Breaking News

SEMA President Chris Kersting Answers the Question, "How'd the Show Go?"

  SEMA News Jan 2011 Cover
  Check out the January issue of SEMA News for highlights of some of the hottest cars and best parts for 2011.

The following is from SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting.

It has been said that a rising tide lifts all boats. Well, the industry was buoyed appreciably in November at the 2010 SEMA Show, and I'd like to thank all who participated in once again delivering the industry's most valuable business gathering. We measure the success of the SEMA Show not just by the numbers, but also by the levels of participation and satisfaction as reflected by the industry. Below are a few answers to the questions "How'd the Show go?" and "What was new?"

With turnout and enthusiasm at the Show as worthy indicators, the industry is clearly upbeat heading toward 2011. Nearly 111,000 people took part in the 2010 SEMA Show, up about 7.5% over 2009. There were 1,950 exhibiting companies occupying more than 900,000 sq. ft. of displays, up 17% over 2009. Most importantly, satisfaction levels were outstanding: Post-Show surveys indicated that 91% of buyers rated their overall experience as either "excellent" or "good," up from 81% in the prior year. Among exhibiting manufacturers, 88% reported a satisfaction rating of "excellent" or "good," up from 77% in 2009.

Media participation at the Show was among our best ever, topping out at more than 3,000 individuals, including traditional print and broadcast journalists, as well as website editors and bloggers. These journalists converged on Las Vegas to record and report on the latest products, emerging trends and the future outlook of attendees and exhibitors alike. The resulting media coverage has been outstanding.

One of the most telling statistics of the 2010 SEMA Show was the number of entries in the New Products Showcase. The 2010 event saw more companies participating with more than 2,000 new parts, tools, car care, maintenance and accessory items. You can see them all through our archive of high-resolution SEMA Show photography online at

People also come to the SEMA Show to learn about business management, participate in professional development programs and keep pace with vehicle technology advances. The SEMA Show Education Week program featured nearly 140 sessions and drew close to 5,200 attendees. An additional 10 sessions were offered by the Tire Industry Association and drew another 539 industry professionals. The goal this year was to improve the value of each session. The response from those who participated was very encouraging indeed. The average overall satisfaction rating for Education Week was 4.32 out of a possible of 5—a remarkable achievement. If you did not take advantage of Education Week sessions, be sure to make time and schedule your participation next year.

The 2010 SEMA Show also saw the launch of a successful new award program, the SEMA Award (see "The SEMA Award" on p. 29 of the January 2011 SEMA News). Twenty-one vehicles were in contention for Hottest Car, Hottest Truck and Hottest 4X4-SUV, with the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford F-Series and Jeep Wrangler winning their respective categories. The award celebrates not only the vehicles, but also the dazzling array of new products our industry has available for them.

The contenders and the SEMA Award-winning vehicles have received overwhelming media coverage. Participation in the Pre-Show SEMA Challenge, inviting car and truck enthusiasts to predict the winners of the SEMA Award, drew 12,606 votes and 9,004 page views of the SEMA Award page. We've also posted lists of the manufacturers who make products for each of the 21 contenders at

The SEMA Show is a one-of-a-kind gathering that builds upon our industry's heritage and initiates progress and future accomplishments. The industry's participation makes it happen, and the association is proud to help deliver such a meaningful and value-laden event. As the economy continues to improve, the innovation and passion that we witnessed at the 2010 SEMA Show is sure to accelerate our industry's participation in the recovery and will result in new growth.

Thank you for all you did to make it a success!