SEMA 2019 in Las Vegas: Everything you need to know
Why you shouldn’t miss this year’s premier auto industry event
Over 70,000 buyers from the US and around the world attended SEMA 2018
You could meet celebrities like Chip Foose, Jay Leno, and stars from MotorTrend
Over 1,500 vehicles will be on display during Friday’s SEMA Cruise
All fellow gearheads know that the SEMA show is the place to see the latest, hottest and best in the automotive industry. Over 70,000 people attended SEMA 2018, and it’s a sure bet this year will be just as big a hit with motor enthusiasts.
This year’s event is taking place as always in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, at 3150 Paradise Road. It runs from Tuesday, November 5th to Friday, November 8th. The hours for the exhibitions are Tuesday through Thursday from 9-5 pm, and Friday from 9-4 pm. The New Products Showcase runs from 8-6 pm Tuesday through Thursday, and from 8-3 pm Friday.
Who can attend? Well, that’s the rub.
You can’t merely be a car fanatic and expect to land admission tickets. This event is for automobile professionals only and is not open to the general public. To get in, you’ll need to show proof of your connection to this specialized community. It is not an easy event to fudge your way into, either.
The best things to do and see at SEMA 2019
SEMA features 3000 parts, components and tools, and the displays are divided into 12 different sections from the 2,400 exhibiting companies. But there’s so much to see and do that it’ll be hard to keep your head from being on full-swivel.
SEMA, by the way, is short for Specialty Equipment Market Association show
Besides booth-cruising, you can take part in workshops and educational sessions, choosing from dozens of workshops in 18 different categories, from Research and Trends to Emerging Markets. Titles of educational seminars or workshops include such gems as 3D Printing in the Automotive Industry, a Restoration Builders Panel, or Hot-Rod and Resto-Mod Interior Fabrication.
Whatever your area of expertise, or topics you are curious to learn more about, you’re sure to find a booth, session or expert to fire up your interest. The difficulty will probably be narrowing down your choices among the sessions offered.
Stars and awards at SEMA 2019
Besides being the biggest auto specialty products trade event in the world, SEMA is also a great place to hobnob with the best-known folks in the car industry.
You can catch Jay Leno at the New Products Breakfast, Chip Foose and other cast members of Overhaulin’ or the Count and the whole gang from the History Channel’s Counting Cars.
Racing legend Richard Petty and a number of people from MotorTrend will be on hand at various events and booths.
SEMA 2019 will be a literal who’s who in cars, and if you watch them on a car-related show, or read their blogs, or buy their auto products, chances are you’ll see them here. It’s the major event of the year, and only the luckiest of car-connected people will be there. You’ll find plenty of chances to get autographs or pics with all kinds of automotive luminaries.
Besides booths and seminars, there are a number of other activities taking place at SEMA. The SEMA Industry Awards Banquet will be held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino on Thursday evening, where the Blue Man Group will also be performing.
in addition, Ford’s Design Awards will be announced, and among those recognized will be 10 young builders in the Battle of the Builders contest.
The SEMA Cruise takes place on Friday at 4 pm where you can see 1,500 featured vehicles. The Cruise and SEMA Ignited afterparty are both open to the general public for $20 tickets. The SEMA Ignited afterparty begins at 3 and runs until 10 pm.
The Cruise is the highlight of each year’s event and not to miss.
A deeper dive — Related reading on the 101
Sometimes innovation doesn’t pay off as planned.
Don’t tell the folks at SEMA about the demise of the car.