Media Stategy Panel, with Chris Douglas of COMP Cams, Brian Lounsberry of Motovicity Distribution and Steve Wolcott of ProMedia.

Social media is becoming bigger and more entwined in our society, and therefore a successful marketing strategy must make use of it. Douglas (above), Lounsberry and Wolcott all shered their experience and insight about incorporating social into the mix.

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Photos & videos: The Dragtime News