The SEMA Show: Ever Evolving, Unchanged Core Premise

SEMA News—October 2016


The SEMA Show: Ever Evolving, Unchanged Core Premise

Chris KerstingAs you read this, thousands of automotive specialty-equipment manufacturers are working in full-frenzy mode, finalizing their latest automotive innovations for the 2016 SEMA Show. For 50 years now, the basic premise of the Show has remained unchanged: unite automotive specialty-equipment buyers with parts manufacturers for a four-day marketplace to grow sales and the industry. And yet the SEMA Show is also ever-changing, introducing new ways to make this marketplace more productive, informative and interesting.

This year, several new features have been added that will allow buyers to not only see new products but also experience how those products perform. Two new outdoor tracks will give attendees a chance to ride with professional drivers to learn more about many of the new products that will be introduced. The Show will also feature new opportunities for media coverage and programming, including the Velocity Live Stage, an exclusive Media Preview and more.

New products are the lifeblood of the Show, and the New Products Showcase is the top-rated Show feature, acting as an effective and time-saving resource for buyers and the media. This year, we’re expecting to exhibit roughly 3,000 of the industry’s newest offerings, organized by market segment. Handy barcode scanners, available to all Showcase visitors, make it easy to capture key information about each product and connect with the manufacturer.

The automotive aftermarket is known for innovation, and some of the year’s best new products will be produced by first-time exhibitors. SEMA works hard to accommodate these new companies at the SEMA Show. This year, buyers will again be able to visit first-time and featured exhibitors in the Performance Pavilion, located adjacent to the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Performance Pavilion proved a popular and valuable Show addition last year, and we expect that it will become more so with an even greater number of first-time exhibitors registering for this year’s Show.

The SEMA Show is also an opportunity to learn new ways to grow your business. The Education Days seminar program will feature more than 150 different speakers covering a wide range of topics. SEMA Central, located in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center each year, has become an additional resource for demonstrating new business tools and technologies.

SEMA Central will demonstrate a new cutting-edge marketing tool this year: virtual reality (VR). Showgoers will be able to experience a series of automotive-themed VR demonstrations and learn how the technology can be applied to product sales, marketing and product development for their own businesses.

The Show has evolved in recent years toward a Friday crescendo, and this year’s Show will build on that trend. Education seminars have been added to the Friday schedule for the first time. Exhibitors will also benefit from an increasing attendance trend, fueled in part by the growing popularity of the SEMA Cruise, the Battle of the Builders competition and the Friday capstone, SEMA Ignited.

Introduced in 2014, this official “after-party” event begins at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, is open to the public, and gives consumers the opportunity to see some of the amazing vehicles that were on display during the trade-only event while observing the filming of the Battle of the Builders competition that will air on a nationally televised show on Velocity. It’s a great place for Showgoers to unwind from the week and enjoy a night of food, entertainment, drifting demonstrations and more.

The 2016 SEMA Show will take place November 1–4, and it’s going to be better than ever. If you still haven’t registered for the Show, it’s not too late. Just visit—and we’ll see you there!

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