9 Top Exhibitor Tips for Show Preparation

By Chad Simon

Whether introducing a new product, promoting their Show presence, conducting product demonstrations or featuring a project build, there are several key steps exhibitors can take now to help them prepare for the Show.

The automotive specialty-equipment world will flock to the Las Vegas Convention Center for the official kickoff of the 2017 SEMA Show on October 31, and SEMA Show management has provided several tips to help exhibitors get ready for the event. Whether introducing a new product, promoting their Show presence, conducting product demonstrations or featuring a project build, there are key steps to take now to help save money, attract more business and be prepared when the Show floor opens.   

  1. Registration for exhibitors is available at The primary contact may register the entire staff at one time quickly and easily. Domestic exhibitors (United States/Canada) who register before the early October deadline will receive their badges in the mail.
  2. Book hotels early for the best selection and rates. SEMA Show management negotiates travel discounts and secures a limited number of reduced-rate hotel rooms to make Showgoers’ trip to Las Vegas affordable. The official SEMA Show housing services provider is OnPeak, and booking through OnPeak provides Showgoers with benefits, such as guaranteed low rates; no penalties for adjustments or changes to reservation; and no booking, change or cancelation fees. The SEMA Show Travel & Lodging page features a frequently updated, real-time listing of the hotel deals and discounts available for the 2017 Show.
  3. Staying on track with planning will help companies take advantage of special opportunities and Show programs that are designed to help them save money. The SEMA Show Exhibitor Services Manual includes the information and forms needed to prepare now for the Show. In fact, many of the booth services (electrical, furnishings, etc.) have discount rates available for placing orders by the early-bird deadlines. Two of the forms suggested by Show management to help track and monitor Show expenses and planning are the Budget Checklist and the Deadline Checklist. The Budget Checklist helps exhibitors track their Show budget based on booth needs. The Deadline Checklist is where exhibitors will find all of the due dates for booth services and rentals, along with the deadlines and advance rates for ordering early.
  4. Update your SEMA Show Directory Listing. Your company’s designated SEMA Show contact will receive specific instructions via email regarding your company’s SEMA Show Directory listing with instructions on how to update pertinent information online. The deadline to be included in the printed SEMA Show Directory is Friday, August 25, 2017.
  5. The deadline to apply for a press conference at the 2017 SEMA Show is tomorrow, July 28. Available exclusively for SEMA Show exhibiting companies, press conferences are a great way to reach a large number of media, but they are not always suited for every type of news announcement.
  6. The SEMA Show’s No. 1 buyer and media destination, the New Products Showcase is the most valuable resource for exhibitors seeking additional product exposure and company outreach. SEMA Show management reports that more than half of buyers are influenced to visit an exhibitor after seeing their product in the New Products Showcase. In addition to highlighting the industry’s newest releases, the New Products Showcase includes a Featured Products category for exhibitors to highlight their signature products or best sellers. Featured Products may be previously introduced products and do not need to qualify as new. The first product entered in the New Products Showcase is free. All additional entries are $75 per product category if entered by Friday, October 6, after which, the fee is $150 per product category. Enter your products here.
  7. Consider advertising and sponsorships. Promote your booth via pre-Show marketing to help bring in more traffic. The SEMA Show Daily—a key resource for Showgoers—provides a day-to-day breakdown and schedules of what’s happening on the Show floor, including special events, press conferences and education sessions.
  8. The Online Media Center is available for exhibitors to announce product and SEMA Show announcements, such as guest and celebrity appearances, descriptions of the new products planned for display, special booth vehicles, product giveaways and more. Note: Many of the press releases and announcements submitted to the Online Media Center are used in SEMA’s Show publications, including the SEMA Show Daily and the October and November issues of SEMA News magazine.
  9. Apply for a booth or feature vehicle space. Exhibitors must submit a booth vehicle application so that the vehicle is registered with Show management. Be aware of the guidelines for booth vehicles. This form includes details to ensure a smooth move-in and move-out process. Booth vehicles are great for attracting buyers walking the aisles and should be used to engage customers. Applications for feature vehicle space are due August 1. Qualified exhibitors are guaranteed one space if their applications and payment are submitted before the deadline. Exhibitors should also note the guidelines for feature vehicles. Exhibitors should treat feature vehicle spaces as an extension of their booth spaces and use them to promote their own products and drive traffic to their booths.

For more information about the SEMA Show, visit