My Favorite Things
A few of my favorite things is a theme that has served me well. In fact, last year I won—okay, tied with the art department—a Christmas door decorating contest in the office using that theme (thank you Julie Andrews!). Since I like that theme so much and as far as I’m concerned, the end of Halloween and SEMA signal the start of the Christmas season, here’s a special SEMA-edition list of my top five favorite things from this year’s show.
5. Switchable films: One of the newer products on the market that I saw at this year’s show and loved was switchable films. Electrochromic glazing and photovoltaics serve as, albeit luxury and far more expensive, competitors to window film. Having switchable films that harness much of the same technology for a lower price could proactively counter that product and offer companies (for architectural) the chance to retrofit existing glazing rather than pay to reinstall new glass lites. For automotive applications, it could offer solutions for states which currently have stringent tint laws. The two companies I saw with the product, Rayno Window Films and Glass Apps, say it could help change the market.
4. Outside-the-box marketing: Window film can be a hard product to sell because, if it’s installed properly, it likely isn’t the first thing a consumer notices about a car. American Standard Window Film (ASWF) has what I think is a rather elegant and brave solution. For their booth, they essentially removed the car from the display. While many other companies showcased their films on high-end luxury vehicles, ASWF had a designed “car” made up of structural bars. The only focal point of the display was the windows, drawing the eye to film and making it the top talking point.
3. Demos and challenges: Dealers are hands on visual people. The many paint protection film and vehicle wrap demonstrations on the show floor, as well as company challenges (tint a back lite, get entered to win a plotter system) really helped pull attendees in and give them the chance to test out these products. Notable, CCL Design offered hands-on experience with its Nanofusion line and LLumar offered a challenge to have interested attendees tint a back lite of a Corvette, testing the automotive film shrinkability, to be entered to win a plotter system and software from the company. 3M, Avery Dennison, PremiumShield and Xpel were among the many other companies offering product demos throughout the show.
2. Vehicle wraps: I wrote a blog about it. I talk about it regularly. Vehicle wraps are huge! It’s understood in the industry that nearly every single vehicle you see in every single hall at SEMA features window film to give it that sporty, luxury vehicle look exhibitors want for the show. This year, I noticed that a great deal of those vehicles also featured vinyl wraps. It was a product that extended well beyond the restyling section and into the other halls. Many of the attendees I spoke with at the show said that even though they deal primarily in window film, wraps were what they came to see this year. I think it’s going to continue to be a huge growth segment in our market.
1. Seeing you guys! This is of course my favorite thing! I love getting to see you guys and speak with everyone outside of the office. This year I was able to see several of my past Film Stars™ including Cesar Velasquez and Josh Hinton, two people I had yet to meet in person. I also got to catch up with Randy Humphries, the 2013 International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ Automotive Division Champion and hear about how he was personally requested to complete a window film installation on a celebrity car for West Coast Customs. This favorite thing applies to all trade shows! If we’re ever at a show at the same time, come see me! I enjoy meeting all of you and learning more about your companies.