Four days in Las Vegas. Hundreds of cars and booths. More than one hundred and forty thousand people. Welcome to SEMA 2016.
“We made this.”
The 2016 SEMA show was a special one, marking its 50th anniversary. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) embraces any company big or small that is involved in the automotive world, from wheels and suspensions to paint and race teams. The association started from humble beginnings in 1963 with a small group of manufacturers that produced performance equipment for hotrods when they decided to group together and call themselves the “Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association.” Over the years the association grew to encompass all areas of the automotive world and eventually changed its name to what it is today.
The show is a worldwide name that so many enthusiasts dream of attending, but it is not open to the public. I, for one, have always wanted to go and envied the photos I would see online annually. I hoped to make it there one day, and I am excited and humbled to say I was finally able to attend this year’s 50th show and bring it to you. As a first-time attendee, I was told over and over about how huge it was and how there were not enough days to cover the entire show – it seemed like it would be overwhelming. I can say honestly say that the show was indeed a bit of a sensory overload because you don’t know where to explore first. However, with a plan and map in hand, you can trek to the booths you want to see the most while peeking into others along the way – it is possible to walk the entire show in four days. Yes, it is a lot of walking. Yes, your feet will likely be sore. But you know what? Its all worth it.
SEMA was awesome. Held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, over two thousand product booths lined multiple buildings and covered the outside grounds. There are some really awesome and unique builds along with some unusual and downright weird sprinkled in. This is the place to see dreams come alive. This is the place to see how the automotive industry is shifting towards the future.
Wheels, wheels everywhere. Shiny and colorful shoes were fitted or hanging on walls all over the Las Vegas Convention Center. Big names that included Vossen, BBS, Forgiato, and VIP Modular set up great displays to showcase their work. In particular, Vossen had a VIP booth that highlighted some of their best wheels side-by-side with new releases. Additionally, guests were able to try out Vossen’s new 3D wheel configurator where you can test out the look of any Vossen wheel on the car of your choice, complete with color changes, camber adjustments, a 360 view, and rolling animation.
Widebody kits and giant spoilers added flare. Bags or shiny lift kits dominated suspensions. Wraps and custom paint jobs created splashes of color. That’s SEMA in a nutshell.
I could go on for days about every aspect of the show, every major vendor, every cool car… but I would rather let the photos speak for themselves.
The show concluded on a Friday night with SEMA Ignited, a special after-party for SEMA attendees and the public. Nearly every car in the show formed a parade line out of the Convention Center and filed down the road to the party lot. SEMA Ignited featured the display of SEMA show cars, an awards ceremony, delicious food and drinks, and some good ol’ smoke and rubber. Formula Drift put on a few special displays of what its drivers are capable of, the best of the best in the drifting world. The night on the strip was a perfect end to the week-long show and I can’t wait until the 2017 show.