In a market that has countered the negative economic news reports of the past few months by continuing to post strong sales numbers, the Specialty Equipment Market Association’s 2011 SEMA Show, billed as the nation’s premier automotive specialty products trade event, runs tomorrow through Friday (Nov. 1-4) at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
With more than 2,000 exhibitors signed up early on, the show is expected to post about a 14% increase in exhibitors and a 42% hike in buyer registrations. At the same time, SEMA reports, housing nights were running about 100% ahead of last year. Those, SEMA points out, are the kind of numbers that should spell a real rebound to the pre-recessionary days of 2008.
As part of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIW), the trade-only event annually attracts more than 100,000 representatives of the automotive, truck and SUV and RV markets. Last year’s SEMA Show drew more than 50,000 domestic and international buyers.
The displays this year are in 12 sections, and a “New Products Showcase” features thousands of newly introduced parts, tools and components. At the same time, SEMA provides attendees with educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events and networking opportunities. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.
Again this year, SEMA will present a “SEMA Award” for the “Hottest Vehicles of the Show,” based on the number of times exhibitors use specific vehicle types for their displays as the cars they think are most likely to generate new business.
SEMA also plans to oversee for the third year an Opinion Leaders Program through which active, influential automotive enthusiasts are called upon to help industry professionals identify future trends by attending the show and providing first-hand feedback on products and vehicles that debut.
The 2010 program included 459 enthusiasts selected through a comprehensive application process, all of whom were invited to attend the second day of the SEMA Show. This year, the program is expected to attract more than 800 enthusiast participants. In addition to completing a pre-Show survey, they’re tasked with using social media to share their feedback on product, vehicles and trends.
Meanwhile, a 2011 Automotive Accessory Market Study produced by Foresight Marketing Research and SEMA Market Research is being offered to attending SEMA members as a free download. For additional information, visit www.semashow.com.