It’s monstrous, it’s amazing, it’s over-the-top, it’s absolutely epic, and it happens every November in Las Vegas. “It” is the SEMA auto show for the aftermarket industry. Sure, it has mind boggling displays of automotive parts, and parts for parts, and is packed with seminars about trends in the aftermarket industry, but the big draw are the amazing custom build vehicles that fill exhibit hall after exhibit hall.
If you are a tuner, addicted to project cars, or just an auto enthusiast, this is a show you have to see…but probably won’t. It’s an industry show. AT the 2017 SEMA show, all 130,000 exhibitors and attendees were credentialed; the public is not invited. If you want to get into this automotive circus for the 2018 SEMA show next November, you need to start sucking up to one of the 6500 member companies right now.
Every year there is an attempt to outdo the last year’s show and the 2017 SEMA event was no exception. Trust us, the begging and groveling you may have to do to get credentials is worth it. Here are a few of the highlights from the 2017 SEMA show to prove it.
2017 SMA – An Auto Enthusiasts Dream and/or Nightmare
Keep in mind that the number one reason for the SEMA show is networking for folks who make their living in the automotive aftermarket industry. Another name for networking is buying and selling and there is a ton of that going on. Hundreds of booths lining what seems like miles of display space are hawking everything from hood hinges, to truck engines to 3d design software.
So, for a good portion of the attendees, the day is spent cruising narrow pathways with tens of thousands of strangers dressed in everything from T-shirts and Mohawks to Brooks Brothers suits looking for that perfect auto part. Deals are made, and a bunch of money is exchanged, making the show a must-attend for everyone in the industry.
Industry education is another hallmark of the organization and the 2017 show offered 21 sessions ranging from automotive electronics, industry trends, vehicle technology and of course women drivers. If you want to know how to run your business better, or just learn what parts are hot in your marketplace, the seminars have that (and a whole lot more) covered.
The Hot Stuff – Custom Build Rides for 2017
SEMA attracts the best customizers in the business and there is passionate competition to be announced as the winner of the “Battle of the Builders” contest. At the 2017 SEMA show, there were 300 entrants. It’s like Disneyland for automotive enthusiasts. Attendees get to meet the builders, learn the back story of the builds, and maybe walk away with some inspiration for their next go at a project car.