The sprawling 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show wrapped up last week in Las Vegas and leaves “no doubt that the automotive specialty equipment industry is stronger than ever,” according to a press release.
While final attendance figures are being audited, organizers report that more than 126,000 credentials were issued prior to the event, with thousands more processed on site. The numbers represented a 7% increase over last year, and the highest in SEMA Show history.
“A trade show is a reflection of the industry it serves,” Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “The unprecedented participation levels this year indicate the industry is moving into growth mode. This was a record-breaking year and we’re seeing companies ready and eager to do business.”
On the show floor in the Las Vegas Convention Center were 2,381 exhibiting companies, representing all facets of the automotive specialty-equipment market – from accessory and appearance products, performance products, wheels, tires and suspension.
Representing mostly small businesses, the exhibitors use the show to connect with more than 60,000 buyers from around the world.
“We’re seeing more exhibitors take part in programs such as the ‘New Products Showcase,’” said Kersting. “This is an indication to us that exhibitors are looking for and taking advantage of ways to get the most out of their show experience. They are actively looking to connect with new and existing buyers.”
The SEMA Annual Market Report estimates there were $31.32 billion in aftermarket retail sales in 2012, up from less than $28 billion during the height of the recession in 2009. Based on the excitement and attendance at the 2013 show, this year promises to continue that upward trend, Kersting said.
“Now it’s time for everyone to go home, tally their orders and prepare for another great year of selling more parts,” Kersting said.
The 2014 SEMA Show will be Nov. 4 to 7.