The 2023 SEMA Show officially opened Tuesday (Oct. 31) morning, welcoming more than 2,200 exhibitors and approximately 160,000 attendees to the Las Vegas Convention Center campus to network and discover the next-generation products that will drive business success, industry growth, and the future of the aftermarket in the coming year.
The SEMA Show campus is overflowing with custom vehicles builds, interactive experiences and demonstrations, extensive networking opportunities and thousands of new products for buyers and exhibitors in search of the “next big thing” for their businesses.
“The connections made and relationships built here this week will set the course for our industry,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA Vice President of Events. “The Show gives our members the opportunity to build those important relationships with fellow industry professionals, both on the show floor and at dozens of other events and ensure future success.”
The 2023 Show opens at a time of tremendous growth and optimism across the industry. A new SEMA Economic Impact Report recently found that the aftermarket industry contributes $337 billion to the American economy and creates 1.3 million jobs, employing more people than the U.S. aircraft industry and the entire motion picture and video production industry.
The industry is at the forefront of adopting policies and technologies that help reduce emissions from vehicles, fostering businesses that are on the forefront of change and innovation, while the Show serves as a critical annual platform to help small business grow, build partnerships and drive industry change.
These strong economic indicators are driving optimism among SEMA members. In the recently released SEMA State of the Industry Report, two-thirds of industry companies report stable or growing sales over the last year and 55 percent of manufacturers expect growth in the coming year.
“The incredible support for this year’s SEMA Show demonstrates that our industry is strong and thriving,” said SEMA President and CEO Mike Spagnola. “Our members, many of whom are small businesses, are true drivers of growth and prosperity in the United States.”
Attendees come to the SEMA Show from across the United States and around the world to make connections and discover the latest products that will power growth for their businesses. The New Products Showcase, relocated to North Hall, is a popular must-see for those seeking the latest and greatest innovations in styling and performance products from hundreds of start-ups and legendary exhibitors.
The SEMA Show is constantly evolving, a characteristic exemplified by the exhibitors. This year, more than 20 percent of the exhibitors are at SEMA for the first time, including Sandy Vans, a manufacturer of accessories and lifestyle products based in Chula Vista, Calif., that helps people get the most out of their vans and enjoy the outdoor adventurer lifestyle.
“SEMA isn’t just a trade show; it’s the pulse of the automotive industry, highlighting what’s next,” said Alan Mondus, Co-founder and CEO of Sandy Vans. “We’re truly excited and grateful to be joining SEMA for the first time and share our top-of-the-line van and exterior product line.”
Another can’t-miss exhibit is the SEMA FutureTech Studio, an expansive exhibit dedicated to renewable fuels, hybrid technology, sponsor vehicles, engaging discussions and education to keep members on the cutting edge.
Several automakers are also out in force at the Las Vegas Convention Center, including Ford EV, Ford Performance Parts & Accessories, Lexus, Nissan and Toyota. Several will be debuting new vehicle concepts, custom builds and new parts and accessories designed for enthusiasts to personalize their rides.
Other Show highlights include a robust education program, offering nearly 100 sessions on a wide variety of topics; the Shell “Performance Unbound” Experience, where attendees can engage with Shell scientists about the fuel maker’s new and improved premium gasoline; Optima Village, an action-packed Show favorite featuring celebrity driver appearances, demonstrations, amazing project vehicles and plenty of tire smoke; the Overland Experience moves outdoors and showcases the latest trends in off-road adventure vehicles and accessories; and SEMA Garage: ADAS, Emissions, Product Development, an expanded interactive exhibition with live demos and knowledge to help SEMA members develop high-quality, robust, compliant products.
Battle of the Builders, a prestigious competition of the best builders in the industry, celebrates its 10th anniversary with judging taking place throughout the week, and will narrow the field from 40 finalists to one ultimate winner announced on Friday, November 3, while connecting consumers through social media and a television show airing in January 2024. And as the SEMA Show draws to a close, SEMA Fest opens its doors, bringing enthusiasts from the music and automotive worlds together for two days of music, motorsports and car culture featuring 22 diverse musical acts on two stages, demonstrations from Formula DRIFT, Hoonigan and Nitro Circus, E-gaming and more.