View Full Version : 2009 SEMA Show Recap by Mike Phillips

Mike Phillips
11-08-2009, 03:40 PM

What a thrill it was to attend SEMA 2009!

Since Dwayne did such a great job sharing a recap of day-by-day events, I'll try to share what it's like to host a booth at SEMA

First a big thank you to Max McKee for all the hard work he does behind the scenes to pull of such a huge and successful booth at a show this size. The planning for each next SEMA show literally starts the day the current show ends it's that involved and that important.

Second, thank you to the entire Autogeek Team at our Corporate Office in Stuart, Florida for keeping the Autogeek Machine running like a race car engine and never misfiring once.

SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association, however it used to stand for Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association.

From the SEMA.org history page (http://www.sema.org/sema-history)

It all began in 1963 when a group of small manufacturers who were suppliers of performance equipment for early hot rods organized their fledgling industry and called it "Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association" (SEMA).

The mission was practical and straightforward: develop uniform standards for certain products used in motorsports competition; promote the industry as a supplier to consumers involved in constructive activities of recreational and hobbyist value; develop programs to encourage improved business practices among member companies; and hold regular meetings to achieve unity as a business organization. In those days, all of the members were founders of companies that produced speed equipment exclusively (hence, the organization’s title).

At the outset, the pioneering companies operated free of the constraints that come from governmental regulations and their attending restrictions. They were as aggressive and progressive as their imaginations would allow, and the mostly small businesses flourished. Today, many of the original companies are very large, successful corporations, and some, such as Edelbrock, Ansen, B&M and Offenhauser, are known internationally for their product lines. Today, more than 40 years later, the small group of entrepreneurial operations has been joined by thousands of companies, designers, producers and suppliers of specialty products that span the gamut. From performance products for street and race applications to appearance accessories for late-model automobiles and light-duty trucks, SEMA-member companies contribute to the vitality and strength of a $34-billion-a-year retail industry.

SEMA eventually became the Specialty Equipment Market Association, embracing within its ranks all businesses in the distribution chain: manufacturers, warehouse distributors, jobbers, independent retailers, volume retailers, specialty stores (speed shops), sales agents, subcontractors and publishing companies. The membership categories even include racing teams, car clubs and special service organizations. The SEMA membership roster has steadily grown and continues its upward climb. Today there are more than 7,094 corporate members. Products supplied by the industry are in demand not only in the United States, but also throughout the world.

Buyers and Exhibitors from around the world descend on Las Vegas every year in November to check out what's new in the automotive industry and to catch-up with old friends while forging relationships with new friends.

The cars on display are out of this world as the pictures speak for themselves. The booths themselves are fun and festive inviting you in to check out all the cool new products to be introduced in 2010 and around every corner is a demonstration, a celebrity or a model showcasing a manufactures products.

That's the fun side, the reality is you get there a couple days before the show and set-up your booth, this is hard work and long hours.

When the show starts, you stand all day long as you meet and greet attendees or you walk for miles as you forge through the maze of booths checking out all the new products and cars on display while trying not to get lost!

After 4 days of shaking hands, trading business cards, cutting deals and wining and dining, it's time to tear down the booth and pack everything up to be shipped back home.

At Autogeek, Max started a tradition of holding a dinner at Taqueria Cañonita (http://www.canonita.net/home.html) Mexican Restaurant for all the friends of Autogeek to join in and celebrate another successful show. Then it's time to pack-up and head to the airport.

It's a ton of work but at the same time its a ton of fun and Team Autogeek sets the standard for having fun at SEMA

That was a blast!

Start adjusting your schedule now so you can be there next year!


11-08-2009, 05:45 PM
Maybe Max could get a special rate at a hotel for all AG forum members!!? We could rule the city for 4 days!

11-08-2009, 06:30 PM
Thanks for taking the time to post pictures and day by day events for us all Mike.Now that your back lets get another extreme makeover lined up:dblthumb2:

11-08-2009, 07:25 PM
Ya Miek the pictures were great.

T Riddle
11-08-2009, 10:25 PM
Maybe Max could get a special rate at a hotel for all AG forum members!!? We could rule the city for 4 days!
:iagree:That would be awesome!!!

11-08-2009, 11:41 PM
:iagree:That would be awesome!!!

I stayed at the Greek Isles right across the street from the convention center parking lot for $35/night. I figure I spend 16 hours a day outside of the hotel, so it really didn't matter that it didn't have marble floors or anything. I saved $20 bucks a day in parking my car and was able to give the Autogeek guys a ride back to their hotel after the show saving them cab fare too. If you plan ahead then it isn't hard to get a good rate nearby the convention center.

That is interesting about the name behind SEMA. I knew what it stood for now, but I didn't know they had changed it. The things you learn around here... :)

2003 GMC Denali
11-09-2009, 02:29 AM
It was a fun time... I wish i could be there.

11-09-2009, 09:28 AM
Mike, thanks for posting the pics.

It looked like it was fun!

Thanks for bringing SEMA to those of us who couldn't go! It was like we were there!