The 2018 SEMA Show: Innovation and Adaptation

SEMA News—November 2018

The 2018 SEMA Show: Innovation and Adaptation

Chris Kersting

Chris Kersting

It’s exciting to see that the industry is once again poised to unveil another burst of innovation, as evidenced by the broad array of new products and extraordinary vehicles slated to appear on the SEMA Show floor.

This year’s SEMA Show will be much of what attendees and exhibitors have come to count on: a rich, exciting marketplace at the leading edge of car culture presenting diverse business opportunities, all under one roof. At the same time, the Show is a reflection of the automotive industry, so it will present a business focused on change, on rapid advances in technology and on shaping a new future.

For example, SEMA brought to the Show a spotlight on advanced vehicle technology last year, introducing an industry-exclusive report on opportunities to bring advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to the retrofit marketplace. The study sparked keen industry interest, resulting in a growing segment that will be well represented at SEMA Show 2018. Show attendees this year will also have the chance to attend presentations on the tools and services SEMA is developing to help address product development, validation and integration challenges as ADAS technologies become more prevalent in new-model vehicles.

Meanwhile, technology continues to change how our industry markets products to consumers. This year, you’ll see that the New Products Showcase houses many products from exhibitors who have achieved Platinum status with the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC), the industry-owned product information repository. That’s a big deal, because SDC Platinum status means that those manufacturers are supplying the most complete digital product information available—making SDC data a great resource for industry resellers. The SEMA Show is celebrating the 257 brands that have achieved this benchmark. Look for them in the special SDC Platinum publication that is being passed around the Show floor. If your brand isn’t already SDC Platinum or you’re a reseller and not using SDC data, I urge you to sit down with the SDC staff while you’re at the Show to see how they can help.

A related development that’s a bit harder to discern is the SEMA Show’s evolving role in market stimulation—creating new awareness of automotive lifestyles among consumers through social media. The Friday SEMA Cruise and SEMA Ignited event continue to grow as social-media platforms, generating millions of images, videos and articles are viewed and shared by consumers all over the world. We expect another surge of media activity around the Cruise and Ignited this year. And based on last year’s pilot effort, we’re enthusiastic about the content that will be generated from this year’s expanded Monday Night Reveal—a red-carpet exposure opportunity for some of the top customized vehicles at the Show. Through these events, SEMA is working to extend the reach of our industry well beyond the walls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, amplifying car culture and the products that power it among consumers everywhere.

Speaking of SEMA Ignited, due to new construction, the event will now have a new location in the Platinum Lot, situated just east of the South Hall. The new location offers numerous logistical advantages, not least of which will be to streamline the Cruise route, so we’re anticipating that the Friday-night events this year will be easier for participants and will provide a great place to unwind after a successful week at the Show.

The 2018 SEMA Show offers business opportunities for the here and now, and it also offers information, tools and key contacts to prepare your business for the future. Based on the vitality and intensity we sense as the industry prepares, we have every reason to believe that the industry will find much at the Show to achieve success in 2019 and beyond.

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