The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show is held annually in November in Las Vegas. The 2013 show was its fiftieth anniversary and there was a particularly party atmosphere around the whole event with over 130,000 professionals from the automotive industry in attendance. The show attracts a worldwide audience, and in 2013 there were at least 100 countries represented. Only SEMA members are allowed in and none of the show is open to the general public, though getting a pass is still possible depending on whom you know as SEMA members are allowed a guest pass.
SEMA used to stand for the Speed Equipment Market Association, and although the name was changed to reflect our more sensitive attitude to the kind of values that drove the whole US muscle car market of the 1960s, the essence of the show has been retained. While much of the show concerns car aftermarket products that address aspects of safety, comfort and versatility, the fundamental focus is on highly tuned automobiles from trucks to hot rods and muscle cars. The bulk of the show takes place in the Las Vegas Convention Centre and every year the number of cars seems to be greater than the previous year.
Choosing Las Vegas as the show’s locations rather that Los Angeles where the first few shows took place has done nothing to reduce its popularity. In many ways fast paced Vegas is the ideal location for a fast paced car show. No doubt many of the show’s visitors make the best of the many casinos on The Strip with the occasional game of blackjack. Certainly many of the visitors stay in the many casino hotels that line The Strip and most of the hotels provide free ground transportation directly to the Convention Centre. Even the LV Monorail that links the many casinos has extended hours of operation during the show.