Author: Kristin “CORE CHICK” Conrad
LADIES and Gentlemen! STEP right up, step right up.
Come one, come all, from far and wide. DARE to take a peek inside.
THIS is the “Greatest show on Earth”, and YOU will soon know its worth.
Prepare to be AMAZED by the SEMA Show, it’s a gathering where only a few can go.
Take a RIDE in a boosted mod, or check out cars with HOT bods.
PULL the curtain and peek in, glorious sights await you within.
Some come to look, some PLAY to win. At this place…… STARING isn’t a sin.
WHAT is SEMA? SEMA is the acronym for the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association which began in 1963, and currently represents what is now a $41 million dollar plus industry. The SEMA Show takes place annually at the Las Vegas Convention Center and runs for 4 days over Oct. / Nov. The event hosts over 140 countries, and attracts more than 140,000 attendees. Those who attend SEMA represent: automotive manufacturers, business owners, buyers, exhibitors, builders, celebrities, media, employees and more. There are 2,400 plus companies that exhibit each year at the show. Exhibits range from: off-road vehicles, specialty overlanding set ups, performance products, racing technology, parts, sound equipment, safety equipment, comfort options, luxury vehicles, accessories, business solutions, and innovative ideas. This is just a sample of what is available.
EXPLORING the multiple buildings, halls, rooms, booths, and outdoor attractions takes time. There is so much “Ohhhhh and Ahhhhhh” around every corner. Every inch of the Las Vegas Convention Center is utilized. Attendees are led through a labyrinth of ideas, and given the opportunity to see the latest and greatest concepts from around the globe. Mouth dropping vehicles of every type are used to showcase talent, products, and services. Innovation and creativity jumps out at every turn.
YOU will never struggle for things to do or see at the SEMA Show. Available activities include: workshops, thrilling experiences, meet and greets, award ceremonies, banquets, entertainment, product reveals, panels, celebrity autograph signings, food, and so much more. All that and a Las Vegas backdrop.
NAVIGATING. It doesn’t hurt to come up with game plan. Never fear, there is an APP. for that! It is very user friendly, and has many options to explore such as floor plans, event information, a show planner, and social media section. It is a great way to stay informed, and it is at tip of your fingers. Another highly recommended resource is the SEMA SHOW DAILY which is a printed magazine that has all the latest news and updates. Inserted in this magazine is a handy color printed double sided map. This can be removed and added to your navigation and planning “tool kit”.
LEARN something new. There are many workshops, panels, and lectures that are available to sign up for. This gives attendees great opportunities to learn about their more specific interests. Workshop topics include social media strategies, business solutions, restoration techniques, and safety education to name a few. There is also the added benefit of being able to get off your feet for a moment, and a great networking opportunity with like-minded people.
EXHIBITORS and builders are excited to reveal their products. For some, getting to the 2017 show was years of blood, sweat, and tears. Many exhibitors and builders keep their SEMA Show projects top secret throughout the year. All the built up hype creates a definite buzz. As the show unfolds, judging begins, announcements are made, and awards begin to be displayed. People scramble to keep up, and hustle to catch the next celebrity signing, unveiling, or experience.
HEY LADIES! There is a great focus on the outstanding ladies of the SEMA Show! The hash tag #sheissema was being used and gaining momentum. There were meet and greets for ladies in all aspects of the industry. Kristen Matlock received the Impact Award in the U.T.V. category by the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, and Jessi Combs co-hosted the SEMA Awards Banquet. Ladies Offroad Network hosted a coffee meet and greet which was attended by some of its members and other influential off-road ladies. The group shared stories about their favorite offroad adventures and current endeavors. Krawl Zone TV was present and capturing the moment. Keep an eye out next year.
BAJA! This year is the 50th anniversary of the SCORE Baja 1000! This celebration is special indeed. A highlight at the show was the premier of the latest Dust 2 Glory movie. The timing of it all was great. The movie has been highly anticipated, and did not disappoint. The premier was outdoors, under the stars, on the BFGoodrich Tires big screen, located in the Baja 1000 area. The screening area was surrounded by trophy trucks and other amazing off-road vehicles. The evening enveloped the Baja spirit, and gave those who attended a multi-sensory experience.
COVERING it! This year there were a lot of examples of ways to coat or cover vehicles and parts. Vehicles boasted sleek metal finishes, carbon fiber, custom designed vinyl wraps, spray lining, and the nostalgic rusted patina look. Copper toned finishes on wheels and accessories was trending. When it came to getting off the grid and overlanding, the theme of comfort and practicality tied into many of the builds. Racks, and mounting systems were also popular. Exhibitors worked hard to share the vision of what is really possible on and off-road. If you were new school or old school, there was something for all palates.
LOOKING for a thrill or adrenaline boost? There was plenty of that too! A few exhibitors pulled out all the stops and had amazing virtual reality experiences. One that was particularly noteworthy featured rock crawling videos. Participants got to experience virtually what it is like to sit shotgun in a rock crawler while it takes on challenging obstacles in notorious places like Moab. Have a need for speed? Ford had a popular drifting and truck jumping experience. Attendees got the chance to ride along in a Ford truck or car, as they slid sideways, burned rubber, and sent it!
The show would not be complete if it did not have a GRAND FINALE! After all is said and done, and the convention comes to a close, the sound of revving engines fills the air. People begin to jockey for a place to see the most impressive automotive parade there is. With so much to see and do at SEMA it is easy to miss some great automobiles. This is why the parade is so awesome! Find a spot and let the cars come to you. The SEMA Show is an industry only convention. However, they have not left anyone out. Enter SEMA Ignited! This is an after party that is open to the public. Grab a seat in the stands as the cars cruise by, show off, and give you a taste of what SEMA is all about. The Battle of the Builders winner is announced, the DJ gets the party started, and people can get an up close view of this year’s hottest product as they come out for your viewing pleasure.
Year after year, people return to the SEMA Show. The overall consensus is that once you go, you will always strive to attend year after year. The visuals will change, and the products will continue to excel and amaze. There is so much motivation on all levels to push the bar higher. Just when people think the proverbial glass ceiling has been broken, it gets punched through again. To have so much creativity in one place is a thrill. The competition, innovation, collaboration, and attention to detail is incredible. Seeing businesses and like-minded people from around the world enter one arena TRULY makes this feel like the “Greatest Show on Earth”.
Author: Kristin “CORE CHICK” Conrad