MPMC Media Trade Conference
2017 MPMC Media Trade Conference and TEN Open House
My ears are still ringing, my body's on the verge of collapse, and my mind is racing as I review the dozens of business cards I acquired today. I've survived nicely on Red Bull all day, but it's time to switch to water before getting some shut-eye. What did I do today that was so epic? Well, I'm glad you asked. Today, I attended the MPMC (Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council) Media Trade Conference and after-party at The Enthusiast Network (TEN) headquarters. I can understand if this information is met with a smile and a nod—let me explain.
The SEMA Show may be the most recognizable event to most, but SEMA as a whole does much more for the automotive industry than one mega trade show. Case in point: the MPMC Media Trade Conference I went to today is a "SEMA thing." The format of MPMC resembles speed dating in that manufacturers who are members of MPMC are given the opportunity to hold 30-minute mini meetings with various automotive editorial staffs to discuss new products, editorial opportunities, industry happenings, market trends, and things of that nature. Sometimes discussions get way off topic, but hey, it's all fair game when it's in the name of making new friends or connecting with old ones. Basically, it's a three-day, super-concentrated dose of deliberate networking. The meetings are held in hotel rooms so that each company has a "safe space" to display products and chat privately with editorial folk like myself, who, at the chime of a bell, say goodbye and head to the next assigned hotel-room meeting. And yes, I've gone to the right room at the right time, on the wrong day. Sometimes you feel like an awkward junior higher all over again. Speaking of awkward, while most of the meetings have the let's-keep-in-touch vibe, every once in a while, for one reason or another, some clumsily drag on and conclude in a mutual lose-my-number tone. Good match, bad match. It's totally speed dating!
As is tradition, the collective "we" at TEN threw a big Open House party at the conclusion of today's meetings, signifying yet another opportunity to bring industry bigwigs (and nobodys) together for a night of food, music, custom cars and trucks, and other party "icebreakers" that I'll just leave to your imagination. If you’ve ever planned a big event, you know how much work is involved, so thanks to everyone at SEMA and TEN who made today possible. It was a great day, and I’m more fired up than ever to be doing what I truly love—playing with trucks. I bet the party’s breaking up by now…