Industry Poised to Deliver at the 2014 SEMA Show
For much of 2014, SEMA members have generally reported having a good year and, for some, a great year. I’ve observed that the SEMA Show is a barometer of industry strength, reflected by participation and investment in the Show. This year’s pre-Show registration indicates that the SEMA Show will be an outstanding springboard for growth opportunities in 2015.
This marks the fifth straight year that the Show has had increased participation levels since the lows of the recession in 2009. This makes for a larger Show, but more important than size is how many innovative manufacturers are taking the opportunity to exhibit, to submit entries in the New Products Showcase and to meet new buyers. And we’re also impressed with how many quality buyers have registered to attend and interact with exhibitors. These are the important measures that translate to value for the investment folks make in coming to the SEMA Show.
As of press time, buyer attendance was tracking 6% ahead of last year’s record pace. Exhibitor participation was tracking 5% ahead. The New Products Showcase is going to top 2,000 entries. More buyers, more manufacturers, more new products—get prepared for a great SEMA Show!
Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) has a finite amount of space, prompting the SEMA Show staff to take measures to ensure that we can accommodate everyone. To handle the inflow of new exhibitors and new Show features, we have again rearranged the exterior exhibit area directly in front of the LVCC to accommodate additional exhibitor display and activation space. We have also added new display space inside the Westbrook Hotel, formerly known as the Hilton.
Another key area this year will be the Gold Pavilion, a new, 70,000-sq.-ft. temporary structure located in the Gold Lot parking area across Paradise Road from the LVCC. Taxi and shuttle stops have also been relocated to this area to speed flow and efficiency and will help make the Gold Pavilion convenient for attendees to access.
Many of the exhibitors in these newly developed display areas are innovators who will be offering products for the first time at the SEMA Show. These new areas can be good hunting grounds for new products that will spur sales.
While you’re at the Show, you’ll also want to stay for Friday’s SEMA Cruise event, which has become a huge draw for Show attendees, media and ordinary enthusiasts alike. This year, the Cruise has a great new destination—the SEMA Ignited event at the new LINQ entertainment district—where hundreds of top SEMA Show cars will be on display until 10:00 p.m. that night.
The SEMA Ignited event is open to everyone, and we hope that you’ll join us there. SEMA will use this event to tape a prime-time television special featuring the top cars, builders and industry icons of the SEMA Show, so who knows—you or your Show vehicle may wind up on TV.
The SEMA Show only happens once a year. This is the launch pad for the year ahead, and industry players have been working all year to be ready for this moment. Now it’s here. At SEMA, we too work year around to make sure that the Show is the world’s most comprehensive and valuable marketplace for the industry. If it’s also the biggest, that’s okay, too.
—Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO