Things First Time Exhibitors at SEMA Should Know

If you are in the auto equipment industry, SEMA is beyond any doubt the most important trade show for you. Every year, companies from all over the country and the world gather at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and introduce the latest automotive technology and specialty products. If you are a first-time exhibitor at SEMA, here are the things that you must know about this major annual expo. 

What Is SEMA?

SEMA stands for Speciality Equipment Market Association. It is the leading auto equipment showcase on the North American continent and was first held in 1963. Since then, it has become the biggest destination for leading automotive brands such as Honda, Chevrolet, Toyota, Lexus, Dodge, Hyundai, and more who always put up noticeable exhibition stands to attract people. 

When Is the Trade Show and What Does It Offer?

The expo is held every fall, usually at the end of October or beginning of November. And last for four days, from Tuesday to Friday. It is used by auto equipment manufacturers and automakers to display aftermarket parts & accessories, specialty equipment, light trucks, collision repair instruments & products, paint & body equipment, automotive electronics, off-road upgrades, and more. 

Who Attends the SEMA?

Despite being the largest automotive show in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world, SEMA is not open to the public. The show is a trade-only event and exclusively for industry professionals. Statistics show that it is attended by an estimate of 2,400 regular exhibitors, 70.000 buyers, 162,000 industry professionals. Also, it welcomes approximately 400 new exhibitors every year who set up stands to best represent their brand, products, and services. Most startups that attend the expo use exhibit booth rentals las vegas because it allows to cut their expenses and still have a distinguishable stand that will enable to generate leads, make sales, and create contacts with potential business partners. 

How to Take Part in SEMA?

Every attendee at the SEMA show must register and submit a request for approval. Prospective exhibitors must provide proof of their current employment in the automotive aftermarket industry, as well as the following documents:

  • Business license
  • Recent paycheck stub
  • Business photo ID
  • Business card
  • Tax or business registration

How Much Does It Cost to Be an Exhibitor at SEMA?

The participation costs depend on several factors, including staffing, shipping, promotional, traveling, lodging, and other expenses. It is important to calculate all these costs and form a budget before committing to taking part in SEMA. Booths are charged by the square foot so the bigger your exhibition stand is the more it will cost you (customization expenses excluded). This is why many companies, especially startups, opt to rent booths and used the saved money from construction to pay the fees required by SEMA. 

Are Refunds an Option?

If you register for SEMA but end up not being able to attend, you can get a refund depending on when you notify the organizers about your decision. You can get the full sum if you cancel within 24-hours after booking booth space. Refund up to 50% is available if the cancellation is announced by early August, after that, there are no refunds. 

Are There Any Booth Restrictions?

SEMA has plenty of rules that limit what exhibitors are allowed to display at the trade booths. Weapons, fireworks, and explosives are strictly prohibited. Also, objectionable materials, dancing, and modeling are forbidden. Foods and drinks offered by attendees must be coordinated with SEMA’s official caterer. Noise from videos and music must always be below 85 decibels while videotaping for commercial use or distribution without prior approval is banned.   

Now that you know the ins and outs of the SEMA expo, you can start making the necessary preparations for your upcoming participation at the event.