A major factor in the vitality and growth of the association was the advent of the annual SEMA Show. In 1965 and 1966, Noel Carpenter, publisher of Speed Equipment Directory, produced an industry-wide exposition that was initially promoted as a chance for the speed-equipment manufacturers to showcase new products. While the shows were not sponsored by SEMA, the association did receive a share of the profits from the 1966 gathering.
First SEMA Show
Advice for First-Time (and Even Long-Time) Exhibitors
More than 130,000 automotive industry professionals will attend the 2014 SEMA Show, November 4–7, at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), and more than 60,000 of them will be buyers searching the aisles for products to carry in their retail outlets and installation centers. Historically, 87% of those buyers plan to purchase products from the Show’s exhibitors. With some forethought, a bit of research and a successful strategy, even first-time exhibitors can take full advantage of those sales opportunities at what has become the largest annual gathering of small businesses in the United States.
The photo here was taken at the very first SEMA Show, which was known in 1967 as the High Performance & Custom Trade Show and was held in January of that year at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The car in the booth is a Camaro, Chevrolet’s answer to Ford’s wildly popular Mustang.