Karl Sterns speaking at SEMA, marketing solutions by KMS Marketing Solutions

SEMA 2015 Seminars

So, I’m really humbled with this. When SEMA approved my proposals to speak at SEMA 2015, I was excited and hopeful. When they notified me I was scheduled for Tuesday, I was… well… disappointed. Tuesday? 10 AM? The SEMA Show opens at 9 AM on Tuesday. I had no hope that I would have ANYONE in my program. Boy, was I wrong.

First, let me tell you about my trip to SEMA. On Sunday morning, I got up at 2:30 AM. I had to leave for the airport at 4 AM. In my inbox was an email from Zane Clark, a speaker on the program for the Manufacturer’s Rep Council had taken ill and they needed an emergency fill in for 3:30 PM. Could I do it? I responded either I could, or my partner Dave Yunghans could.

Well, Sunday was supposed to be my day to “breathe.” It wasn’t turning out that way. Mind you, I would do anything I could for Zane because he’s a great guy. We broke him in to his new job with SEMA when I was PRO Council chairman. He was supportive of the council and has moved on within SEMA to be a tremendous asset to the industry. So, I couldn’t let Zane down. Well, thank goodness for Dave… because Dave did all seven presentations. I got there after the event started, thanks to the luggage carousels at McCarren. Dave was already fired up and going. So, we made it through Sunday.

Monday was going to be “go to education programs and learn stuff” day. Nope. My client did not get their booth stuff in on Sunday, so they needed help. My partner, Nicki Schoen, was getting in at 1 PM so I had to make sure to get her into her hotel and then drag her back to the convention center (poor thing endured a Spirit Airlines flight to Vegas and probably needed a soak in the tub and bed). I spent Monday evening in my hotel room going through my two presentations for the next day. Vegas is all party and fun, right? Wrong… not when you’re a professional speaker and you visit there several times a year. I hardly ever see anything of Vegas except what I view from the monorail….

So, Tuesday arrived. I had fears of stepping into an empty room and presenting my program to 5 people. Thirty minutes before my program started, I was in the room. There were already about 15 people in there. “No place else to crash?” I thought. Nope… they wanted to be sure they had seats. Fifteen minutes before I was to begin, the room had 50 people in it. Hmm… not bad. My dear friend, Jim Goguen of Jim’s Auto Installations (www.jimsauto.net) was standing there smiling at me. Jim is always smiling. He made me feel a big burst of confidence. Realizing this party was already starting, I said to Jim, “Here’s a mic. Tell everybody why you use email marketing.” He talked for 15 minutes about his success, which by the way is quite remarkable, and he really warmed up the crowd. By the time I started, there were over 100 people in the room and they were still streaming in. SEMA later reported to me I had 192 in attendance. Highest attendance for a Tuesday education program. Wow!

It was a great crowd with a lot of interest in the topic. Personally, as a part of the industry, I was amazed at the people in that room and the level of expertise. These are MY people! This is MY industry. When I asked how many had marketing plans, more hands went up than in ANY seminar I’ve presented to ANYWHERE in the US in ANY industry. My industry gets it more than any other! I was so proud and enthused.

Here are some of the contents SEMA shared with me:

  • “Great seminar. If the rest of the show was not even here it made the trip worth it!”
    (WOW. Whoever wrote this… Thank You. After years and years of working within the SEMA Councils, pouring my heart into my industry, this one comment brought tears to my eyes. To think someone actually felt MY presentation was just as valuable as millions of square feet of exhibit space with thousands of exhibitors and over 130,000 people swarming the floor! Wow. I will never, ever forget this comment and I can only hope that I made an enormous impact on this person’s business life that will make them successful beyond their imagination.)
  • Very detailed – Lots of info
  • Excellent
  • Easy to follow
  • Good guidance
  • Enlightening
  • He knew his stuff
  • Fantastic
  • It was great
  • Some great points
  • Good & digestible information
  • Very informative and applicable today
  • Great content

Wow. Just wow. I cannot ever end the love affair I have with this industry and the people in it. What a privilege to be a part of it, and be someone who can help others achieve success.

I will finish this with huge thanks to Nicki Schoen, Jim Goguen and Dave Yunghans. You are not just friends but you have encouraged me, supported me and helped me achieve things beyond my dreams. I cannot thank you enough.

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