For over forty years, U.S. trade body SEMA (Special Equipment Market Association) has been organizing its tuning show of the same name. From the original performance show for a specific group of industry insiders, the SEMA Show has developed to become the American continent’s most important indicator in the field of tuning, accessories, components and workshop equipment, and is also demonstrating an increasing influence on the European tuning scene. These days, it is no longer only hot-rodders and customisation specialists that make the pilgrimage with their sometimes exotic, bizarre and wacky ideas of free automotive expression. Almost every automotive player is represented each year with an official presence. Their show stands offer an insight into a variety of models or rebuilds that can be both interesting and practicable, and use them to test public reaction to forward-looking design projects.
The first SEMA Show, in which a total of 98 stands and 3,000 visitors participated, took place in January 1967 beneath the grandstand of the L.A. Dodgers’ baseball stadium. The more casual setting of the early years changed fundamentally with the move to the Las Vegas Convention Center in 1977. Now with 2,000 exhibitors and around 125,000 trade visitors from more than 100 countries, the SEMA Show offers the perfect platform for the accessories industry in an exhibition space covering almost 100,000 square metres. The show is worth some 37 billion Dollars every year in the U.S. alone.
However, anyone looking to complement a trip to the U.S. with a visit to the SEMA Show from 4th - 7th November will have to be a member of the trade and register themselves in advance. There is no access for the general public.