SEMA News—October 2013
Compiled by Steve Campbell
Must-See Features of the 2013 SEMA Show
A Sprawling Panorama of Automotive Excellence
The SEMA Show is the world’s most impressive automotive trade show. It draws industry professionals from around the globe to stunning exhibits of innovative and sought-after specialty-equipment products. It attracts more than 135,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries to Las Vegas, all seeking business opportunities in the automotive, truck and SUV, powersports and RV markets. And the 2013 SEMA Show—the year of the association’s 50th anniversary—will eclipse all previous gatherings. In fact, exhibit space in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) is sold out, and new display areas have been created in the Las Vegas Hotel and in other parts of the Show grounds to help accommodate the surplus.
The products and exhibits are stunning, to be sure, but the activities that accompany the SEMA Show go beyond the expected. It’s an automotive carnival, and the fortunate folks who attend (the SEMA Show is open to only those employed in the industry) are offered countless opportunities to learn from, interact with and marvel at the myriad features and festivities. The following is a sneak peek at a few of them.
Attendees at the 2013 SEMA Show, whether exhibitors, buyers, media or other automotive professionals, should be sure to check out the online floorplan of the SEMA Show. It not only includes a list of exhibitors and maps their location, but also features a search function that allows attendees to find exhibitors by company name, product category or booth number. It’s a must for developing a SEMA Show strategy.
Revamped Exhibitor Services Manual
For exhibitors, the online Exhibitor Services Manual is as important as the floorplan. It’s new and improved this year and is very user-friendly, allowing exhibitors to order all of their Show needs from authorized contractors in one place and at one time. It holds the key to SEMA Show activities, deadlines, marketing opportunities, services and more.
Online SEMA Show registration is also key. It’s the easiest and most cost-effective way for buyers to obtain credentials, and a badge permits the bearer to enter both the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) and the SEMA Show. Online buyer registrants will receive their badges in the mail. Those who wait to register on-site will do so at a new location in the exhibit area at the Las Vegas Hotel (LVH). Shuttle busses will drop off there, and cabs will drop off at the front of the LVH.
New Media Center Location
The Continental Tires Media Center has moved this year to the east end of the Grand Lobby in the LVCC in Room N110. The Media Center is available exclusively to credentialed media at the SEMA Show. Editors and reporters will have access to expedited registration, computers, dedicated Wi-Fi, lounge areas, private work areas, lockers, food and beverage, exhibitor press materials and more.
New Show Look and Feel
The whole SEMA Show will feature a new look and feel. The update is based on creations by artist Max Grundy, who has been a painter, illustrator and graphic designer for the majority of his life. His hot-rod-themed artwork has been shown throughout the world, and he is also interested in vintage posters. Grundy was commissioned to design a series of five new logos for the Show, which inspired a new appearance for the display properties, on-site decorations and promotional materials. Grundy’s SEMA Show works are emotive art that represent exhibits in each of the LVCC halls. Attendees will see the difference the moment they enter the doorways.
Cars & Coffee, SEMA Edition
Among the new attractions at the 2013 SEMA Show will be Cars & Coffee, SEMA Edition. Taking place on the outdoor patio on the south side of the LVH (adjacent to the LVCC North Hall) from 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m. each morning of the Show, Cars & Coffee gives attendees a great place to start their day. Grab a cup of coffee and a donut, check out some cool vehicles, mingle with colleagues, then get a jumpstart on your day by visiting the newly expanded Featured Exhibitors section at the LVH.
Manufacturer’s Rep Roundtable
Building on the success of the sold-out 2012 Rep Technology Roundtable, the Manufacturers Representative Network (MRN) will again host a collection of business-critical discussions moderated by industry leaders on Sunday, November 3, from 3:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. in the Las Vegas Hotel. Through these intimate roundtable discussions, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive practical solutions to real-world issues. Sign up now.
Exhibitor Appreciation Party
This is SEMA’s chance to say thanks to exhibitors and kick off what will be another amazing Show. The Exhibitor Appreciation Party will be held Monday evening, November 4, 5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m., “out front” at the Las Vegas Convention Center, right in the heart of the coolest car displays at the Show. This event is open to all exhibitors and will include refreshments, entertainment and great networking—compliments of SEMA.
First-Time and Featured Exhibit Areas
The SEMA Show has outgrown even the sprawling confines of the convention center, but the Show’s organizers have expanded into the LVH. Featuring some of the industry’s newest exhibitors, the LVH displays open at 8:00 a.m.—well before the convention center Show floor opens. More exhibit space has also been added in the upper South Hall adjacent to the New Products Showcase as well as in the Sky Bridge between the Central and South Halls (where the Media Center used to be located). Find out which companies are exhibiting in each area by visiting the online floorplan.
New Products Breakfast
SEMA’s annual New Product Awards competition recognizes outstanding achievements in the development of products being introduced to the automotive specialty-equipment market at the SEMA Show. The award winners will be announced on Tuesday, November 5, 7:30 a.m.–8:45 a.m. at the New Products Awards Breakfast, which will take place in the LVH. Products are judged in 16 award categories, and each category will have one winner and two runners-up. Here's more information about entering products in the New Products Showcase.
In addition, the New Products Breakfast will be the venue for the announcement of the SEMA Award honors. The SEMA Award is bestowed on vehicle models in four categories: Hottest Car, Hottest Sport Compact, Hottest Truck and Hottest 4x4-SUV. The SEMA Award winners represent the models that industry experts—the SEMA Show exhibitors—most often feature in their booths as the hottest rides for the enthusiast market. It also underscores the cooperative relationship between the automakers and SEMA-member companies.
New Products Showcase
The New Products Showcase is the number-one SEMA Show buyer and media destination, and it’s where SEMA Show exhibitors’ best product ideas come alive. This year, the New Products Showcase will be housed in the east end of the upper level of the LVCC’s South Hall. More than 2,000 manufacturers will be displaying products throughout the SEMA Show, and many will enter new or popular products in the New Product Showcase. Attendees often use the Showcase to preview the latest innovations and then create the lists of exhibitors that they will visit.
The SEMA Education Institute (SEI) offers more than 50 free and several “pay-to-attend” educational events that cover everything from online marketing to customer service, management, industry trends and more. These courses are designed to provide practical tools, and they are presented by top industry experts. The courses and events are open only to registered 2013 SEMA Show attendees, exhibitors and media. Here is a complete list of the 2013 curricula.
Health-Care Reform Law Seminar
Of particular interest to SEMA-member companies is a unique offering from the SEMA government affairs staff on the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare.”) The seminar will cover what SEMA members need to know about the act, including the recent delay in implementation of the employer mandate portion of the law. It is critical that all SEMA-member companies understand the law and plan accordingly. The presentation will include details on the employer and individual mandates, tax credits available to small businesses and the insurance exchanges being created to assist smaller companies and individuals in shopping for affordable coverage. The session will be held Monday, November 4, at 11:00 a.m. in the upper North Hall, room N253.
SEMA Data Co-op Education Sessions
The staff of the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) will also offer an exclusive series of free seminars that will provide information and education about product data management. Topics will include introductions to the ACES and PIES standards, advanced ACES and PIES sessions, SDC supplier and receiver user groups and an introductory session on the SDC that will include a demonstration of the co-op’s online data management solution. The sessions will be held on Monday, November 4. Click on the SEMA Data Co-op link for complete details.
SEMA Vehicle Technology Center and Theater
The SEMA Vehicle Technology Center (VTC) and Technology Briefing Seminar (TBS) program are designed to connect members to the benefits of vehicle technology and performance product development solutions, resources and partnerships. The VTC will once again be located in the LVCC Grand Lobby and includes a wide range of high-profile speakers who will address vehicle and system technologies, mobile youth and lifestyle trends and performance branding. Visit here for a complete schedule of VTC keynotes and briefing sessions.
Red Kap Apparel
Red Kap manufactures work clothing for men and women, and 2013 will mark the company’s third appearance at the SEMA Show. This year, Red Kap will also be the primary apparel supplier for the SEMA Gear Store, which will have several LVCC outlets. The company has also become the official uniform supplier for the SEMA Show, so exhibitors may order custom Red Kap uniforms through the online Exhibitor Services Manual. And look for SEMA Show staff to be sporting high-quality Red Kap apparel throughout Show week.
UPS Parts Hauler
UPS has created a “Ride Your Hauler to SEMA” contest as a way of highlighting the creative talent at work in the industry. “As a company devoted to finding new and exciting solutions for our customers, we admire the passion and innovation that specialty aftermarket businesses put into their products and services,” said Kristin DeBates of the UPS Automotive Marketing group. “We hope SEMA members will have as much fun with the contest as we’ve had putting it together.” The winner will be awarded a prime display spot at the SEMA Show. Entries were judged on functionality, innovation and aesthetics. The winner will be announced October 4, 2013.
Toyo Tires Treadpass
During the 2013 SEMA Show, attendees will walk through Toyo Tires Treadpass, an all-new, ultra-modern passage connecting the Central and South Halls of the LVCC. The Toyo Tires Treadpass will feature an array of customized cars, trucks and big rigs. It will also offer convenient charging stations for portable devices as well as a relaxing seating area to give tired feet a break. Tire displays equipped with Toyo Tires iPad apps will be located throughout the area, providing a closer look at the technology, features and benefits of Toyo Tires. As a special bonus to the Treadpass experience, an off-road racing demonstration will take place on Wednesday, November 6, between 4:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. at the adjoining outdoor motorsports area (GM Proving Ground). Several of Team Toyo’s top drivers will be on hand to provide an exciting exhibition as well as sign autographs and take photos.
Speed Networking Breakfast—Powered by the SBN
The annual Speed Networking Breakfast, sponsored by the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) is open to all SEMA members and is the fastest and easiest way to meet peers, prospects and vendor associates. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet movers and shakers in short, three-minute intervals—but hurry: The breakfast has sold out each of the last five years, and attendance is limited to just 250 people. The breakfast will be held Thursday, November 7, from 7:15 a.m.–9:00 a.m. in the LVH. Tickets are $35 for SEMA members, $45 nonmembers, until October 18; after, prices increase to $49 members, $69 non-members. Visit here for details.
SBN 20th Anniversary: Celebrating Past, Present and Future
The SBN also is celebrating 20 years of advancing women in the aftermarket with a reception on Wednesday, November 6, from 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. in the LVH Oasis Lounge. The event is free, and the evening highlight will be the presentation of the Athena Awards. The Athena Award winners are chosen through a peer nomination and selection process. This year’s awards will include the SBN Champion, Mentor of the Year, Woman of the Year, Legacies Ladies and Rising Star. To join the celebration, register here.
Ford Out Front
Ford will again feature star drivers and racing vehicles in the Ford Out Front exhibition just outside the halls of the LVCC. The Ford Out Front experience will showcase talented Ford drivers performing drifting, gymkhana and freestyle demonstrations in Ford high-performance products. In 2012, Ford brought drivers Vaughn Gittin Jr., Justin Pawlak, Ken Block, Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan to the SEMA Show, and the program is slated to be just as exciting for 2013. Be there for driving demonstrations by drifting masters.
SEMA Launch Pad Presented By YEN
SEMA’s Young Executives Network (YEN) celebrates the next generation of entrepreneurs with its inaugural Launch Pad competition. This competition offers innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs under the age of 40 an industry platform to showcase their business plans for marketing new automotive products or services. Five finalists will pitch their business plans to industry leaders in a live event on stage at the 2013 SEMA Show, and the judges will select and award the winning YEN executive with a prize package designed to help take his or her business to the next level. The finals will be held Thursday, November 7, 9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m. at the Vehicle Technology Center in the Grand Lobby of the LVCC.
Café SEMA: In the Know With a Cup of Joe!
Café SEMA is not a classroom lecture; it’s a one-hour conversation between business pros who provide expert advice about how to help an organization take the next step. Topics for this year’s Café SEMA will include effective female leadership in a male-dominated environment, social media, websites and product development. It’s a great opportunity to get a lot of information in a very short time. The event will be held Friday, November 8, 9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. in the LVCC Members Lounge. Visit www.sema.org/cafesema for details and to order tickets.
The SEMA Garage–Industry Innovations Center is now open to provide manufacturers with access to a full emissions-testing EO certification lab and dyno services. Located adjacent to SEMA’s Diamond Bar, California, headquarters, the 15,000-sq.-ft. facility includes a full mechanic’s garage and tech center with a full dyno lab that uses highly technical and sophisticated equipment to measure emissions output at a level consistent with the Air Resources Board requirements for EO certification. SEMA Garage will host member consultations at this year’s SEMA Show in booth #50000 on the North end of the bridge connector between Central and South Halls and will also feature a Faro Arm measuring device and a 3D printer as well as other tools and equipment.
GM at the SEMA Show
General Motors will once again play a substantial roll in the SEMA Show. Its multi-venue extravaganza will include a repeat of the Chevy Drive in the open area between the Central and South Halls, where attendees can hitch a ride. All that plus one of the largest exhibition spaces in the LVCC that will be filled with newly completed project cars and the hottest GM products.
Omix-ADA Success Center
The Off-Road Success Center, presented by Omix-ADA/Rugged Ridge, returns again for the 2013 SEMA Show and will be featured in the upper South Hall lobby. The Omix-ADA Off-Road Success Center serves as a special networking and hospitality display for the Jeep and off-road community. This year, the Off-Road Success Center will feature a live build, a sample of the Jeep Collection owned by Al Azadi, including some extremely rare early prototype Jeeps, and celebrity guest R. Lee Emrey (also known as “The Gunny”), who will sign autographs on Tuesday through Thursday of the SEMA Show.
Toyota Dream Build Challenge
Among the many vehicles featured in the Toyota Motor Sales booth (#24801 in Central Hall) at the 2013 SEMA Show, the company will feature four custom vehicles that are the fruits of the Dream Build Challenge. This contest pits individual builders against one another to see who can create the most popular feature vehicle. The public will vote on the four projects leading up to the Show, and the winning vehicle, as well as the other three contenders, will debut in the Toyota booth.
Booth and Feature Vehicles
Booth and feature vehicles are the highlight of the SEMA Show for many attendees, and for 2013, the top feature vehicles are being placed in prime locations. The program enables exhibitors to showcase their company’s products on vehicles throughout the Show floor and grounds, and booth vehicles help drive more buyer traffic to exhibitor booths. Keep an eye out for next month’s issue of SEMA News, where we’ll preview many of the cars and trucks you’ll see live in November.
DUB Show Tour
Each year at the SEMA Show, the DUB Show Tour features dozens of custom cars, trucks, exotics and motorcycles. DUB also showcases the newest wheels, auto accessories, apparel and video games and dozens of vendor booths, and there is always an array of artists and entertainers showing up. Stop by the DUB display outside the South Hall. You never know who you’ll see!
Discovery Channel Studio
The “All Girls Garage” team—Jessi Combs, Bogi and Cristy Lee—will take turns wrenching on a Fiat 500 with Lou Santiago and Jared Zimmerman from “Car Fix” in the Discovery Channel Studio at booth #35001 in the upper South Hall. They’ll engage in a friendly rivalry to see who can really wow the crowd. Jessi Combs will also speak at the New Products Breakfast, where she’ll share a personal story about overcoming adversity. Be on the lookout as well for the “Velocity” crew as it collects footage for upcoming productions with some well-known hosts.
Hot Rodders of Tomorrow
High school teams from across the country will once again prove their engine-building prowess during timed competitions outside at the front of the Central Hall, where they’ll tear down and rebuild identical high-performance 350ci Chevrolet small-block engines fitted with top performance parts. The teams with the fastest times and fewest penalty points will advance to the final rounds, which will be held December 12–14 at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show in Indianapolis.
Car Crazy Studio
Now a staple at the SEMA Show, The Car Crazy Studio features host Barry Meguiar interviewing industry legends and celebrities on an elevated stage on the outside plaza in front of the LVCC. The interviews are broadcast on screens throughout the convention center and have featured such NASCAR luminaries as Jack Roush and Robby Gordon and industry captains such as Pete Chapouris, George Barris and Myles Kovacs. Keep your eyes on the screens or catch the action in person.
SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet
The SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet is the annual celebration of the specialty-equipment industry. It also provides the backdrop for the presentation of industry awards, including the SEMA Person of the Year, SEMA WD of the Year and SEMA Manufacturers’ Rep Agency of the Year. As usual, the entertainment will be stellar. Watch SEMA eNews for an exciting announcement regarding the headlining act. In addition, the 2013 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees—George Barris, Eric Grant, Wade Kawasaki and Joe Schubeck—will be honored for their industry contributions. The evening banquet will be held Thursday, November 7.
SEMA Cruise at Show Close
The capper for the 2013 SEMA Show will be the now-annual SEMA Cruise. As the booths are dismantled and the products are packaged for shipment home, the booth and feature vehicles depart the convention center. This parade of rolling art became an official part of the Show two years ago and is now one of the most-anticipated aspects of the annual gathering by the local populace.
The cruise begins when the Show ends at 4:00 p.m. on Friday. The festivities include awards, giveaways, entertainment and seating for the crowd—expanded this year with additional bleachers. The parade culminates in a car show that will be housed in the Gold Lot across from the convention center. It’s a great way to celebrate a fantastic week of innovation and invention.