Compiled by Steve Campbell
Must-See Features at the 2015 SEMA Show
From Cars & Coffee to the Ultimate Automotive After-Party
The 2015 SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center will offer a profusion of sensory delights. Thousands will be in attendance, and they’ll have plenty to see.
At 1.16 million sq. ft. of exhibit space, the SEMA Show draws thousands of exhibitors, buyers, media and other attendees to a four-day car, truck and powersports extravaganza. The grounds of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC)—both within the exhibit halls and in the surrounding spaces—offer a profusion of sensory delights. In the listings below, we’ve detailed just a few of the highlights.
To get in, you’ve got to be a member of the trade, and the first step is to register. The registration area for this year’s SEMA Show will be in the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, and there are convenient shuttle drop-offs adjacent to that area. On-site registration will be open to exhibitors beginning Thursday, October 29, at 8:00 a.m., and for buyers beginning Sunday, November 1, at 8:00 a.m. Registration will close for the 2015 event at 2:00 p.m. Friday, November 6.
For the ultimate in convenience, register online at www.SEMAShow.com/registration. Either way, registration is only $25 until October 16, after which the price increases to $75. But don’t lose your badge once you have it; replacement badges will entail a $100 charge. For complete information about registering, visit
New Products Showcase
The New Products Showcase, located on the Skybridge between Central and South Halls this year, provides exhibitors with a unique opportunity to increase exposure and gain additional publicity.
The New Products Showcase, located on the Skybridge between Central and South Halls this year, is perennially the number-one buyer and media destination at the SEMA Show. The Showcase is available to all exhibitors and provides a unique opportunity to increase exposure and gain additional publicity. Exhibitors should take advantage of the opportunity to unveil their latest or greatest products to key players in the industry, and Show attendees should make every effort to scour the New Products Showcase displays for the products that will set retail shelves afire in the coming year. To make things even more efficient, buyers and media can take advantage of free electronic scanners that allow them to download photos and information instantaneously. For more information about placing a product in the Showcase, visit www.SEMAShow.com/ideas-alive-featuring-the-new-products-showcase.
Cars & Coffee
Each morning of the SEMA Show from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 a.m., Cars & Coffee, SEMA Edition, gives attendees a great place to get a jumpstart on the day while checking out some cool vehicles and mingling with colleagues. Cars & Coffee will be located between the Westgate and the North Hall of the LVCC, where more than 80 Optima Street Car competitors will be lined up on the full length of the street between the buildings. The Optima vehicles run the gamut of street-legal vehicles from exotics and musclecars to trucks. After the SEMA Show, the vehicles on display will compete with others November 6–8 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the 2015 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. Get an up-close look at the competitors while quaffing a cup of Joe.
Keynote & Coffee
Another great way to kickstart each day of the SEMA Show is Keynote & Coffee. This series of free seminars features thought leaders in business and industry to help attendees burnish their mornings with stimulating perspectives on how to look at business in a slightly different way. The Monday session kicks off at 9:00 a.m., and every morning after that at 8:00 a.m., before the exhibit halls open and the regular conference sessions begin. Give your brain a chance to get moving with new ideas about the industry before you plunge into your day’s activities—and you’ll get a free cup of coffee to go along with it!
The 2015 SEMA Show will include a new exhibitor expansion area adjacent to the South Hall. The Performance Pavilion, a new location for first-time and featured exhibitors, will be located near shuttle bus, taxi and limo drop-off and pickup points, making it a primary thoroughfare into the SEMA Show. Buyers and media in particular should be sure to check out the offerings housed in this new locale.
The Show is all about business, and part of attaining success in the industry is understanding business processes ranging from social media, marketing and advertising to the sales and installation of specific products. The 2015 SEMA Show offers a vast array of learning opportunities through Education Days. The schedule this year includes more than 100 sessions, many of which are free to attendees. Topics range from automotive electronics and business technology to product training and a complete slate of collision and repair courses. Visit www.SEMAShow.com/education to sign up for sessions that will help you optimize how you build and run your business.
Collision Repair and Refinish Stage
In addition to SEMA Education Institute’s broader business offerings, a specific track is available for trade professionals in the the collision and repair side of the industry. These individuals should check out the Repairer Driven Education series being hosted by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (visit www.SEMAShow.com/scrs). In addition to seminars, the series includes several live demonstrations at the Collision Repair and Refinish Stage in the North Hall of the LVCC. The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair will co-host the stage, and topics include structural measuring in the blueprinting process, capturing all necessary elements for welded replacement components, structural adhesive bonding and much more.
Networking and Social Events
To help open space for even more exhibiting companies, the Paradise Event Center (the traditional location of the annual SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet) will now serve as the location for numerous special events. The huge hall can be reconfigured with temporary walls to house multiple events each day. For 2015, the receptions for organizations ,such as the Truck and Off-Road Alliance, the Hot Rod Industry Alliance, the Professional Restylers Organization and the Young Executives Network, will hold their functions in these locations. In addition, the New Products Breakfast and the NHRA Breakfast will also be held there. Then, on Thursday evening, the Event Center will be reconfigured for the Industry Awards Banquet. Tickets for special events and educational sessions are available when you register for the Show. If you have already registered and would like to order special-event tickets, simply follow the instructions and shortcut link in your registration confirmation e-mail.
Both inside and out, the SEMA Show’s attractions are nirvana for automotive professionals. Ford Out Front, the Car Crazy Stage, the Baja 1000 Experience and hundreds of display vehicles are major exterior must-sees.
Ford Out Front
Located in the Silver parking lot in front of Central Hall, this year’s edition of Ford Out Front brings the Ford performance story to life. Show attendees will be able to experience the thrill of riding in a collection of fire-breathing machines. The days at Ford Out Front will be filled with exhibitions by professional drivers such as Ken Block, Vaughn Gittin Jr., Jack Roush Jr. and Justin Pawlak, and SEMA attendees can attack the track in Shelby GT350 Mustangs, Ford Raptors and the new Focus RS as well as Superformance Cobras piloted by Ford Performance Driving School instructors or other notable professionals. The SEMA Show is the only location around the globe to offer this line-up and experience. Don’t miss it!
SCORE Baja 1000 Experience
The lot at the front of the Las Vegas Convention Center will once again be transformed into the ultimate off-road and desert-racing exhibit for the 2015 SEMA Show. The SCORE Baja 1000 Experience will include race-related displays and activities, culminating in a live qualifying event for the 2015 SCORE International Baja 1000, and the grounds will feature Baja 1000 Trophy Truck and Class 1 race vehicles. A prominent stage will host all of the press and SCORE Baja 1000 qualifying activities and presentations.
Getting from an official hotel to the LVCC is even easier this year, with complimentary shuttle-bus service provided each morning along with inter-venue service between the SEMA Show and the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo at the Sands Expo Center throughout the day. Pick-up locations at the LVCC are between the Central and North Halls, at the East end of the Grand Lobby and at the East side of the Performance Pavilion. In addition, the Las Vegas Monorail has extended its hours during the SEMA Show. Board the monorail as early as 7:00 a.m., Tuesday through Friday, with service continuing until 2:00 a.m. each day.
Nitto Tire Media Center
The Nitto Tire Media Center is available exclusively to credentialed media at the SEMA Show. Editors and reporters have access to expedited registration, working computers, dedicated Wi-Fi, lounge areas, private work areas, lockers, food and beverages, exhibitor press materials and more. The media center will be housed in room S220 of the Skybridge passageway between the Central and South Halls. For complete Nitto Tire Media Center and other press-related information, visit www.SEMAShow.com/media.
Shell at the Show
In a landmark return to the SEMA Show, Shell will present “From Classics to Modern Innovation,” as the company hosts legendary and modern automotive personalities on its sound stage and displays enviable vehicles throughout the Show. Co-hosting the Shell events will be broadcast veteran Alan Taylor and “Car Chasers” star and Flat 12 Gallery co-owner Jeff Allen. Among the performance, customization and restoration talent on hand will be John Hennessey, owner of Hennessey Performance and creator of the Hennessey Venom GT, the fastest production car in the world. For the true gearheads in the crowd, lubricants technology experts for the Pennzoil, Quaker State and Shell Rotella brands will be on hand to answer questions about engine protection and performance. Visit the Shell SEMA Show booth #60005 in front of the LVCC.
Car Crazy Studio
Host Barry Meguiar will be at the microphone in the Car Crazy Studio on the outside plaza in front of the convention center. The Car Crazy stage has become a staple at the SEMA Show, with interviews broadcast on screens throughout the LVCC. Meguiar keeps up a running commentary with featured automotive celebrities from the racing, custom-car and aftermarket innovation realms. Watch the action in person at the stage or watch for the lively conversations on the big screens within the exhibit halls.
Center for International Commerce
Centrally located within the LVCC, the Center for International Commerce (CIC) is a valuable resource for SEMA Show exhibitors and international buyers. SEMA international staff will be on hand at the CIC along with 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, lounge areas and Wi-Fi are also available.
The SEMA Show also plays host to the International Happy Hour at the CIC, Wednesday, November 4, 5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m. With 1,000 international buyers, exhibitors and media, the event is the world’s largest international networking gathering of automotive specialty-equipment companies. Top international media from key overseas markets will also be
SEMA Data Co-op
In addition to a series of seminars designed to help members create great data and sell more parts, staff from the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) will once again be on hand in booth #20579 of the Central Hall, one floor up directly behind the Ford display. The big news this year is the introduction of SEMA Search, an online product look-up tool powered by the SDC product information library. SEMA Search will allow member retailers, including countermen and sales consultants at brick-and-mortar retail outlets, to find and present digital product information and images from their manufacturer partners to their customers. Be sure to stop by the SDC booth for a demonstration of this new tool’s capabilities, and check out www.SEMAShow.com/education for scheduled SDC seminars detailing data management and optimization.
Toyo Tires Treadpass
The Toyo Tires Treadpass between the back of the South and Central Halls offers not only a convenient covered transit path between exhibitor displays but also its own array of customized cars, trucks and big rigs. The Treadpass traditionally offers a convenient lounge between the halls where attendees can also take advantage of charging stations for their electronics. Toyo’s tire displays provide an in-depth look at the technology, features and benefits of the brand’s offerings.
TORA Media Preview
Credentialed journalists can avoid the rush of 60,000 buyers to get a sneak peek at some of the newest parts and accessories for the largest vehicle segment in the automotive aftermarket at the SEMA Light-Truck Accessory Alliance (TORA) Media Preview. A limited number of TORA manufacturers will have their new products on display, with representatives available for interviews from 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., Monday, November 2, in the Nitto Tire Media Center. Editors and reporters will be able to ask questions and have the opportunity to photograph the products.
Located in the Grand Lobby of the LVCC between the North and Central Halls, SEMA Central will house the SEMA membership pod, where attendees can discover the many productivity and money-saving benefits of joining the association. SEMA Central will also be the place where you can pick up your tickets to the Industry Awards Banquet. In addition, SEMA Central will feature two other pods—one dedicated to the SEMA Garage and the other to the SEMA Data Co-op. All three will offer information about the organizations’ services as well as displays that include 3D printing and product scanning using the SEMA’s FaroArm coordinate measuring machine.
SEMA Art Walk
From sculptures to oil paintings and line drawings, automotive fine art captures renowned vehicles, race action, historic events and the personalities who built the industry. An amazing collection will be on display at the SEMA Art Walk, located this year at the base of the escalator leading from Central Hall to the Skybridge. Visit the site to meet artist Max Grundy, legendary events promoter Bob Larivee Sr. and other creative talents.
Battle of the Builders
Automotive customization is art. Whether the vehicle is a car or a truck, a hot rod or an exotic, top customizers create rolling sculptures with power, performance and perfect sheetmetal. The Battle of the Builders seeks to identify the pinnacle of the form. The competition is open to customizers who have vehicles on display at the 2015 SEMA Show. Editors from leading automotive magazines select the top 10 finalists for the competition, and then the finalists themselves became the judges who select the ultimate winner. To register for the Battle of the Builders, visit www.SEMAignited.com.
SEMA Cruise and SEMA Ignited
The fun doesn’t stop when the SEMA Show closes on Friday. The now-traditional SEMA Cruise—a parade of 500+ display vehicles that have appeared at the Show all week—will wind its way from the LVCC around the exhibit halls and across Paradise Road to the Gold Lot, where they will line up for the second annual SEMA Ignited after-party. Unlike the SEMA Show, this event is open to the public, allowing participating exhibitors to reveal their innovations to consumers. This automotive festival will feature four “villages” dedicated to vehicles from the off-road, hot rod, sport compact and overall segments of the industry. Multiple stages will offer a variety of entertainment; Formula D will provide drift demonstrations; and a midway populated with displays and big rigs will draw the multitudes. For more information, visit www.SEMAignited.com.
Don’t miss any of it! Register now to attend the 2015 SEMA Show.