With the increasing global appeal of specialty automotive style and performance equipment, the 2008 SEMA Show, being held November 4–7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, has expanded its list of resources, special services and business opportunities created specifically for international visitors.

The annual trade-only event expects industry professionals representing more than 100 countries to be in Las Vegas the first week in November exploring the infinite possibilities that exist for global expansion. From qualified trade leads to international legislative advocacy and research studies, the SEMA Show serves as a valuable resource for those businesses looking to increase their international presence.

“The automotive specialty-equipment market is booming worldwide and the opportunities that exist for SEMA members in international markets are abundant, as evidenced by China’s recent decision to legalize vehicle personalization,” said Linda Spencer, SEMA director of international and government relations. “As the market’s largest trade event, the SEMA Show attracts more and more international businesses each year.”

The SEMA Show will offer its international visitors special resources that include: a custom-fit trade lead program that matches buyers with the exhibitors of products of particular interest; dozens of free seminars; wide-ranging education programs; roundtable discussions about selling in the United States and international markets; a SEMA International Buyers Guide; multilingual “We Export” signs at exhibitor booths; export experts at key booths, social functions and networking opportunities.

SEMA staff from the United States and overseas offices, as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy, will be available to assist SEMA Show attendees from around the world.

To accommodate this important international audience, SEMA will also offer the Center for International Commerce (CIC). Located on the Skybridge between the Central and South Halls in Room S229. The center offers:

  • Consultation with SEMA's international staff and U.S. Department of Commerce representatives, interpreters, Internet access and international phone, fax and e-mail service
  • Free private meeting space to meet with current and potential international customers
  • In cooperation with international publishers, copies of specialty-equipment magazines from around the world, providing a look at which companies are advertising and which products and project vehicles are featured in publications from Japan, Germany, Italy, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico and Venezuela and the rest of the world
  • Up-to-date look-up and printouts of international buyers at the 2008 SEMA Show AAIW, including on-site registrants
  • Copies of SEMA international reports
  • An electronic locator that will make it even easier for buyers to locate the products they seek at the Show.

SEMA will also host its Fifth Annual Global Media Awards event that recognizes the top new style and performance products introduced at the Show, as voted on by a prestigious jury of international journalists. The voting panel reviews more than 1,500 new products and from these, each journalist selects the products that would most interest enthusiasts in their respective country.

Winners are invited to attend the awards ceremony, which attracts hundreds of international buyers, U.S. Department of Commerce officials, SEMA-member company representatives and the press.

All year-round, SEMA’s International Relations Program provides comprehensive services to help automotive specialty-equipment companies expand worldwide. As global demand for the industry’s products soars, SEMA helps its members identify the most viable economies, business organizations, regions for growth, and vehicle types for development and educates them on how best to proceed. SEMA works with governments and associations all over the world to promote local automotive specialty-equipment businesses and the trade and industry benefits they represent.

SEMA offers easy online registration available in seven languages—English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese—at The comprehensive website contains complete information about the SEMA Show: schedule, floor plan, exhibitor list and travel and accommodations. The site will be continually updated until the Show opens.

The SEMA Show is certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program. For more information about programs and services available to international visitors at the SEMA Show, contact Linda Spencer: 202/783-4032 or