Author: Charlene Bower
As a bonus, we added The SEMA Show to the 2016 Ladies Co-Driver Challenge. What you may think would be the easiest event for me, was actually my hardest. I went through a full range of emotions throughout the week: stressed, happy, excited, scared, sad, frustrated and giggles. In reflection, this was the most fun I have ever had at the SEMA Show. I have been attending the show for over 10 years with my Dad Ben, but it was all about work. It was all about sales. It was all about making sure I was taking care of my customer. This year, it was about taking care of these ladies
and giving them an experience to remember.
In every business there is reflection and positioning at the end of the business year for the following year. The SEMA Show takes place in the middle of this important time allowing us to present the position and direction our business, then work with industry partners to figure out how to support their efforts. It’s a pretty circular process, with changes only effecting the business by a degree or two.
This year was a little different. The change we have positioned
Bower Motorsports Media to take in 2017 is a completely different direction than in the past.
In the past I have taken slight steps to the right or left of what we
have done for 8 years, but starting the Ladies Offroad Network is a major change. We are now at the hub of a content driven website and putting on
events for a specific group: Offroading Women.
I knew I needed the right ladies to come to the SEMA show to represent our group, and I knew I needed two so they could compliment and help each other. After working through the Ladies Co-Driver Challenge selection process, Kristie Moore and Leigh Singleton were chosen to accompany me. Their excitement level was high, and I let it ride, slowly breaking the news of how much work it really was going to be.
It was a lot of work. We ran our own schedules, even though we met up for lunches and activities each day, we knew what we had to do. While I was attending to clients and meetings, the ladies were helping me by talking to companies and attendees that I would never have had the opportunity to chat with. I gave them the insights and inner workings of our business so they could answer questions and be successful. They walked the aisles, started conversations that were outside their comfort zone and was
surprised and excited about all the positive responses about the Ladies Offroad Network.
For the first time in my SEMA history, the fun scale outweighed the work scale. It was fun to watch their faces light up as the next opportunity presented itself and they got to try things they had never done or seen. Being around all the amazing cars is just one piece to SEMA; there are activities everywhere. Monday we were guests of BFGoodrich Tires at the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame dinner. Tuesday we surrounded ourselves with high horsepower SCORE International Baja 1000 Trophy Trucks, Monster and Ford Drift cars and trucks, and the girls tried their hand at being the fastest girl team of the
BFGoodrich Tires Pit Crew Challenge. Tuesday night we went to the Vegas 4x4 and CRAWL Magazine Party then bundled up for the BFGoodrich Tires Hospitality area at the SCORE Baja 1000 Trophy Truck Qualifying. Wednesday we had coffee with those in attendance that were part of the 91 Ladies Co-Driver Challenge, joined a SEMA Businesswoman’s Network Social and enjoyed a dinner with 4 Wheel Parts. Thursday Kristie and Leigh worked the BFGoodrich Tires Pit Crew Challenge, did the virtual experience with Rob MacCachren and then jumped in some Arctic Cat’s as part of a KrawlZone video shoot. Thursday night we started with appetizers and drinks at our hotel and then went to the strip to enjoy the
The SEMA Show brings in all the celebrities, and so does the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. I was excited to introduce them to ladies that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and those that will be one day. At the BFG area I was able to introduce them to other Performance Team Members who went on to
win the Baja 1000 the following week, and other top tier drivers. Each day and evening they would meet owners of businesses in the offroad
industry, just normal people doing great things for the industry. Come Friday I asked who they hadn’t met that they wanted to Jessi Combs name came up…with a couple texts, the girls were surprised when she came walking up! (The pictures are of all the folks we took time to take a picture with...there were so many more!)
There is no doubt this was the hardest event for me in the series of 2016 Ladies Co-Driver Challenge events, which I know sounds silly. I had to put my business focus aside and focus on the experience. For those that have worked with me, knows that work is my everyday, 100% dedicated life. I have to work my everyday at 100% so we can all enjoy the rewards of the Bower Motorsports Media and Ladies Offroad Network. At times during the show I
felt guilty and frustrated that I wasn’t in another
meeting, or meeting someone new that could potentially impact our future path. I felt like I didn’t walk enough of the aisles, even though I knew the ladies had. I put the pressure on myself while I stood there and supported the casual activities of SEMA. The first couple days weren’t too bad, but by the end of the week my eye was twitching (my tell-tell sign of high stress) and my answers were short. I had to have a talk with myself on Thursday afternoon as I tried to pull my eye twitch under control to decide how to manage the next 24 hours. Was I going to release the stress and the pressures I have put on myself, or was I going to work us all into a situation that would, honestly, never be good enough.
I decided I needed to settle down and let it go. Thursday night we started with a fun appetizer and drinks at our hotel in celebration of a great week and then dinner on while enjoying the sights and
sounds of the Las Vegas strip. Friday was all about finishing up a couple of loose ends and making sure the ladies accomplished their goals. I arranged to meet up with Jessi Combs, got them welding at ESAB and met Ian Johnson. I walked them through the Jeep booth where all the concept vehicles were and we walked the Off-Road Hall one more time (ok, that might have been for me!). We headed back into the main hall to the Ford booth that over looks the showroom floor and did the video recaps of the week that are part of our recap video.
The week was a huge success. The ladies did awesome. My meetings went great. I had the most fun I have had at SEMA. My Dad, Ben, had a lot to do with our week, and agrees that it was a lot of fun. His favorite part of the day was when I would bring the girls into our room to write the daily “Find Joy in Each Day” cards and they would have to think back 12-14 hours of all the things that they had
done in the day. It was as enjoyable for him as it was for us.
We were still working on the drive to the airport as Leigh and Kristie helped me develop a new program – a Ladies Offroad Business Program. You will hear more details about this soon. The goal: create a Ladies Offroad Network team that goes to SEMA who has completed an Offroad Business Program that I host online throughout the year. So, no, you won’t see SEMA on the list of events for the 2017 Ladies Offroad Challenge, but you will see an opportunity to make the trip to Vegas next November. Stay tuned, it will be something every girl that is part of the industry, or wants to be part of the industry, should participate in!
Video on Facebook: CLICK HERE
Day 7 & 8 of my trip were back into the desert for a two day wheeling trip. Remembering why we do what we do!
Author: Charlene Bower