Breaking News

Avoid These SEMA Show Rookie Mistakes

By Becca Butler
With more than 1 million sq.-ft. of exhibit space, Showgoers will want to ensure they bring a comfortable pair of shoes.

First-time SEMA Showgoers might be wondering what to expect when they arrive in Vegas. The 2014 SEMA Show annually attracts more than 130,000 automotive industry professionals. For those who have never attended, it is important to come prepared and avoid common rookie mistakes that many first-timers make.

When previous Showgoers were asked to share their biggest mistake they made the first year, this is what they had to say:

Rookie Mistake: “Thinking I could see it all in one day.”

Lesson Learned: Registration for the SEMA Show provides access for all four days of the event. The SEMA Show fills more than 1 million sq.-ft. of the Las Vegas Convention Center, with more than 2,300 exhibiting companies, plus additional features and attractions, such as a taping of Velocity’s popular TV Show “Overhaulin’” and the OPTIMA Street Car Alley (located between the Westgate (formerly LVH)) and Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) North Hall. Attending the SEMA Show for multiple days is the best way to enjoy the event in its entirety.

Rookie Mistake: “Not bringing the right shoes.”

Lesson Learned: If you’ve been to the Show before, then you can agree that comfortable shoes are a must. Walking all day can be a painful experience on your feet if you are not wearing the correct shoes. You can give your feet a break mid-day by attending one of more than 50 free education seminars. It’s a great way to get off your feet for an hour and learn some new business strategies. For a list of the seminars visit Make sure you break in your shoes beforehand, and bring more than one pair!

Rookie Mistake: “I wasn’t prepared.”

Lesson Learned: Because there are thousands of exhibitors to visit, it is important to have a plan before attending the Show. Know where exhibitors are located to help you accomplish all you want to see at the Show. You can also download the SEMA Show app, which features turn-by-turn directions using a “locate me” feature for guidance to one or multiple exhibitor booths or Show features. The app is available for download. View the full list of exhibitors and the floorplan.

Rookie Mistake: “Waiting until the last minute to register.”

Lesson Learned: Registering in advance online can save you money and ensure that you have your badge in hand before the Show opens. You can register for the Show at After confirming your registration, you can quickly secure hotel accommodations and reservations through the Travel & Lodging page. Booking through this service, which is provided by the official Show housing partner Travel Planners, provides Showgoers with a low-price guarantee and premier customer service. Don’t forget that there is a complimentary shuttle bus service provided each morning and afternoon between the LVCC and official hotels. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan how you are going to get to the Show!

Rookie Mistake: “Didn’t drink enough water.”

Lesson Learned: Most Showgoers are on the floor an average of eight hours per day. Staying hydrated is very important. You can fuel up for your first day by attending SEMA’s annual New Products Breakfast, Tuesday, November 4, from 7:30 a.m.–8:45 a.m., in the Westgate (formerly the LVH) ballroom A, to find out the winners of the New Products Awards. Remember to bring plenty of water and make plans for your meals throughout the week; it is easy to lose track of time when you’re on the Show floor.

Rookie Mistake: “Not going the whole week.”

Lesson Learned: Every day of the Show offers something new and exciting to see. Whether it is a vehicle unveil or celebrity appearance, don’t skip out on the full SEMA Show experience. New this year is SEMA Ignited, which takes place after the SEMA Show on Friday, November 7, from 4:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m., at The LINQ in Las Vegas. Open to the public and free of charge, you'll find vehicles, products, celebrities, demonstrations, music, food and fun from the 2014 SEMA Show. For more information, check out

Visit the SEMA Show Facebook page for more tips and tricks that can help you have a successful first-time at the SEMA Show.