By Martha Maglone, November 14, 2014
With over 2,300 exhibiting companies offering over 2,000 new products, the scale of SEMA’s success stretches things to the limit. Even the network of roads and Monorail that connect the Convention Center with the hotels are overrun as the exuberant desert oasis struggles to handle 150,000 visitors.
Still, the mood inside the exhibition halls and outside on the display pavements in the mid-autumn warmth was vibrant, often in stark contrast to that in the Media Center, which could be deadly dull. The abiding problem with most press conference presenters is their appetite for blithering on in their self-congratulatory way about their skill sets and their achievements and their unmatched talents until your head aches. With nothing to say that is remotely memorable they grind on inexorably with presentations that weary all but their most avid supporters. These company heads and marketing chiefs should be taught that it is a sin to bore their fellow creatures.
But in the exhibition halls there is plenty to marvel at not least the proportions of youth. Here in vast numbers they are easily identified by their flat-brimmed baseball hats—an image not always appreciated by the old guard. But who cares; the fact that the youth are arriving in such numbers is admirable and, assuredly, has helped build annual aftermarket parts sales to the staggering 13+ billion dollars now reported.
The latest thinking from component manufacturers
For the buyers the most conspicuous draw is new products, which had been submitted by dozens of manufacturers for judgment. Following the formal announcements, proclaimed at the SEMA Breakfast on Tuesday morning November 4th, the winning products were showcased in the east end of the upper level of the Convention Center’s South Hall. To keep track of them, you were invited to pick up a scanner when you entered the area, which created a printed report of those you found noteworthy. Here are five of the most prestigious: