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Unwinding Meets Networking At Our SEMA Happy Hour
BY Kyle Crawford //
November 28, 2022
@mrkylecrawford
Photography: Brandon Cody / Christian Villagran
@bcody_formative / @xci_photo
Videography: Mike Maravilla
@mike_futureclassic
  • Pit+Paddock celebrates its second SEMA Show by extending its offerings to include an inaugural Happy Hour.
  • Complimentary beverages and spirits were provided for our VIP SEMA guests, thanks to our partner Turbosmart.
  • We specifically designed custom-branded cups and coasters as unique giveaway items for this activation.
  • Standout builds in our booth outside SEMA’s Central Hall included a unique pairing of old/new Acura Integras, an eye-catching McLaren P1 with BBS LM wheels, a fascinating one-off Toyota 4Runner build, and the impressive Built By Legends Mine’s R32 GT-R.

As it is notably a trade show meant for product showcasing, deal-making, and industry networking, the SEMA Show can get pretty tiresome. Whether it’s the first or last day of the gargantuan convention, finding some respite is essential to lasting the entire event’s duration. To initiate networking while simultaneously providing sanctuary from the crowded atmosphere of the packed convention center halls, we created our Happy Hour presented by Turbosmart.

PRESENTED BY TURBOSMART

We’re honored to be the source of refuge and the spur of industry networking opportunities with our Happy Hour event, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our partner Turbosmart. Established in 1997 with a range of only two products, the Australian manufacturer of high-performance engine components specializing in boost control has become a groundbreaking global force. Becoming an industry-wide leader doesn’t happen overnight or by chance. To ensure Turbosmart is at the forefront (and future) of turbo technology, the company works intelligence and durability into every high-performance competitive turbo accessory that it rigorously tests, designs, and manufactures. By staying on top of technological and automotive trends, the team at Turbosmart has remained innovative and consistently generates products beyond the threshold of their customers’ expectations. As we referenced in our SEMA coverage article, its Pneumatic StraightGate50 won SEMA’s Best Engineered New Product award for 2022. The company’s fifth consecutive SEMA trophy in four years. It’s great to see our partner recognized for its world-leading products, and we’re grateful to have had them onboard for our Happy Hour activation.

CHEERS

Like everyone’s favorite ’90s bartending sitcom, our Happy Hour was filled with familiar faces and laid-back conversation. It was a welcomed change from the fast-paced, crowded atmosphere elsewhere at the SEMA Show. The convention brings many people together, some of whom are old friends who haven’t spoken or seen each other in years. Providing the private space to create these experiences is why we do what we do. In a similar yet converse scenario, the dialogue also opens to new faces, generating burgeoning relationships throughout the aftermarket right in the heart of our booth. It’s a delightful byproduct of offering a little bit of booze to an overworked industry for a few hours.

THE INTEGRA

We’ve dipped into description of the remainder of our booth vehicles but haven’t mentioned much about the striking 2023 Acura Integra. This project vehicle, handled by Dai Yoshihara, partners with Turn 14 Distribution and StopTech brakes to form the former Formula Drift Champion’s vision. It’s a culmination of industry experience built with the goal of bringing a bygone motorsport era into modern times by featuring components from AEM Performance Electronics, among others. Taking cues from the ever-popular ’90s era of touring cars, it has a super low ride height courtesy of RS*R, a bright livery across its panels featuring Whiteline’s logo emblazoned on the wing, white BBS wheels tucked into its fenders, slick Yokohama ADVAN tires, a professionally designed and fabricated roll cage, cooling by CSF, subtle aero touches made by Evasive Motorsports and Voltex Racing, Sparco safety equipment, and Spoon Sports goodies mixed throughout. With a schedule of North American auto show appearances on the horizon, we’re excited to see what life after the show circuit brings.

CUPS AND COASTERS

As a special thank you to our guests and our activation partner, we had custom drink cups and cork coasters created for giveaways. The cup’s graphics are self-explanatory, but the coasters our design team made are a little more special. The 3.5-inch, rounded-edge cork coasters feature our logos, and an outline of the famous Turbosmart Gen V HyperGate45 finished in the company’s colors. It was the perfect addition to our Happy Hour festivities and offered a SEMA souvenir that easily fit into carry-on luggage.

BRING IT IN

For most days of the SEMA Show, we hosted our Happy Hour outside Central Hall, but for the final day of complimentary drinks, we moved the party inside to our title sponsor, Turn 14 Distribution’s booth. A warmer, more homely atmosphere seemed like a better idea with inclement weather forecasted. The interior Turn 14 Distribution display was positioned just steps away from Turbosmart’s booth for a better connection with our activation partner, too. It was the perfect solution and send-off for our inaugural Happy Hour.

We thank Turbosmart for its partnership at our Happy Hour during the 2022 SEMA Show and other activations this year. It’s expected to be a good time when you’re handing out complimentary liquid courage, but our guests really enjoyed themselves and networked with other industry pros, and we have Turbosmart to thank for that. Check back for more coverage of our festivities from this year’s SEMA Show, and take a look at what we’ve already published.



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