Registration Now Open for ‘2014 SEMA Show’

May 13, 2014 by · Comments Off on Registration Now Open for ‘2014 SEMA Show’ 

Traffic was steady at last year's SEMA Show

Traffic was steady at last year’s SEMA Show

Registration to attend the 2014 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show is now open. According to a press release, the annual trade show for the automotive accessories market is set for Nov. 4-7 in Las Vegas.

Distributors, retailers, installers and buyers who will be meeting with exhibitors at the SEMA Show should register using the “attendee” link. Applicants may be required to submit proof of employment in the industry.

During registration, attendees will be able to sign up for special events and seminars, including those offered by the Society of Collision & Repair Specialists (SCRS) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA). Approved attendees who register before the early deadline in October will receive their badges in the mail.

The exhibitor category is for company personnel working in the booths of exhibiting companies. To secure an exhibitor badge, individuals will need to have the unique password and user ID that was provided, via email, to the primary contact at the exhibiting company. The primary contact may register the entire staff at one time quickly and easily. Exhibitor badges are not to be used for non-employees, including contest winners, contractors and vendors.

During registration, exhibitors will also be able to order complimentary tickets to the SEMA Industry Awards Banquet. Tickets to the banquet, which is attended by 3,000 showgoers, sell for $50 each.

“There are many advantages to registering early for the SEMA,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of events and communications. “Early application expedites the registration process, which is the first step to developing a personal plan for the show. Whether you’re an exhibitor, buyer or media, having a plan in advance of the event is the best way to ensure success.”

For additional information visit

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SEMA to Host Webinar on Product Development

March 7, 2014 by · Comments Off on SEMA to Host Webinar on Product Development 

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) will host a webinar on March 13 at 1 p.m. (ET) detailing the product development process, titled “10 Ways to Better Product Development.” According to a press release, the webinar will share recommendations on improving the product development process from beginning to end.

“We’ll highlight how manufacturers can successfully bring products to market once they achieve that great idea,” said Mike Spagnola, SEMA vice president of OEM and product development programs. “The SEMA Garage – Industry Innovations Center is equipped with over $2 million in equipment to assist SEMA member companies in streamlining the product design and creation process.”

The webinar will include a discussion of the tools available for the product development process including: tech transfer, CMM scanning capabilities and 3D rapid prototyping. All of these innovations allow SEMA members to get their products to market quicker and with greater accuracy.

Another key feature of the SEMA Garage is the emissions lab, which is fully EO certified. The lab lowers the cost and time involved in getting a new product certified and ready for market. There are also consultants available to help with this process at no additional charge to SEMA members.

The webinar will take place on March 13, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. (PDT). To register, contact Juliet Marshall at (909) 978-6655 or SEMA webinars are free to SEMA members and $29 for non-members.

Manufacturers will also have an opportunity to get a first-hand look and tour the SEMA Garage during the SEMA Product Development Expo on April 10. The one-day event will feature live demonstrations of the tools and resources that will be discussed during the March 13 webinar. To register for that expo, click here.

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SEMA is Seeking Nominations for ‘Hall of Fame’

February 25, 2014 by · Comments Off on SEMA is Seeking Nominations for ‘Hall of Fame’ 

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is now accepting nominations for its Hall of Fame. To submit a nomination, fill out the form at

Created in 1969, the SEMA Hall of Fame is the most prestigious award presented to an individual by the association, according to a press release. It is designed to honor outstanding persons in the industry who have enhanced the stature of, or significantly contributed to, the industry and/or association’s growth.

To learn more about the SEMA Hall of Fame and for a list of inductees, visit or contact Gina Ledesma at ginal@sema.org909-978-6692.

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SEMA Show Sees Strong Attendance, Optimism

November 13, 2013 by · Comments Off on SEMA Show Sees Strong Attendance, Optimism 

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.

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SEMA Garners ‘President’s Award’ for Exports

May 21, 2013 by · Comments Off on SEMA Garners ‘President’s Award’ for Exports 

U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank recently presented  the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. According to a press release, the “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

“As a trade association, SEMA seeks to help member companies grow and expand their businesses,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “One of the many ways SEMA helps its members grow is through exporting. For many of our members, exporting products to key international markets is integral to their success, and SEMA is available to help identify strategic markets and guide members along the way.”

“SEMA has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion,” said Blank in her congratulatory letter. “The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with SEMA’s International Vehicle Measuring Program. The organization’s work to support the developing legal frameworks for emerging specialty-equipment industries in China and UAE was particularly compelling. SEMA’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.”

SEMA’s international relations program helps its members grow their businesses in key overseas markets. The program includes international research to identify developing markets, working with international officials on legislative issues, creating venues for SEMA members to connect with international buyers and more.

Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth and case studies which demonstrate valuable support to exporters resulting in increased exports for the company’s clients.

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SEMA Show to Spotlight ‘First-Time Exhibitors’

July 25, 2012 by · Comments Off on SEMA Show to Spotlight ‘First-Time Exhibitors’ 

The “First-Time and Featured Exhibitors Section” that debuted at last year’s SEMA Show will return in 2012, according to a press release.

With nearly 2,000 manufacturers exhibiting throughout the SEMA Show, the area serves as an easy and convenient location for buyers to hone in on hundreds of new and emerging manufacturers who are exhibiting at the show for the first time. The section is alongside the New Products Showcase at the Las Vegas Convention Center in the upper level of South Hall.

“Last year’s ‘First-Time and Featured Exhibitors Section’ proved to be successful at connecting attendees with new exhibitors,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of Events and Communications. “Buyers will again be able to meet with new exhibitors quickly and easily, while conveniently stopping by the new products showcase at the same time.”

The New Products Showcase is among one of the most visited attractions at the SEMA Show. With hundreds of products featured in display cases, the area helps attendees to get an overview of what’s new and debuting at the Show.

“Buyers and media often make the New Products Showcase their first stop, visiting the area even before the show opens on Tuesday morning,” said MacGillivray. “Visitors will note the products that interest them in the Showcase and create a list of exhibitors that they want to visit. This often becomes their plan for the week.”

The “First-Time and Featured Exhibitors Section” includes hundreds of exhibitors representing a variety of market categories. To view a complete list of exhibitors and their booth locations, visit

The SEMA Show is a trade-only event not open to the general public. This year’s event takes Oct.30-Nov. 2, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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SEMA Show Drew Huge Throngs to Las Vegas

November 4, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Crowded aisles at this week's SEMA Show

Crowded aisles at this week's SEMA Show

The SEMA Show, which ran from  Nov. 2-5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, drew more than 110,000 trade-only attendees from 100 countries – well ahead of last year — to what is widely held as the “premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world.”

And the general atmosphere on the street, according to those walking those streets last week in Las Vegas in search of new business in the automotive, truck and SUV and RV markets represented by the sponsoring Specialty Equipment Market Association, is decidedy positive.

“This place has been humming,” says Terry Thompson, vice president of sales for Affinity Media/RV, which includes RVBusiness and as well as Trailer Life, MotorHome and Highways magazines. “The crowd’s are big and guys that we talk with are taking orders. As compared to last year and the year before that, they say it’s really been terrific.”

Adding to the draw of the 43-year-old SEMA Show, the leading venue bringing together manufacturers and buyers within the automotive specialty equipment industry, was the dual impact of AAPEX 2010 – Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX, a separate but overlapping convention organized by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, is located a shuttle bus drive away at the Sands Expo Center.

All things considered, it all made for a huge week in Las Vegas, a resort/convention destination that has taken some serious hits in the recession.

The massive SEMA Show’s displays – including a wide variety of companies that sell into the recreational vehicle market — were segmented into 12 sections while a “New Products Showcase” features thousands of newly introduced parts, tools and components. In addition, the SEMA Show provides attendees with educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events and networking opportunities.

Among the numerous RV industry-related exhibitors were Hopkins Mfg. Corp., Emporia, Kan.; Blue Ox, Pender Neb.; Aqua-Hot Heating Systems Inc., Fort Lupton, Colo.; CURT Mfg. Inc.. Eau Claire, Wis.; Roadmaster Inc., Vancouver, Wash.; Cequent Performance Products, Tekonsha, Mich., Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC,  Wakarusa, Ind., and BD Diesel Performance, Sumas, Wash.

Livin’ Lite’s Jeep Camping Trailer, a photo of which is featured with this story, is a private-label, all-aluminum Jeep-branded popup — manufactured by Wakarusa, Ind.-based Livin’ Lite — that Chrysler Group LLC began marketing in August through its Mopar division.

Licin' Lite trailer shown at last week's SEMA Show in las Vegas.

Livin' Lite trailer shown at last week's SEMA Show in las Vegas.

“I’m real happy with it,” said Blue Ox President Jay Hesse of his experience as a SEMA exhibitor this year, having brought a staff of five. “In fact, we’re going to maybe expand our role next year. I’m just extremely pleased in the results, a lot of new prospects, a lot of people to close on.”

SEMA’s New Products Showcase Awards, presented earlier in the week at the New Products Awards Breakfast, which served as a kickoff just prior to the official opening of the show, recognizes the most cutting-edge automotive products either on the market or about to hit the market. This year, there were more than 2,000 new products, largely in the automotive performance arena, submitted for consideration.

Criteria that ranked high on the judges’ selection for the New Product Showcase Awards included superiority of innovation, technical achievement, quality and workmanship, consumer appeal and marketability.

The 2010 New Product Award Winners include:

Best Engineered New Product:

Winner: LOKAR Performance Products, Drive-by-Wire Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)

Runner Up: ISIS Power, ISIS inTOUCH Max Touch Screen System

Runner Up: QA1 Motorsports, Wireless Remote Adjust System

Best New Exterior Accessory Product:

Winner: Pro Comp/Smittybilt, M1 Truck Bumper

Runner Up: Stainless Showworks Inc., 2010-2011 Mustang V6 and GT Mirrored Polished Stainless Steel Engine Compartment Dress Up Kit

Runner Up: MBRP Inc., Mega Tips

Best New Interior Accessory Product:

Winner: Omix-Ada/Rugged Ridge, Rugged Ridge Interior Trim Kit for the 2007-2010 Jeep JK Wrangler

Runner Up: B&M Racing and Performance Products, Hurst HardDrive Stick

Runner Up: Spectre Performance, ProFab Door Panels

Best New Merchandising Display:

Winner: Directus, Prodigy One

Runner Up: Cobra Electronics, Cobra iRadar Detection System

Runner Up: Dynojet Research, Power Vision

Best New Mobile Electronics Product:

Winner: Directus, Prodigy One

Runner Up: Cobra Electronics, Cobra iRadar Detection System

Runner Up: Dynojet Research, Power Vision

Best New Off-Road/4-Wheel Drive Product:

Winner: Timbren Industries Inc., Axle-Less Trailer Suspension

Runner Up: Omix-Ada/Rugged Ridge, Tire Carrier Linkage for 1976-2011 Jeeps

Runner Up: Advance Adapters Inc., Deluxe TJ Cable Shifter

Best New Packaging Design:

Winner: Bubba Rope, Bubba Rope

Runner Up: Meguiar’s Inc., Brilliant Solutions Wheel Polishing Kit

Runner Up: AMP Research, AMP Research Bed X-Tender

Best New Performance-Racing Product:

Winner: COMP Performance Group, COMP Cams Phaser Adjustable Locks for the 2011 5.0L Mustang

Runner Up: Holley Performance Products, Holley LS3/L92 Hi-Ram Modular Intake Manifold System, Carb & EFI

Runner Up: BD Diesel Performance, Big Daddy Race Turbo/Diverter Valve

Best New Performance-Street Product:

Winner: McLeod Racing, Mustang Master Cylinder Retro Kit

Runner Up: Painless Performance Products, GM Gen IV Tach Driver

Runner Up: COMP Performance Group, TCI 6X Six-Speed Transmission Package for Ford, Chrysler and Pontiac Applications

Best New Powersports Product:

Winner: AMSOIL, AMSOIL Quickshot SE

Runner Up: Axia Alloys, Modular Roll Cage Clamping System

Runner Up: SSV Works, BM-175S/B

Best New Street Rod/Custom Car Product:

Winner: Dakota Digital Inc., VHX Hybrid Analog/Digital Instrument Systems, GM Tri-Five Applications

Runner Up: Billet Specialties Inc., Billet Deck Lid Hinge

Runner Up: Danchuk Manufacturing, 1957 Front One-Piece OE-style Bumper

Best New Tire and Related Product:

Winner: Continental Tire, Continental ProContact With EcoPlus Technology

Runner Up: Continental Tire, General Grabber

Runner Up: Coker Tire, Excelsior Stahl Sport

Best New Tools & Equipment Product:

Winner: AAC, The Filler Detective

Runner Up: TecMate North America, OptiMate 6-TM-181

Runner Up: Auto Meter Products, BVA-260

Best New Van/Pickup/Sport-Utility Product:

Winner: Fastway Trailer Products, Fastway Flip-Self-Retracting Jack Foot

Runner Up: Shin Shield, Shin Shield

Runner Up: RBP/Rolling Big Power-A Division of Lexani, RBP Logo Mud Flap

Best New Wheel and Related Product:

Winner: The Ultimate Wheel & Tire Plus Sizing Guide, Bolt Pattern Pro

Runner Up: Kyowa Designs/Concept One, Concept One Executive RS-55

Runner Up: IForged Performance Alloys/Forgestar Wheels, Forgestar CF5

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