Cover Story

2012 SEMA Show Highlights

Innovations of Generations Showcased in Las Vegas

As the specialty-equipment industry’s premier trade event, the annual SEMA Show is the number-one barometer of automotive specialty-equipment trends. If anything, the 2012 SEMA Show, held October 30 through November 2 in Las Vegas, indicated a vibrant, growing industry definitely bullish on the future.

Consider these Show statistics: Total attendance rose to 135,000—up 2% over last year. Meanwhile, exhibitors hit the 2,250 mark, with 500 of them being first-timers. There were more than 60,000 buyers plying the Show floor, along with 3,000 media representatives. All in all, the Show offered 1 million net square feet of innovation, education and business opportunities. 

Meet the 2012–2013 SEMA Board of Directors

As a trade association, SEMA is governed by an elected Board of Directors that is composed of industry leaders who volunteer considerable time, talent and insight to guide the organization.

Elected by the association’s membership at large, SEMA’s Board of Directors reflects the wide spectrum of businesses to be found within the specialty-equipment marketplace, from manufacturing to distribution, and from sales to service suppliers.

Innovations of Generations

By now you’ve likely heard news that this year’s SEMA Show is tracking at near-record levels. When the Show opens October 30, we’ll have more than 2,100 exhibiting companies, 1,500 custom rides, close to 1,800 new products in the Ideas Alive showcase and more qualified buyer attendees than ever before. The SEMA Show is once again set to deliver the best of our industry’s innovative genius gathered into a single, highly effective marketplace.

We’re shining a spotlight on “Innovations of Generations”—celebrating the accomplishments of our past but also highlighting the advances and innovations being led by our younger industry members.

Must-See 2012 SEMA Show Features

Some of the Attractions at the World’s Greatest Automotive Show

The SEMA Show is the world’s largest automotive trade show, but it’s much more than that. It’s a museum, a looking glass into the future, a university, a carnival, a catalog of innovation, a media frenzy and an incubator for tomorrow’s industry leaders. In short, from Tuesday, October 30–Friday, November 2, it’s the place where every automotive professional should be and where every auto enthusiast wishes he or she could be.

35 Under 35

In order to qualify for the SEMA News “35 Under 35” list, each individual first required nomination by his or her peers. In evaluating those nominations, we looked for signs that the candidate is someone who, at age 35 or under, already displays the responsibilities of leadership and has become a trusted, skilled player within his or her own organization. We also considered the level of industry involvement shown by these individuals and their expertise in their particular segment as perceived by their customers and peers.

Lifetime Achievers

SEMA Honors Nick Arias Jr., Bill France Sr., Mark Heffington and Bob Larivee Sr. With Hall of Fame Induction

For a chosen few, an obsession develops. Regardless of personal or professional success, this select group never stops raising the bar. Even when they take the checkered flag at the track or produce an event that attracts thousands of rabid fans or they literally break the mold when it comes to reinventing performance parts, it’s still not enough. There’s always room for improvement, and every person inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame spends a lifetime trying to find it.

Exhibitor Essentials

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Key Services and Suppliers for a Successful Trade-Show Booth

With the 2012 SEMA Show mere months away, smart exhibitors are already contemplating their booth spaces. They know that a booth’s branding, contents and arrangement all contribute massively to their ability to attract buyers, acquire new leads and have a successful Show. However, first-time exhibitors (and maybe a few returnees, as well) may be scratching their heads over booth essentials—the fixtures and services that can make or break their return on investment.

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The 2012–2015 SEMA Board of Directors Candidates

Eleven industry professionals are vying for positions on the 2012–2015 SEMA Board of Directors.

The SEMA Board provides strategic direction to the association and plays
a critical role in shaping the future of the automotive
specialty-equipment industry. On May 8, election materials were mailed
to the primary contacts at eligible SEMA-member companies.

The voting process is entirely electronic this year and will be ongoing
from May 14, until voting closes on June 12. Election results will be
published in an upcoming issue of SEMA News.

2012 SEMA Membership Directory Printed and Online

The May issue of SEMA News magazine doubles as the annual SEMA
Membership Directory, and SEMA encourages you to keep this copy on your
desk throughout the year to use as your reference tool in locating
SEMA-member companies.

The membership directory is also available online. The online membership
directory is continually updated to include new SEMA members. In
addition, the online version of the membership directory lists members’
staff personnel, and you can contact them via e-mail through your MySEMA

Technology Disruption and Future-Proofing Your Business

As a kid, John Waraniak, SEMA’s vice president of vehicle technology, never gave much thought to a college education. He did, however, enjoy building fast toys—plundering the neighbors’ throwaways on garbage day and reconfiguring found treasures such as washing-machine pulleys, lawn-mower engines, old wagons and bikes into saleable contraptions. That was the sort of vision and imagination that led him to two master’s degrees as well as engineering soapbox racers, B-2 stealth bombers and Chevrolet motorsports programs.


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