The annual SEMA Show kicked off with an industry breakfast highlighting the hottest new products and vehicles and a keynote address by rally driver and YouTube star Ken Block. The SEMA Show, featuring more than 1,900 exhibiting companies and nearly 65,000 buyers, runs from 1 to 4 November and covers all four Las Vegas Convention Center halls.
SEMA Show industry attendees have access to thousands of the newest automotive aftermarket products from start-ups and iconic exhibitors, debuts from car companies, hundreds of custom vehicle builds, interactive experiences and demonstrations, celebrity appearances, extensive networking opportunities, and 70-plus education sessions led by top industry experts.
Numerous vehicle manufacturers have returned with larger exhibitor displays that not only provide more space to enrich their activations on the show floor, but also help enhance their exposure. This includes Stellantis expanding its footprint at the show with exhibits in two halls and a major new vehicle introduction, and Volkswagen exhibiting for the first time, showcasing vehicles and its complementary aftermarket accessories to show attendees. Toyota has also expanded its presence in Central Hall to debut several vehicles and initiatives.
Returning this year is the dedicated SEMA Electrified area in the North Hall, showcasing electric vehicles and products designed for modifying them or converting ICE vehicles to electric power, while an expanded SEMA Overland Experience features highly modified adventure-focused builds and trends that can add new profit centres for aftermarket businesses.
“The SEMA Show provides exhibitors a superior opportunity to connect and develop relationships with partners, buyers, distributors, and more, not just on the show floor but also through activations, industry receptions, banquets, and awards presentations,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA Vice President of Events.
Other show highlights include a new advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) showcase, which provides attendees with experts and resources for modifying vehicles equipped with the high-tech safety features. eBay Motors is presenting its eBay Motors Experience, featuring drift ride-alongs and other demonstrations. Optima Batteries is debuting its new Optima Unleashed experience to host the Ultimate Street Car Invitational during show hours. Some of the automotive industry’s premier artists are exhibiting their creations in the SEMA Show Art Walk, and for the first time ever, Chip Foose has provided the official art for the 2022 SEMA Show.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) announced a five-year “vision” to expand the SEMA Show into an “all-city” experience. Officially called SEMA Week, the expansion’s goal is to “create the most passionate and exciting automotive event in the world”. SEMA Week will kick off in 2023 with new concepts, activities, and events introduced over the five-year roll-out period.
SEMA Week will be headlined by the SEMA Show, which organisers say will remain a trade-only event running from Monday to Friday, meaning the event will now run one extra day for a total of five days. On the Friday, the final day of the SEMA Show, a limited number of enthusiasts will be able to attend the SEMA Show through the Friday Experience program, which launched at the 2021 show. Beginning on Friday evening of SEMA Week, SEMA will take over the Las Vegas Festival Grounds until Saturday night with an all-new SEMA Fest.
“We have been watching the connection between enthusiasts and our industry grow for more than a decade and, as the industry’s trade association, have a responsibility to help facilitate that connection in new and meaningful ways,” said James Lawrence, SEMA Chairman of the Board. “By creating SEMA Week and SEMA Fest, we will be able to maintain the integrity of the trade show that makes it a must-attend event for automotive professionals while introducing a new platform for enthusiasts and the industry to engage with one another.”
For 2023, SEMA Fest will take place at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds and be open to everyone, bringing together automotive enthusiasts with the aftermarket industry in a high-octane and immersive festival-like celebration of car culture. SEMA Fest will feature top music and entertainment, car show and cruise, VIP experiences, craft food, automotive celebrities, and motorsports. It will run alongside the SEMA Ignited Cruise and SEMA Show after-party, which organisers say draws thousands of enthusiasts on Friday night.
SEMA Week is also scheduled to include a SEMA Auction, featuring some of the best builds from SEMA and many more amazing vehicles to headline the festivities. SEMA says it will continue to expand and refine SEMA Week over the next five years, rolling out new events and activities throughout Las Vegas. Organisers say the evolution of SEMA Week preserves the trade aspects of the industry and business components of the SEMA Show, while enabling enthusiasts from all over to join in the festivities and enjoy car culture-focused events throughout the SEMA Week experience.
Additional details for the 2023 SEMA Show, SEMA Week, and SEMA Fest will be announced in the coming months.