Global Update

Meet With Thousands of International Buyers at the SEMA Show


  The SEMA Center for International Commerce is just one of the valuable resources that will allow SEMA Show exhibitors to connect with international buyers.

A record number of international retailers, importers and distributors from 120 countries are already registered to attend this year’s SEMA Show. Make room in your schedule to attend networking opportunities to meet these global buyers who are traveling to Las Vegas to identify new suppliers. Check out the various international activities available at this year’s SEMA Show. Seminars are open to all attendees; no registration needed. The International Happy Hour is open to all 2011 SEMA Show exhibitors and invited international buyers. Exhibitors can register here for the International Happy Hour. 

Nearly 25% of all buyers expected at the 2011 SEMA Show will come from outside the United States. Registration is particularly strong among buyers from around the world, including Canada, Mexico, Australia, Brazil and other Latin American countries, China, Germany, Scandinavia, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. SEMA offers a variety of programs and resources to link Show exhibitors with these international distributors and retailers.


Attend three international seminars taking place Monday, October 31, at the start of SEMA Education Days:

  • 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: Beyond Borders: The Logistics Behind Global Growth

A panel of industry experts will provide a high-level overview of trends in international markets and best practices for international logistics. Learn what to do from real-world case studies and what pitfalls to avoid when shipping product overseas.

  • 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.: Selling Into the Brazilian Market: Insider Tips

A new SEMA survey will be released on the specialty-equipment market in Brazil later this year. Learn the latest trends, applications and perceptions of U.S. brands. Hear from local distributors and media.

  • 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.: Opportunities for SEMA-Member Manufacturers in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates and surrounding countries provide some of the best opportunities for U.S. manufacturers. Off-roading, car collecting and motorsports are growing in popularity. Learn how to cash in on this lucrative region.

International Happy Hour

More than 1,000 companies are expected at the 2011 SEMA International Happy Hour. The event provides an excellent opportunity to network with buyers and distributors from around the world. Top international media from key overseas markets will also be in attendance.

Global Media Awards

The eighth annual Global Media Awards will once again be selected by a group of top automotive journalists from more than 20 countries who will each name 10 products from the Ideas Alive: Featuring the New Products Showcase that they think will most appeal to consumers in their home markets. Winning companies will receive a Global Media Award, which signifies the global appeal of their products, and the companies will be recognized at the International Happy Hour. To be considered, ensure your products are featured in the New Products Showcase. (Visit, click on "Exhibitors" at the top of the page and select the “New Products Showcase” link under “Marketing, Advertising & Sponsorships” to get started.) Read the story "New Products Showcase Features More Than 2,000 Entries—Here Are the Winners" about last year’s winners.

Center for International Commerce

The SEMA Center for International Commerce (CIC), located in room S224 of the Las Vegas Convention Center, is a valuable resource for SEMA Show exhibitors and international buyers. SEMA’s international staff will be on hand at the CIC, as will a team of interpreters to assist in bilingual communication in key languages that include German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese. Complimentary private meeting rooms are also available in the CIC.

U.S. Export Pavilion

The U.S. government is sponsoring a U.S. Export Pavilion at the 2011 SEMA Show to highlight programs designed to help U.S. companies expand into global markets. From using the latest export statistics to finding the easiest shipping methods, companies can talk to trade experts to plan an export strategy to target new markets and find new buyers. Visit booth #38129.

Companies today receive international sales inquiries every day, but some worry about complying with the latest export regulations or ensuring payment from unknown buyers. More and more companies are learning that federal government programs exist to help them expand their international sales and navigate the export process. At the U.S. Export Pavilion, U.S. government agencies will demonstrate their services and talk to companies interested in exporting their products internationally.

The objective of the Pavilion is to educate and assist U.S. companies on all aspects of exporting, including but not limited to:

  • Researching export markets
  • Accessing and using official U.S. trade statistics
  • Understanding how to properly classify export commodities
  • Finding international buyers
  • Complying with export regulations
  • Financing international transactions
  • Shipping products internationally
  • Understanding the commerce control list
  • Filing information in the automated export system

Exhibitors who stop by the Export Pavilion will receive a three-month trial offer to USATrade OnLine. This Internet-based product includes all access to the entire foreign trade database for the United States. It incorporates detailed information on every good imported into or exported out of the United States. This is a powerful tool that will help U.S. companies determine where there are export markets for their products and in which markets they can be competitive.

For more information on any of these programs and seminars, contact Linda Spencer at

For questions on the International Happy Hour (IHH), contact Casey Kooiman at