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Events

Definition of digital marketing: The marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers.

-Well, that seems to be lacking in excitement, doesn’t it? It’s a well known fact that most people learn by a “hands on” approach. Talking about your goals and writing extensive lists can truly only get you so far. Last week, after a month of organizing, I boarded a plane in Detroit, Michigan, to fly off to the legendary Road Atlanta race track in Georgia. IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) was hosting their final events of the season, for multiple series. My goal was to cheer on CJ Wilson Racing in their Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, in their hunt for a podium in the Continental Tire Series. I was also super excited to be in the hot pit lane during the No. 33 ViperExchange.com/ Gas Monkey Garage Dodge Viper GT3-R efforts in the 10 Hours of Petit Le Mans (Weathertech SportsCar Championship.) In a nutshell, it was about to be a few days of epic racing, by 2 of the best sports car teams in the industry. Having behind the scenes permissions to enter areas of the paddock that all the fun happens, THAT is where the good stuff is. Besides the constant buzz of gossip in all of the hospitality tents, there is also the opportunity to shake hands and make relationships with some of the most intelligent, successful, inspirational people & companies in the automotive racing world. I ate a quick breakfast with Stefan Johansson, a Swedish native. A man who helped define Formula 1, raced the 24 Hours of Le Mans 15+ times, and was a teammate to many talented drivers, including Aryton Senna. I was grateful to get to shake hands with Bob Riley, a man who has so many achievements as an engineer with decades of race-car development under his belt – he could write a book. Actually, he did. Besides the “famous,” there are the triumphant. There is Marc Miller, from Michigan, who began his driving career in karting as a pre-teen. Now he is a professional driving coach & competing in racing series across the US. Marc also won the Extreme Spirit Award for the GS class of IMSA this year, purely by his reputation & kindness around the paddock. As well as Ben Keating, a driver of the Gas Monkey Garage / Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper. Ben is not only a respectable man around the track, but he also owns Viper Exchange, home to the largest inventory of Dodge Vipers in the world. He is also team owner of this powerful machine, which brought him 1st place in GTD for the 10 Hours of Petit Le Mans. My point is – Marketing is so more than a pay per click ad campaign. It takes a firsthand avenue to build relationships, experience, and keep the passion rolling. Sometimes it pays off to leave your laptop & board the plane to see your industry with your own two eyes.
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Events
I can still feel the roaring engines in my chest, though the race weekend was over for me 24+ hours ago. Whether you’re the one driving the vehicle, or the person setting up the marketing booths at the event – the same thing brings us all to the track – that roaring feeling in your chest.  It’s a love for all things automotive, finding your niche in this industry & praying that you somehow find success. tab This weekends event was the historic Detroit Grand Prix. I would be attending with Holland America Line & Capital Area Travel Leaders. (Grand Ledge, MI) My company had recently been signed on with both of these great businesses, to assist & manage marketing communications for multiple chartered 2017 cruises. These cruise events are being geared towards the racing world, incorporating pro drivers, celebrities, race events, and more. Can you imagine going on a 7 day Caribbean cruise with Richard Rawlings from Gas Monkey Garage? (“WOOO!!”) Understanding most of the necessary partnerships to make these projects successful, that is where those few years of experience & education came in. Though the corporate world was being handled way above my head, I soaked in all the details I could and got to work. Rounding up all of the available information, I helped to create the marketing material we needed for our booth at the Grand Prix. I knew how these types of showcases worked, having been to The SEMA Show 3 times, and dozens of races prior. Though it’s impossible to take credit for any 1 specific aspect of the projects, considering how many people are involved to make sure everything happens on time. tab wine My Rally codriving is slim to none these days.  I don’t have to pack my race suit to come to these weekends of burnt rubber & Q16, which sometimes I wish wasn’t the case. But it seemed so surreal to be in the VIP areas of the race track this weekend at the Detroit Grand Prix, shaking hands & drinking Patron Tequila that was poured for me by spokesmodels. On a personal note, you can’t help but question whether or not there was some mixup and another person was meant to be in that chair, surrounded by curvy white spandex (those women must work out nonstop. Seriously.) It’s taken a few years, a million emails, thousands of miles of travel, and one serious passion for this industry. But the networking connections have started to shine a bright light on what route I should be following – which I feel is the exact road I’m already on. 11 Contact Tabitha Lohr today for a 1 on 1 consultation – Tabitha@lohrmarketing.com
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Events

The SEMA Show – November 3-6, 2015 Written By: Tabitha Lohr

The Specialty Equipment Market Association comes to Las Vegas every November, for the annual SEMA Show, an industry event that brings together more than 2,400 exhibiting businesses of all things automotive, 3,000 media members, and more than 60,000 buyers walk the aisles. The SEMA Show, (Nov. 3-6 this year) is where people in the automotive aftermarket industry go to find out what the hottest trends and parts are in the business.  Hundreds of celebrities make their appearance, and spokes-models fill the exhibitor booths, posing for pictures and drawing a crowd. sema show, las vegas, sema show 2015, automotive show, tabitha lohr I was able to attend this incredible show for the third time, this past week.  Having been to this event twice before, I knew what to expect and what to plan for, spending a month beforehand doing just that; preparation. I would be flying solo to this event, from Pittsburgh to Las Vegas, USA, approximately 2,200 miles each direction.  Of course besides the usual new business cards & company logo’d shirts, I worked very hard to finish client projects so I would be able to double the size of my work portfolio in time for this business venture.  This time around, I would be representing my own company, my own goals, my skills & my own clientele, to as many people as I could shake hands with.  This trip to Vegas was so much more to me than just a automotive conference, this was my chance to continue to grow my business, soak in hours of seminars, and be able to help my clients with the knowledge I gained. My flight landed in Las Vegas on Sunday, Nov 1st.  Wanting to get out there early to meet up with a couple current clients & explore the Las Vegas Convention Center while all of the booths were being setup and zero crowds to push through.  I used this time to my advantage, hunting down the locations of the companies I wanted to contact, finding the seminar halls, and scoping out the vehicle line up outside.  For 2 days, I did essentially a reconnaissance mission of the entire show to make sure I made the most of my time while attending. I was alone walking the 27 miles of aisles full of multi-million dollar companies and insanely successful people,  but I was not intimidated or afraid, I was inspired.  I spoke with fluid companies about sponsoring my racing clients.  Parts dealers about their distribution boundaries, their current suppliers and what they were wanting in the future.  I shook hands with small time entrepreneurs that needed a quick consultation to get them pointed in the right direction. automotive marketing, sema show, las vegas sema show 2015, tabitha lohr On Wednesday, I attended two seminars.  The first was hosted by “EricTheCarGuy,” a YouTube automotive mastermind with 700,000 Subscribers and a heck of a great life story to share.  I learned so much about the technical side of creating and promoting a YouTube channel; such as timing, setup, keyword optimization, ad campaigns & more.  The second seminar that day was “Women Driven: Women in Business, shattering the glass ceiling!” Which as you can probably tell, was a very motivating couple hours for me!  There were four speakers, all of whom were incredibly successful and had persevered through the male dominated industry, setting milestones and proving that women belong in the automotive world.  These four women had such a long list of accomplishments, professional female drivers with numerous degrees, to the first female automotive column writer to be featured in the New York Times. Thursday I went to a seminar hosted by Formula Drift, discussing their rapidly growing global racing organization.  I wanted to attend this discussion because I have been actively following the growth of the drifting sport and have been trying to get more involved with it from a marketing standpoint.  It was great to see such a massive sport continue to expand in size and interaction, 2016 will be a great season for them, not a doubt in my mind. The networking contacts I made that week were priceless. To able to walk up and shake hands with the marketing director of dozens of different large scale companies, was excellent exposure for both myself and my company.  When they would ask who I was here with or which company I was representing, and I could reply with, “I’m here with my own company, Lohr Marketing.  I specialize in the automotive industry, building websites and managing marketing campaigns for a variety of clients.  Race teams, automotive shops, new product launches, I enjoy helping how I can.”  (30 second ‘elevator speech’) This venture was a huge risk, considering the time away from my desk, away from my daughter, and the amount of money it takes to spend a week in Las Vegas.  But I took a chance, kissed my daughter goodbye at 3AM to catch a plane, and I am so glad that I did. The automotive industry is my passion, its ever-evolving trends and advances always have us on our toes. Though it is too soon to announce the handful of new clients I will soon be representing, I can definitely say you will want to stay tuned. . .
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Events

Ohio Gumball Rally Event

First of all, what is a “Gumball Rally?” American Gumball Rally is a national organization that hosts these Gumball Rally events in numerous states.  As a professional Rally America CoDriver, I personally was not quite sure what to expect when I was asked to attend! I hear the word “Rally” and envision and intense, fast pace and chaotic event, that has very little time for socializing; until the afterparty. 😉 But truthfully, this Gumball race event was an absolute breeze in comparison to stage rally. Especially because speeding is NOT ENCOURAGED and will not help your chance of winning!  Teams will travel from checkpoint to checkpoint and pick one letter from the word “Gumball” upon check in at each place.  After all teams have completed their checkpoint cards, the event staff will draw point values for each letter at random, and repeat this process for each checkpoint.  Whoever has the most points wins cash money! The race is not about exact times, it is about your team reaching each checkpoint, and enjoying your vehicle & great friends along the way. In other words, it’s about cruising the open road for an entire weekend, with 100+ other people that are all there for the same reason you are-To have fun! Here is how it works: You register online in advance to reserve your spot, choosing your car number & allowing some time for your required sticker kit to arrive by mail. In this kit is a handful of decals representing the Gumball race event sponsors, and the official Gumball company logos for identification during the event.  You will be required to put all of the stickers from this kit on your race vehicle, to show appreciation (and advertising) for the event sponsors!  There are not rules as to what type of vehicle you enter with, as long as it is street legal.  Trucks, motorcycles, classic cars, pick your poison.  Your entry fee includes your hotel costs for 1 or 2 nights, parking, race track time, photography, entertainment, and entry to any checkpoint that may require a fee. (Note: The entry fee & details of what it will include will vary.) racing promotions, rally racing, american rally, rally america, ohio gumball rallyCompetitors of the Ohio Gumball Rally meet in Findlay, Ohio on Friday, September 25th.  The Findlay Inn & Convention Center downtown was the perfect place for the Start Line Saturday morning!  This was a smaller Gumball Rally, with only a dozen cars registered.  Not necessarily a bad thing to have less people, it made the weekend more personable, with teams able to relax a little at check points. ohio gumball rally 9AM competitors left the Convention Center & drove 60 miles north to the African Safari Wildlife Park, which turned out to be an adventure in itself! They were able to feed these animals from their vehicle, making quite a gross mess inside, but it was well worth it! IMG_8072tab From the safari park, competitors drove a couple minutes down the road to Cleats Club Seat Grille, listed as Check Point 3, a spacious restaurant just feet from the water.  After a great lunch, the cars lined up and drove 20 minutes to the Miller Boat Line.  This is a car ferry, that would take all the competitors and their vehicles to Put-In-Bay, Ohio, a gorgeous island where the rest of the Rally would take place. The ferry cost was included in the entry fee, so there was no hassle at the gate.  The teams loaded onto the boat & experienced a very windy 30 minute ride to the island! Ohio gumball rally , american gumball rally american gumball rally Upon arriving at Put-In-Bay, all the cars were unloaded and went on a cruise together around the island.  There is a dead end road on the far side, with a incredible view of the surrounding islands.  After parking all the cars at this spot for a break, a celebratory champagne toast was in order! ohio gumball rally The sun was starting to set, so the teams made their way to the final stop of the Rally, the Perry’s Victory & International Peace Monument.  It must have been good luck, because the National Park was giving free tours that day!  All the teams rode in the elevator for free, all 352-feet of the building, for the best view Ohio had to offer.
 
Sunday morning, the teams all were out of their hotel rooms by 9AM and heading to the local small airport (cruising on golf carts!) for their helicopter ride around the island!  Again, this cost was included in the entry fee, so all they had to do was show up. tabheli HOW IS THE WINNER CHOSEN? TEAMS WILL TRAVEL FROM CHECKPOINT TO CHECKPOINT AND PICK ONE LETTER FROM THE WORD “GUMBALL.” AFTER ALL TEAMS HAVE COMPLETED THEIR CHECKPOINT CARDS THE EVENT STAFF WILL DRAW POINT VALUES FOR EACH LETTER AT RANDOM, AND REPEAT THIS PROCESS FOR EACH CHECKPOINT.  WHOEVER HAS THE MOST POINTS WINS A CASH PRIZE AND HAS THEIR TEAM NAME ENGRAVED ON OUR AMERICAN GUMBALL RALLY CUP! The Winners of the Ohio Gumball Rally 2015: Team Follically Challenged:  Nathan Vandekerkof & Tommy Wiegers.  Nissan GTR gtr
The 1st Annual Ohio Gumball Rally was a 1 day event, put on by a handful of organizers & dedicated automotive enthusiasts.  This was my second Gumball event, and it certainly won’t be my last! After leaving the Perry’s Monument on Saturday night, we all checked into the Put In Bay Resort townhouses.  Spending a couple more nights on the island together, enjoying the pool, great weather, good food, and friendships that will last! In Loving Memory of Scott Rybicki Main Organizer for the Ohio Gumball Rally, and Vice President of the American Gumball Rally scott
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Events
Michigan Gumball Rally Overview Part 2. Event hosted by American Gumball Rally. Saturday August 22nd, 2015 After completing registration, competitors leave the Firekeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan at 9:30AM. michigan rally,road rally This particular Gumball event was a record breaker for attendance, with 107 entries! With most of the vehicles carrying two people, plus a couple dozen staff members & their cars, I was in automotive heaven cruising down the freeway with 240+ people who all had my similar passion.  Trying our hardest to obey all traffic laws, we took hundreds of “rolling pictures,” of our friends all enjoying the road.  NOTE: Competitors and staff are not in any way exempt from traffic laws.  You can receive tickets, be pulled over, you do not have a “get out of jail free card” just because you are traveling with American Gumball.

michigan rally,road rally,track event,subaru rally

michigan road rally,rally race, michigan racing After driving north about 150 miles, we all arrived at the check point in Reed City, Michigan.  Quick pit stop for food & gas was surprisingly easy, even with 100+ cars all getting fuel at once.  I’m sure this little town didn’t mind our massive caravan stopping by, the math will prove my point – Average fuel sale of $60 x 140 vehicles + our RedBull & beef jerky intake= A large amount of money for a town with a population of 2,400 people. From Reed City, we drove north another 60 miles to Kaleva, Michigan, home of the Northern Michigan Dragway!   Not only did this dragway host our entire fleet for most of that Saturday afternoon, but they sponsored this event by donating multiple free runs on their drag strip. dragway Saturday 3PM- Gumball continued north to Traverse City, Michigan, for the next check point at Culvers on Hwy 131.  I have family in this area, so they came to say Hi! Thank You Tom Tolles (Mechanix Team) for this excellent Holden Commodore backdrop. After everyone ordered some amazing ice cream & a quick dinner at Culver’s, we were on the road again to Mackinac City, to cross the Mackinac Bridge, and head to the Upper Peninsula for our next pit stop at the Raco Airstrip.  During this leg of the race, there was an optional route to go drive through the Tunnel of Trees, in the beautiful Harbor Springs area. Arriving at Raco, the scenery was just like a clip from “The Fast & the Furious.”  We pulled in at sunset, giving about an hour to do as many runs down the strip as possible; I believe the proper term is flashlight drags. 😉 9PM Saturday- Arrive at the Kewadin Casino & Hotel in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Judging by how packed their lobby was when we all were checking in, I’d say we took up most of their hotel rooms!  Thanks again Kewadin, for your hospitality! 8AM Sunday, August 23- Competitors leave Sault Ste Marie, and drive 260 miles south to the required check point, at the famous Tony’s Restaurant in Birch Run, Michigan.  And finally, after driving a total of (approximately) 660 miles from Start to Finish, competitors arrived at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan.  There was of course a car show out front, free pizza & beer, more socializing, and the Award Ceremony! My Overview: I can honestly say that this Gumball Rally event was one of the best weekends I’ve had in years.  I’ve been a competitor in numerous stage rally races, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, a spectator at drag races, oval dirt track events, and more.  American Gumball understands what we want to do with our vehicle – Enjoy it.  No matter how much power you have, what part of the country you’re from, what your sponsor potential is, you can still attend & have a great time.  There is a small amount of competition for those who want a faster time at the drag strip, but that isn’t what the focus is all about, that ‘pressure’ to win isn’t there.  The teams consisted of mother/daughter, father/son, best friends, parents with their children; the family acceptance was also refreshing for me, especially that I’m a mother myself.  Sometimes these road rallies, or automotive events in general, tend to not be as family friendly as you’d like them to be, and Gumball is not one of those. I encourage you to attend & here is how: American Gumball is a national company, currently hosting these road rallies in 12 states & adding more each year.  Go to their website: http://www.americangumballrally.com/  to find an event near you!  Invite your friends, carpool, make it happen! As I mentioned, the entry fee includes your hotel, and a couple other expenses, what other racing event does that?? There is also a cash prize for winning! David & Rhonda took home $3,000 for winning the Michigan Gumball, plus there were cash giveways at registration, as well as gift certificates, and more. American Gumball has a list of event sponsors to help make this all possible.  Though most of the Gumball competitors seek out sponsors for their vehicle, to help cover expenses, or maybe some spare parts.  Don’t hesitate to ask for a company to get involved, it is a great return on investment for them as well, from a marketing standpoint. To see the detailed information on statistics, click here. Thank You to all of the event sponsors! Firekeepers Casino Kewadin Casino Mechanix Auto of Jackson Culvers of Traverse City Twin Peaks Restaurant Northern Michigan Dragway TAG Tintz & Graphx US Wheel Exchange Ice 9 Group More information about the American Gumball Rally company: http://www.americangumballrally.com/ Tabitha Lohr is the owner of Lohr Marketing, a company specializing in automotive promotions. View her portfolio: http://www.lohrmarketing.com/portfolio/
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Events
Michigan Gumball Rally Overview Part 1 First of all, what is a “Gumball Rally?” As a professional Rally America CoDriver, I personally was not quite sure what to expect! I hear the word “Rally” and envision and intense, fast pace and chaotic event, that has very little time for socializing; until the afterparty. 😉 But truthfully, this Gumball race event was an absolute breeze in comparison to stage rally. Especially because speeding is NOT ENCOURAGED and will not help your chance of winning!  Teams will travel from checkpoint to checkpoint and pick one letter from the word “Gumball” upon check in at each place.  After all teams have completed their checkpoint cards, the event staff will draw point values for each letter at random, and repeat this process for each checkpoint.  Whoever has the most points wins cash money! The race is not about exact times, it is about your team reaching each checkpoint, and enjoying your vehicle & great friends along the way. In other words, it’s about cruising the open road for an entire weekend, with 100+ other people that are all there for the same reason you are-To have fun! Here is how it works: You register online in advance to reserve your spot, choosing your car number & allowing some time for your required sticker kit to arrive by mail. In this kit is a handful of decals representing the Gumball race event sponsors, and the official Gumball company logos for identification during the event.  You will be required to put all of the stickers from this kit on your race vehicle, to show appreciation (and advertising) for the event sponsors!  There are not rules as to what type of vehicle you enter with, as long as it is street legal.  Trucks, motorcycles, classic cars, pick your poison.  Your entry fee includes your hotel costs for 1 or 2 nights, parking, race track time, photography, entertainment, and entry to any checkpoint that may require a fee.  (Note: The entry fee & details of what it will include will vary.)

I attended the Michigan Gumball Rally on August 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.  Starting in the Detroit area, Friday the 21st was an ‘optional’ leg of the event, meaning it did not count towards the final points & your hotel cost was not covered by Gumball. Even with these stipulations, I was happy to see such a great attendance turnout for that day, of about 50 vehicles.  We all met Friday morning at Kart 2 Kart, a great indoor karting facility in Sterling Heights, Michigan.  Besides an excellent car show out front from 9-11AM, there were discounted karting sessions inside!

Saturday was the official Start from the beautiful Firekeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan. This hotel/casino was incredibly generous & supportive of this whole event! The Gumball organizers rented one of their banquet halls for the Friday night competitor meeting, and Firekeepers donated half of their parking lot to the event registration & car show Saturday morning. Did I mention free coffee and doughnuts?!     To Be Continued. . . Part 2 will cover the details of this great event, showcase the winners, and give more information on how you can get involved! Thank You to all of the event sponsors! Firekeepers Casino Kewadin Casino Mechanix Auto of Jackson Culvers of Traverse City Twin Peaks Restaurant Northern Michigan Dragway TAG Tintz & Graphx US Wheel Exchange Ice 9 Group More information about the American Gumball Rally company: http://www.americangumballrally.com/ Tabitha Lohr is the owner of Lohr Marketing, a company specializing in automotive promotions. View her portfolio: http://www.lohrmarketing.com/portfolio/
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Events

Roadkill Nights, powered by Dodge, was an event at the Silverdome parking lot in Pontiac, Michigan on August 12.

The event featured a 1/8-mile flashlight drags (no times), with a wide variety of incredibly well built competitive vehicles.  Since this strip was literally in middle of the Silverdome parking lot, there was new asphalt laid down to have better grip at the start line.  Though the left lane was very uneven further down the line, causing some vehicles to go over decent size bumps. 11892046_10205935915028714_5382727056780842659_n dodge 3 dodge 4 dodge,roadkill nights,detroit racing,automotive marketing,drag racing

Dodge was there with their Thrill Ride Center, giving quick rides in Hellcats and Vipers.  It was a neat little course that they had setup, and the professionals giving the rides had smiles on their faces all afternoon.  It was great to see the spectators get involved & walk away from that 1 minute ride with such a huge grin! dodge dodge 1  

Photo Credit: MotorCity Photography For more info, check out Roadkill.com

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