2018 SEMA Show: First Day Attendance Is Encouraging

Bob Ulrich
Posted on October 31, 2018
Long line formed at the Las Vegas Convention Center, signaling good attendance for the SEMA Show and the Global Tire Expo.
Long line formed at the Las Vegas Convention Center, signaling good attendance for the SEMA Show and the Global Tire Expo.

The 2018 SEMA (for Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show opened to long lines at the Las Vegas Convetion Center on Tuesday, Oct. 30. That was especially true of attendance in the South Hall, where the Tire Industry Association's Global Tire Expo is located.

The 52-year-old show (more on that later) consistently attracts 162,000 attendees, including:

* 70,000 quality buyers; one attendee told me she noticed more red badges (attendees classified as buyers wear red badges) than usual. As "Exhibiting Media" I get a blue badge.

* 2,400 exhibiting companies.

* representatives from more than 140 countries.

It is the second-largest convention in Las Vegas behind the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is  owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association. And it is the largest formal gathering of automotive enthusiasts in the world, with 1,500 vehicles displayed inside and outside the North, Central and South Halls.

There is a reason SEMA promotes the show as "the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world."

More than 3,000 products are displayed in the New Products Showcase alone. Throughout the convention center, there are many more. For example, it's hard to "display" new software in a showcase!

The SEMA Show grew from humble beginnings. The organization sponsored the first SEMA Show in January 1967, sharing the profits with organizer Robert Petersen. SEMA assumed full control of the show in 1982.

The Tire Industry Association merged its convention and trade show with SEMA in 1997, making this the 22nd Global Tire Expo. Look for Modern Tire Dealer's report on the new products, educational seminars and special events in our December issue.

Related Topics: 2018 Global Tire Expo, 2018 SEMA Show

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