2021: At Last—A Show to Reconnect!
By Chris Kersting
It has been two long years since the industry last gathered in Las Vegas for our annual trade event, so for everyone who has waited in anticipation, welcome to the 2021 SEMA Show!
As this issue of SEMA News goes to press, more than 1,300 manufacturers are registered to exhibit, presenting the opportunity for Show attendees to access two years’ worth of outstanding new products and innovations. There is nothing like the SEMA Show to bring together resellers from far and wide, along with manufacturers eager to demonstrate the ingenuity, originality and value of their latest product offerings.
There will also be an incomparable display of incredible cars and trucks, remarkable booth presentations and the only-at-SEMA opportunity to take in emerging trends in customization, performance mods and our dynamic automotive culture. SEMA Show 2021 also offers stunning new facilities to explore, a spacious new Show layout, and a Show packed with new experiences.
Attendees arriving at the Show will find that much has changed. Pro tip: Take advantage of the free SEMA Show app, especially in this year of changes. The app brings together exhibitor information, interactive floorplans and event information, all at your fingertips through your mobile device. It also features a scanning function to capture product information from feature vehicles on display throughout the Show and from the New Products Showcase. And FYI, the New Products Showcase (always a key path to discovery for buyers and media) will be in the Upper South Hall and have a larger footprint this year, thanks to strong participation from exhibitors with a backlog of new products to reveal.
Must-see Show features are detailed elsewhere in this issue, but some, such as the Chip Foose live design demonstration, offer clear illustrations of today’s manufacturing technology. Following Foose’s demonstration, the team will use a CNC machine to cut out Foose’s custom wheel design.
And for the first time ever, there will be a dramatic showdown this year between SEMA Launch Pad finalists at the Thursday-night SEMA Banquet. The supercharged Launch Pad program, which yields reality-style content that exposes our industry’s best and brightest innovators to millions around the world, will culminate at the bigger, brighter SEMA Banquet, where cameras will be rolling.
There are more than a million square feet of outdoor activation space, including feature vehicles, displays, drifting and ride-and-drive experiences. Not least among them will be the new Hoonigan daily Burnyard Bash shows that will transform the Silver Lot into an event setting for a live audience, with daily social-media updates and a YouTube special that will air after the Show.
The newly completed 1.4-million-sq.-ft. West Hall now offers SEMA expanded opportunities to develop immersive displays, including the all-new SEMA Overland Experience. At the Overland Experience, buyers can explore dozens of customized vehicles outfitted for survival, supporting rapidly growing enthusiast interest in self-contained adventure travel.
Complicating planning this year has been the ever-changing COVID landscape that has required continuous adjustments from week to week. We appreciate the patience of our industry members and the perseverance to make it to this moment. With that in mind, we are pleased to have this opportunity to return to the world’s greatest gathering of automotive business opportunities, to reconnect, and to get set for a successful 2022. Thank you all for helping to make this event happen, and we wish you a productive and exciting SEMA Show week!