Proven Habits of SEMA Show Buyers

 Show Floor Buyers
Knowing the common behaviors of SEMA Show buyers can help exhibitors generate the greatest number of qualified leads.

By Becca Butler

Show floor hours for the SEMA Show are Tuesday–Thursday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., and Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. That gives exhibitors 31 hours of time to connect with buyers on the Show floor. Presuming an average of six minutes per buyer, each person is able to meet with 310 buyers. Of course, not every buyer is going to become a customer, but the first step is making sure to reach the most qualified buyers.
Knowing and understanding the common behaviors of buyers at the SEMA Show can help exhibitors reach the greatest number of qualified leads.

Here are five facts you need to know about SEMA Show buyers: 

  • Buyers are placing orders and taking advantage of limited-time Show specials.
    Many exhibitors focus on increasing awareness and refrain from making sales. However, recent research shows that there are many exhibitors taking orders and closing deals. What compels buyers to make an order at the SEMA Show? Three out of every four buyers places an order as a result of an exhibitor’s SEMA Show special.

    Takeaway: Exhibitors offering a special generate more sales at the SEMA Show.
  • Buyers are influenced by the New Products Showcase.
    The New Products Showcase is where buyers look to discover new and innovative products at the Show. In addition to the exposure the New Products Showcase offers, participating in the Showcase helps to drive traffic to an exhibitor’s booth. Research shows that more than 50% of buyers that visit the Showcase are influenced to visit an exhibitor’s booth after seeing their product in the Showcase.

    Takeaway: Exhibitors participating in the New Products Showcase will drive more booth traffic during the SEMA Show. 
  • Nearly 90% of buyers plan to purchase from an exhibitor after the Show.
    Exhibitors may generate hundreds of leads while exhibiting at the SEMA Show, but many fail to follow through and close the sale. While 90% of buyers plan on making a purchase after the Show, it is generally those who are followed up with who go through with the order. The most successful exhibitors are those who review their post-Show leads and follow up in a timely manner. In addition to a lead retrieval in the booth, exhibitors can obtain qualified leads by participating in the New Products Showcase.

    Takeaway: Take advantage of ways to capture qualified leads, including participating in the New Products Showcase.
  • Buyers come to the Show with a plan.
    While buyers often spontaneously stop at booths while walking the floor, nearly 75% of buyers arrive at the Show with a list of companies they want to see. This means exhibitors need to make sure they get on buyers' lists by taking advantage of opportunities such as posting a release on the Online Media Center or updating their company description in the Show Directory.

    Takeaway: Buyers use the exhibitor listing in the SEMA Show Directory and other pre-Show promotional materials to determine who they want to see at the SEMA Show.
  • Wednesday is the most-attended day.
    When it comes to the four-day SEMA Show, it’s important to value each and every day. Research shows that the most highly attended day of the SEMA Show is Wednesday, with the number of buyers attending on Friday increasing over the years. Be sure to have your booth staffed each day of the Show, and consider planning your meals in advance or having your lunch delivered to your booth so you don’t miss the opportunity to meet with potential buyers.

    Takeaway: Exhibitors that leverage all four days of the SEMA Show and come with a comprehensive plan will get the greatest ROI from the Show. 

The 2015 SEMA Show will take place November 3–6 in Las Vegas. For more information about the tools and resources available to help SEMA Show exhibitors be successful, visit the Exhibitor Services Manual or contact an account rep at, 909-396-0289.

Exhibit space is still available at