It’s old news that the SEMA Show could not take place this year in Las Vegas due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The silver lining, however, is the emergence of SEMA360—a digital solution that will allow users within the convenience of their own schedules to interact with participating brands, attend educational and networking sessions, view new products and spot industry trends.
Inaugurated in 2014, the SEMA Show’s annual Battle of The Builders (BOTB) event, a nationwide competition series that culminates at the Show each November, has become an essential element of the Show-week experience. Even though this year’s Show will not take place as planned, we wanted share some of the entries we’ve received as a way of providing recognition to the many builders and fabricators who spend thousands of shop-hours each year to transform their automotive dreams into reality.
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund awarded $307,000 to 106 individuals this year. The financial awards include scholarships for current students and loan-forgiveness awards to employees of SEMA-member companies.
TIA is a nonprofit organization, and its mission is to promote tire safety through education and training, to act as the tire industry’s principal advocate in legislative affairs, and to represent the industry at public and industry events such as the SEMA Show. TIA offers training and certification courses in automotive, commercial, earthmover and farm tire service, and more than 150,000 technicians have completed TIA coursework to date.
SEMA Launch Pad Presented by YEN started in 2013 as a partnership between SEMA Education and the Young Executives Network (YEN). The goal was to promote entrepreneurship in the automotive aftermarket by giving young innovators and builders a chance to showcase their products before a panel of industry experts at the SEMA Show. Out of hundreds of aspirants, a short-list of 10 is selected to appear at the SEMA Show. From that group, five finalists are chosen to pitch their products in person at a dedicated event in Las Vegas.
A number of new models and concepts were unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, revealing ’20 model-year vehicles and concepts intended to signal the directions automakers are considering for the future. The L.A. Show, the first major show of the new-car season, tends to focus on electric-vehicle (EV) technology and clean-energy vehicles and has added programs intended to be a catalyst for industry progress. Of the 65 vehicles that made their debuts on media days, 25 were from global brands, and more than 1,000 new models were on display on the show floor when the event opened for consumers.
International Buyers from 130 countries descended on the 2019 SEMA Show, walking the aisles to find products that would resonate well with their customers back home and to see the latest trends in customizing. Networking with the more than 20% of buyers residing overseas features high on the list of priorities of exhibitors. Global recognition of their products from a panel of international journalists is a sought-after recognition and serves to assist companies in identifying promising export markets. The SEMA Show organizes a number of programs and resources to assist in making those connections.
Sometimes people come together for a special cause and create something extraordinary. SEMA Garage, WD-40 and many others in the industry came together in order to create a custom ’66 Ford Bronco that will be auctioned off to benefit Childhelp later in the year. Childhelp is an organization dedicated to closing the cycle of child abuse in the United States by helping victims and those at risk.
Traditionally taking place Thursday night at the SEMA Show, the SEMA Industry Awards Banquet honors industry innovators, volunteers and personalities who make significant contributions toward the advancement of the automotive specialty-equipment aftermarket. Themed “How Do You SEMA?” and emceed by automotive television and podcast personality Kevin Oeste and motorsports announcer Jarod DeAnda, the 2019 banquet was held November 7 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
The New Products Showcase is routinely the number-one destination for SEMA Show buyers and media, giving participating exhibitors a distinct advantage in getting their products out to the world. The 2019 SEMA Show surpassed 3,000 products across 16 different categories, including street-performance, racing, off-roading, mobile-electronics and exterior and interior products. Three of the 16 categories were won by first-time exhibitors, indicating that the industry is healthy and continuing to grow.