5 PERKS OF BEING AN AUTOMOTIVE MEDIA PERSON
My perspective on attending SEMA as part of the media
I initially started blogging online about cars and motorcycles as a hobby while finishing up my university degree. What I didn't realize was all the potential opportunities that would eventually come to pass. One of these opportunities involved DriveTribe sending me to Las Vegas to cover SEMA. This internationally known, B2B automotive trade show may be over for 2018, but there is still a bit more to cover. I posted a bunch of articles on SEMA and all of its glory, but now I want to take some time to talk about what it was like for me to attend the show. So, based on my personal experiences, here are five perks of being a media person at SEMA. Grab a snack, cause this is going to be a long one!
** I'm thinking about doing a series on this topic if you guys are interested. Perhaps, I would talk about my experiences at other car shows, motorcycle shows, going to car meets, other events, doing photoshoots, or even what it's like writing for websites. So, if you enjoy posts like these, let me know! ❤
LET'S GET STARTED
At the APR booth
The coolest part about being a media person is that many PR teams and companies reach out to you first. This made setting up interviews a breeze and much easier to schedule into the week. Not only was I offered cool interview opportunities, but I also received press conference invites, access to unique experiences reserved for VIPs, and many free meals! Because who doesn't love food? Regarding the cool experiences, we were invited to go for a drift drive in both the supercharged ROUSH Performance vehicles: An F-150 and their Stage 3 Mustang.
One of the companies I interviewed is APR. APR is a company that offers performance modifications for a selection of Volkswagen Group vehicles including Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, etc. For their SEMA display, they featured an Audi RS3 LMS TCR. They also showcased their modified Golf R, which is arguably the most bonkers Golf on the planet since the Golf W12-650. APR's Golf R produces around 500HP!
I also had interviews with ROUSH Performance and Classic Recreations which I already covered in another post. Click here to read it.
One of my coolest shots which I needed to included somewhere in this post 😛
2. THE LOUNGE
The media lounge is a secluded heavenly place away from all the chaos of the SEMA crowds. Nestled within the Skybridge, the lounge supplies green badge holders with luxury and comfort. By luxury and comfort, I mean coffee and pretzels. And by coffee, I mean decaf coffee because I arrived too late. We opted for foldable chairs, which was one level above sitting on the floor.
We then unintentionally got pulled into a press conference by 'Marvel Mystery Oil,' but they seemed interesting and advertised a free lunch so we stayed. They also gave us cool shammy towels, which we intend to use on our vehicles. Overall, their press conference was pretty sweet. They played a video that documented how they partnered with Max Herman to build a hot rod from the ground up, which they call the 'Marvelizer,' and showcased their journey to racing victory at "The Race of Gentlemen."
Overall, we were so busy taking photos and exploring, that we really only spent time in the lounge on the last day of the show. Moving on...
The struggle of trying to take a picture of the cars without other people in the shot 😂 #awkward
3. MOMENTS OF AWKWARDNESS
The first day was a little difficult in terms of picking up the media badges. We definitely didn't realize just how absolutely MASSIVE the Las Vegas Convention Centre is. We needed to pick up the media badges from a special room that was in the Skybridge. (The Skybridge is a walkway that connects to of the Convention Centre's buildings together.) Because it's a bridge, it wasn't beside any particular gate, and so we took a cab to the nearest gate, expecting that if they didn't let us in, it wouldn't be a big deal to walk around to another one. They didn't end up letting us in, and instructed that we had to go to the busiest gate that would take 45 minutes to walk to. This meant we had to take another cab from one side of the Convention Centre to the other because it was so far, but even the cab drivers didn't want to endure the crazy crowds. Eventually, we found a super helpful cab driver who surprisingly got us there in no time, and everything was fine.
I think another awkward part of the show was the fact that everyone would stare at each other's badges. It was like a weird judging contest. For example, while walking through the crowds, people would bend down to read what my badge said. I think they thought that they were being subtle, but it most definitely was not. Perhaps it's because I was most likely one of the youngest people there? Either way, it was a very strange experience.
4. REQUESTING DEMOS
A good portion of "the hunt" at SEMA involved checking out all the booths and making sure to capture photos of as many awesome vehicles as we could. It's surprisingly a little harder than you think. I mean, you have to aim to get a good shot of hundreds of vehicles despite the crowds, other people poking around the vehicles, and the awful lighting. I think it's safe to say that there was a portion of photos that were either blurry, too dark, or simply not good enough (Because you guys obviously deserve the best!).
Anyway, we were exploring a corner of one of the giant wings of the convention centre. While doing this, we would occasionally pause, take a photo of a cool vehicle, record the name of the booth, and perhaps ask a question pertaining to the display. We were focusing on a particular vehicle, and then a demonstration caught our eye at another booth. Naturally, we started to gravitate to the other booth until an individual chased after us to insist we take photos of his booth which featured a lifted Jeep. We complied, and followed him to take a couple pictures of his Jeep. We then quickly rushed back only to find out that the demo we so badly wanted to see was over!
It wasn't just any demo though, and so we went over and explained that we were media and would really like to see them do the demonstration again. They were kind enough to do so and because of that, we got video footage of a Twin Mill. From the responses I received from you guys when I posted it, I think it was well worth it 😉.
CHECK OUT THE TWIN MILL:
During the SEMA Cruise
5. GETTING THAT VIEW
You know when you go to a public event, there's always places that you're not allowed to stand and security always request that you go somewhere else? Okay, so for the first time ever, I was able to stand in the "no standing zone" because I was a media person. #Goals, I know 😛.
So, on the last day of SEMA, we got there early so that we could find a good spot to watch the SEMA cruise where all the vehicles drive out of the convention centre. Little did we know, that there was a designated media standing spot so that photographers and bloggers could get a good view for their content. (The next step would have been to put on a security vest that would allow us to hop over the fence and run around snapping photos of the cars - which we could have apparently done, oh well.) Anyway, here is some of the footage I captured, enjoy!
VIDEO CLIPS FROM THE SEMA CRUISE:
And that's it! What did you think of my list? What experiences do you want me to cover next? Let me know in the comments!