Editor’s note: Even though Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) provided this information as a guideline to planning an event in conjunction with Collector Car Appreciation Day, the tips they provided are valuable to consider when planning any event.
To celebrate the collector car industry and the hobby, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has chosen July 8 as “Collector Car Appreciation Day.” The date marks the seventh commemoration of what has become an annual event to celebrate and raise awareness of the role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society.
Historic automotive lovers throughout the country are invited to join in the celebration. Individuals, car clubs, and automotive businesses are encouraged to plan and host events throughout the month of July.
SEMA will promote the event by listing it on www.semasan.com and can provide marketing materials to help you with local publicity.
Below are some resources that are available to those who submit details for their events. For questions, contact Colby Martin, director of the SEMA Action Network (SAN), at 909/978-6721 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Logo: Promote your involvement with the nationwide celebration by using the official Collector Car Appreciation Day (CCAD) logo on your fliers and signs.
Resolution: Participating organizers will be awarded a copy of the current year’s Congressional Resolution for display at each registered event. Post it at your gathering during the event and take a photo of participants with the document. If you submit a photo of your group with the Resolution to us at email@example.com, as well as others from your celebration, we’ll include them in the CCAD image collection!
Celebrities/VIPs: Looking to promote your event and get more people to attend? Having celebrities and/or VIPs at your event is a great strategy. Consider inviting federal and state legislators that represent your district, your city mayor or other dignitaries to join you at the event. You may also invite local youth groups or organizations to further strengthen interest. Be sure to give these folks special treatment by welcoming them when they arrive. Don’t forget to send personal thank you notes after the event as well.
Pre-event Media Coverage: Local newspapers often have calendar listings or will include a short paragraph about an upcoming event. Identify your local media and the key contact at each outlet. You can identify the city editor at the newspapers by looking in the paper itself and/or calling them directly. For television stations, you may want to start by searching the Internet or checking your local phone books. You’ll want to call the television stations to get the names and contact information for the assignment editors. SEMA is available to assist with identifying local media as well.
Media Attendance: To get the media to actually attend your event, you’ll want to send a media advisory. The advisory should go to the local newspapers and television stations. Make it easy for the media to attend your event by providing convenient parking and be sure to give them a cell number that they can reach you.
Spokespersons: If you have media at your event, it’s best to identify 2-3 key spokespersons that the media can interview and prepare them with key messages in advance of the event. This will likely include an executive of your organization, perhaps a VIP and a car owner.
Signage: Participants of your event will likely take lots of photos, especially media in attendance. Strategically place signage in the background of areas that are likely to be of interest to the media (behind the cools cars, for example). Make sure the signage clearly shows your organization’s name and the Collector Car Appreciation Day logo.
Social Media: If you have a Facebook page or some other social media site, promote your Collector Car Appreciation Day event by setting it up as an event and sending an invitation to your entire network of friends and encourage them to share it. As this is hopefully an annual event for you, consider setting up a new Facebook page for your specific event with content and photos that can be shared. Additionally, be sure to Tweet information about your event on Twitter so all your followers are aware and can share with their friends.