PRI 2018: Education Program Inspires, Informs Racers And Racing Pros | Performance Racing Industry
PRI 2018: Education Program Inspires, Informs Racers And Racing Pros
December 7, 2018
From fine-tuning finances to inspiring female racers, Friday's PRI Show educational program drew hundreds of attendees for a round of seminars showcasing industry leaders and expert presenters.
PRI 2018: Education Program Inspires, Informs Racers And Racing Pros
From fine-tuning finances to inspiring female racers, Friday's Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show educational program drew hundreds of attendees to the Indiana Convention Center for a round of seminars showcasing a number of industry leaders and expert presenters.    
Day one of the Show's two-day seminar program featured sessions on international trade, opportunities for women in motorsports, digital marketing, and maximizing the relationship with your accountant.
International buyers and suppliers gathered with American race parts manufacturers at the International Motorsports Trade Seminar, where SEMA’s Linda Spencer led the discussion that included panel members Steve Whipple of Edelbrock, Bob Scheid of McLeod Racing, Sean Crawford of Race Winning Brands and Power Automedia’s James Lawrence, all of whom provided tips about how to find effective overseas business partners. Audience members, many of them international buyers, were particularly curious about shipping and taxes, as well as specialized needs for local vehicles, such as right-hand-drive versus left-hand-drive vehicles.
Racing business owner and race track investor Felipe Joui Antillo of Ultra High Performance in Las Condes, Santiago, Chile, found the session helpful. “Since I am from Chile, I would like to know the US view of selling abroad, and try to understand other international buyers -- if [they] match our needs and how the US brands can also match those needs.
“As they said in the seminar, communication is very important,” he continued. “This kind of seminar is a unique opportunity to understand different points of view to improve our business.”
Meantime, a panel of the industry's brightest and most accomplished female professionals offered invaluable advice and direction for aspiring racers, engineers, journalists and others during PRI's 3rd annual Opportunities for Women in Motorsports seminar. Moderator Lyn St. James and panelists Cara Adams (Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations/Firestone Racing), Katie Hargitt (Fuel the Female), Shea Holbrook (Shea Racing) and Dr. Karen Salvaggio (Thunder Valley Racing) stressed the importance of persistence, self-confidence, clear communication and belief in oneself during the session that drew well over 100 attendees of all ages and backgrounds.
"My brand is always evolving," Holbrook explained during the discussion, "but my vision and focus is always clear. That being said, it's important to understand that it takes time to make things happen.... And realize, too, that you can't do it alone; you need a supportive group around you, people that you respect who aren't afraid to tell you the truth."
Hargitt, who began racing quarter midgets in Indiana at age 9 and ultimately parlayed the experience into a career as a pit reporter, most recently with NBCSN's IndyCar series and IndyLights broadcasts, noted the importance of researching your craft. "Every step of the way, I was studying -- always asking questions and learning all I could about what I was getting into," she said. 
Hargitt's words, and those of her fellow presenters, resonated with attendee Maggie Turley, a PR major at the University of Akron and NHRA Super Comp driver whose goal is to one day race nitro cars.
"I thought [the seminar] was amazing," she said. "I know a lot about branding, but I feel like I learned so much more today. Especially hearing the stories of going pro because, when all you ever hear is money, money, money -- If you don't have the money then it's not happening. But to hear their thoughts on sponsors and networking, and to hear it from a woman's point of view as opposed to a man's point of view, it was just incredible and I'm so glad I came."
Just down the hall, digital marketing expert and author Corey Perlman of eBoot Camp shared best practices for different social media platforms and emphasized the need to create a true identity when building one's social media program. “What’s your brand? What’s your culture? What makes you unique?” Perlman asked the crowd.
He advised attendees to create a marketing content plan and incorporate into it a weekly agenda. He also highlighted video as a growth area at the moment, and referenced the various tools available to enhance it. “One of my main takeaways was learning more about video and getting involved with it,” said Randi Prusak from the BEI Lightning Series in East Concord, New York. “His big thing was to double down on video and to really take your time to get involved with that, for us, on race day specifically as well as doing some extra videos during the week, and actually setting up a marketing strategy.”
She added, “I thought the seminar was very informative and a great way to cover what’s going on with social media and where you will truly get the best bang for your buck, and what to get out of the new and upcoming platform additions.”
In his session for motorsports pros seeking to tune up their finances, veteran PRI presenter and columnist Tom Shay of Profits Plus explained that business owners should have an interactive relationship with their accountant. "This [program] is to get a person away from the mindset that, 'I'm a hobbyist, and someone else takes care of my money,'" Shay explained. 
In addition to a detailed list of 14 ways to get the most out of one's accountant, Shay provided his attentive audience with vital resources for their small businesses, including access to free classes, articles, financial calculators and Excel charts online at "The cash flow chart was a big deal for me because I had never heard of it before," noted attendee Donnie Elliot of Elliot's Automotive in Middletown, New York. 
For more information or to register for the 2018 PRI Trade Show, which takes place now through December 8 at the Indiana Convention Center, visit