Industry Week Preps for Las Vegas

Oct. 24, 2023

The 2023 editions of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show and Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) are scheduled to open Oct. 31 in Las Vegas.

Both shows combine trade shows along with many hours of educational seminars. As of late August, almost 2,150 vendors had registered to exhibit at the SEMA Show, Oct. 31-Nov. 3, and the seminar agenda included 100 sessions throughout the week.

SEMA has also added a new ending to the show with SEMA Fest, a two-day outdoor festival at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds that will extend into the weekend following the events at the convention center. The Nov. 3-4 event is marketed as a “two-day celebration of motorsports, music and car culture,” and is designed for enthusiasts “who have long dreamed of being part of the SEMA experience.” It’s a mix of live music, drifting, motorsports, off-road demonstrations and ride-and-drive events. Festival attendees have the option of purchasing a ticket that also includes access to the SEMA Show on Friday.

AAPEX, held at the Venetian Expo, will open with a keynote breakfast and address on Oct. 31 by Earvin “Magic” Johnson. (Tickets are required to attend the keynote session and Johnson’s talk on “The Magic of Winning.”)

AAPEX organizers say the show floor is sold out, with more than 2,400 exhibitors listed as participants as of late August. As a result of the sell-out, organizers say many of the expo’s featured product sections will be larger than previous years. The 2023 expo, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, also will highlight companies that offer products and services in the electric vehicle (EV) space. The Joe’s Garage section will feature 10 bays with working lifts for live product demonstrations, as ASE-certified technicians will work on a different vehicle in one of the bays each day.

AAPEX is also expanding its efforts to bring students to the expo. For the first time, educators have the option of registering their students to attend the show and expose them to career options in the automotive aftermarket.

Both shows also offer their own mobile apps, which include helpful maps to navigate the spaces.

TIA highlights

The Tire Industry Association will host its customary events prior to the start of the Global Tire Expo at the SEMA Show, including a fundraising TopGolf event at 2 p.m. on Oct. 29. The next day features a slate of meetings, but the highlight is the nighttime Tire Industry Awards Ceremony. These events are complimentary and open to TIA members as well as show attendees. But they are ticketed events, and reservations are required. Here’s a run-down of the Oct. 30 night-time details, which will be held at Planet Hollywood:

5-6:30 p.m. Tire Industry Honors Cocktail Reception

6:30-8 p.m. Tire Industry Honors Awards Ceremony

During the awards ceremony, TIA will induct two new members into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame: Richard Smallwood, the retired president and CEO of Sumitomo Rubber North America Inc., and Mary Sikora, a scrap tire recycling advocate and publisher of the Scrap Tire News. (Read more about the honorees on page 8.)

The remainder of TIA’s events, including its daily educational sessions, will be held inside the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Global Tire Expo — Powered by TIA/SEMA Show is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Nov. 3 when the show closes at 4 p.m.

Here’s a look at TIA’s educational agenda at the show:

Oct. 31

10-11 a.m. TPMS at 10: Lessons learned from the front lines of TPMS

10-11 a.m. Truck tires at 10: Service truck driver safety

2-3:30 p.m. Successful tire dealers share their secrets

Nov. 1

10-11 a.m. Tires at 10: Wheel installation and retention guidelines

10-11 a.m. Truck tires at 10: Total truck tire repair with TRMG

2-3:30 p.m. Management at 2: Employee engagement — the key to retention and development