2015 SEMA Show Preview
So what exactly do you get with a ticket to the 2015 SEMA Show? Surprisingly most don't know the answer to that question. What's become ground zero in the world of automotive customization products and trends is still somewhat of a mystery to the average car guy, but why? The SEMA Show started back the sixties as an association for speed parts merchants. As the industry grew, SEMA expanded to include all sorts of automotive specialty equipment beyond speed parts, and the SEMA Show grew with it. This trade show is a showcase for new products and companies to get in front of buyers, driving the industry and specialty equipment trends with it. Today the automotive aftermarket is a 30 billion dollar industry, and last year over 60,000 buyers attended the SEMA Show. Buyers shopped 6,500+ member companies, including the nearly 2,000 brand new products featured. The show is huge, and it's influential. [caption id="attachment_6478" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Thousands of people walk the SEMA Show floors, which extend deep into the parking lots surrounding the million plus square feet of indoor space.[/caption] The latest and greatest products are usually featured on highly customized vehicles. Thousands of them, actually. So many wild custom cars, trucks and motorcycles displaying everything from paint products to headlights. But you probably already knew about that, didn't you? [caption id="attachment_6467" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Coker Group President & COO Wade Kawasaki moderating a panel of industry professionals at SEMA Show[/caption] While SEMA has grown as an organization, the SEMA Show has also grown offering attendees dozens of panels, seminars and highly specialized training sessions covering everything from basic marketing to sophisticated inventory control systems. Most days you can choose from several classes going on simultaneously throughout the day, all week long. In fact, you could attend classes and seminars during the entire show if you wanted to. It doesn't stop there, though. The Show plays host to dozens of councils and groups, with networking functions taking place every night, usually two to three events or more per night. For example YEN (Young Executives Network), offers industry members under 40 years old a chance to network and grow together. While HRIA (Hot Rod Industry Alliance, ARMO (Automotive Restoration Market Organization) and SBN (SEMA Businesswomen's Network) and many other councils offer a more focused networking opportunity to members as well as year round support and resource sharing. Still have some spare time on your hands? Check out the incredible SEMA Government Affairs and PAC (Political Action Committee) to see how SEMA unites Manufacturers against harmful legislation and lawmaking efforts that threaten motorsports and specialty automotive interests. [caption id="attachment_6462" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The foot traffic at SEMA Show consists of thousands of buyers and sellers for virtually any automotive segment you might imagine.[/caption] On Thursday night, swing by the awe inspiring SEMA Awards banquet and witness industry legends being inducted to the SEMA Hall of Fame, joining the likes of Carroll Shelby, George Barris and Fred Offenhauser. The scope and scale of the SEMA Show is incredible. Over a million square feet of vendors, vehicles and products are open for business during the week long show. When the show ends, SEMA's work in the industry doesn't stop. Driving innovation and development continues year round with mind-melting programs such as the SEMA Data Co-Op, a "definitive product data repository for the specialty parts marketplace" backed by all the tools and resources needed to develop cutting edge products for virtually any vehicle you can imagine, including brand new models. You start to get a sense of just how big this thing is. The industry is huge, the Show itself has obviously grown into a spectacle and SEMA as an organization offers a staggering amount of educational, political and industry support to member companies. Since the SEMA Show is still a trade show and not open to the general public, there continues to be some mystery floating around what really goes on inside its closed doors. The answer is most definitely, a whole lot! The 2015 SEMA Show will again feature thousands of cars, products and companies descending on Las Vegas Nevada for a week of networking, buying, selling, learning and celebrating all things Specialty Equipment in the beautifully orchestrated chaos that is SEMA Show. So how do you get to see it? If you're in the industry, join SEMA today, if you're not, SEMA Ignited enters its second year as the post-SEMA Show party displaying all of the custom vehicles to the general public on Friday night at the conclusion of the show.