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History How does a outsider get into SEMA?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by speedwise, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. speedwise
    Joined: Aug 2, 2009
    Posts: 210


    How does one get into the SEMA show without being in the “biz”?

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  2. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,025


    You need to know someone. Bob
    ls1yj likes this.
  3. skipstitch
    Joined: Oct 7, 2001
    Posts: 1,176


    Write "PRESS" on a piece of paper and stick in your fedora. Make sure to have a camera to make it look legit when you walk in....:)
  4. Wear an Ass Monkey shirt.
    It's like a free pass.
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  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,714


    Used to be you could print up a business card, but it's more complicated now.
    dana barlow likes this.
  6. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,120


    Sneak in under the tent.
    SinCityRatFink and dana barlow like this.
  7. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,857


    Not that you asked, but spend your time and money at a good car show, not an auto parts trade show.
    I seem to be in the minority for some reason, but SEMA sucks
  8. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,116

    abe lugo

    Its really a trade show within the halls, most guys don't want to talk to you, if you go ask them if they make a "fill in the blank" for your 1 "fill in the blank" project. Those businesses go there and pay money to sell a lot of parts(at quantity) or become an OEM to a Car manufacturer.

    If you happen to be in Las Vegas the same week, you can walk all the outside cars without a pass. Also there is spectator event on the Friday at the end of the show.

    Most all the fancy cars you see inside end up going to different show through the country the next year.

    Save your money and go to either GNRS or LARS and you will eventually see those actual cars that fit this board and enjoy a much more hot rod defined show.

    Its not a bad show, just not a show if you don't have an open mind to all types of custom or specialty vehicles. There is a lot of custom stuff that would get you thrown off this board for posting.
    bondolero and ls1yj like this.
  9. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,714


    or just go see the stuff outside, it can keep you busy for a while, and you don't need a badge.

    I've only gone once in the past 12 years.
    dana barlow likes this.
  10. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 5,984

    from Nicasio Ca

  11. Walk backwards through the exit.
  12. speedwise
    Joined: Aug 2, 2009
    Posts: 210


    Thanks for the tips/advise

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  13. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,604

    from Illinois
    1. 1940 Ford

    Been there , done that, won’t be going again. GNRS or LARS would be more bang for the buck.
    lothiandon1940, ls1yj and cretin like this.
  14. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,528


    Really. I always thought i would like to go............hmmmmm
  15. ls1yj
    Joined: Sep 14, 2011
    Posts: 476

    from Kentucky

    SHOT show in Vegas is the same shit... lots of manufacturers and cool equipment, but it’s just a meet and greet mostly... unless you are looking to kick off a major project and want to talk FTF with a top builder, hit a big show instead

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  16. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,501

    from washington

    Went a few years ago and loved it. Almost every manufacturer of car parts is there with their entire line of products and the one's I talked to were very helpful. Lots of new products not seen in the magazines were on display.
  17. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,714


    It is fun to look at the shiny new stuff. But if you're into building traditional cars, there isn't much that is very useful. there usually are a few neat old cars on display to ogle, though.

    And I got to meet and shake the hand of a few of my heros at SEMA, in years past. Smokey, Too Tall, and Wally Parks, among others.
    dana barlow and tractorguy like this.
  18. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,742

    from Indy

    I went once about 15 yrs ago, that was enough for me
    Mark S Miller likes this.
  19. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,447


    I got a "Media" credential, which is not easy to get. I go everywhere and get those free canvas tote bags, pins, and writing pads. The bags are excellent for use at food stores. I need about 2-days to see the SEMA exhibits at the convention center and 1-day for the AAPEX show at the Sands.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  20. You Gotter know the secret handshake. :D
  21. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,687


    I used to go every year in the '90s when I had my shop. It seemed like the street rod and race parts were just a small part compared to the OER, Off Road and Pep Boys parts suppliers. It is the Specialty Equipment Market Association so it's mostly people there to make connections and sell mass quantities of stuff. Some reps are full of info and some are just salesmen. I enjoyed the experience the first year or two except for the sore feet from all the walking.
    It seems like they have upped the "entertainment" aspect, due mostly to the TV shows and their "Stars" I suppose.
    It's worth going at least once if you can finagle a pass somehow. Me, I'd like to go to the PRI Show......
    chryslerfan55 and partssaloon like this.
  22. Hombre
    Joined: Aug 22, 2008
    Posts: 852


    So blowby, what does this picture mean? if you take your Grand Daughters you can get in free?
  23. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,187

    Donuts & Peelouts
    from , CA

    I've been asked to go by 2 different rim shops I do work with at my job. I always tell them no, I rather just be home. Vegas ain't my cup of tea, if I want to see crazies I'll just go down the block. Anyone that is in can simply invite you and your in like Flin

    Sent from my SM-J727T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  24. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 989


    I've gone for the last 25 years. If you are going because you want to see a "neat" car show, do yourself a favor and stay home. I used SEMA for the first 10 years to see what new products were available, decide which vendors I wanted to use for the next year and network my business. The last 15 years have been for me to talk to vendors and learn trends and advancements in the industry. I taught auto mechanics in a prison here in California. I found it essential for me to use as a resource for keeping my program revelation to the market so that I could include items in my curriculum to help my students to be able to get a job in the automotive industry and understand current systems in use. SEMA also offers seminars all week long for technical updating, business practices, and general issues we deal with. I found it facinating to sit down with real geniuses in our industry as they explained in depth system operation and design in terms that were understandable to us average Joes. Over the last 15 years the vendors has been very generous to my program. I have received about $250,000 worth of donations to assist my teaching. They are genuinely interested in helping turn theses guys around and becoming tax payers instead of tax takers. Surprisingly, as I was leaving my hotel on Wednesday morning, I fellow stopped and introduced himself to me. It was one of my former students that was a guest of the state in 2004/2005. He is working in the industry and for the first time had the opportunity to attend the show. He remembered my speaking about SEMA upon my return each year. He said "I knew I would find you here because of what the show did for your program." If you really want to attend, have a parts house, repair garage, or some other automobile related business sponsor you and bring back whatever information they want in return for allowing you to go. I spend all day, each day on the show floor or in seminars. If you do that and are serious about gaining knowledge, you will be too tired for any Vegas nightlife. Use the experience as a tool to expand your skills and it will be great. There are usually 150,000 people in attendance. The vast majority of them are buying business men. Once again remember that it is not a car show. Yes there are crash on display but are used to showcase either products or services offered. I hope this long winded view of what and why the SEMA show exists helps anyone thinking of going for the first time.
  25. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 3,135

    sloppy jalopies

    Hate to say it, but after the recent tragedies we have had,
    dressing as security, you would be welcome anywhere today...
  26. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,859


    Climb over the fence.
  27. All you newbys that want to go to SEMA...ATTN...Ask yourself if your prepared to place a substantial order initially then maintain the volume monthly? If so,you may be a potential customer of the SEMA Vendors..If Not,Stay your ass at home...all you want to do is looky-look...The show is for big volume purchasers..NOT sight-seers,,
  28. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 5,984

    from Nicasio Ca

    I think so, however if those were my Grand Daughters I'd have other things to worry about other than getting into the SEMA show. :)

    As a speed shop employee (Service Center) in the late '70s I got to go to SEMA several times on the boss's dime. Always very interesting but certainly not a hot rod show.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  29. models916
    Joined: Apr 19, 2012
    Posts: 380


    I belong to SEMA action network that keeps an eye on legislative related car topics. I get invited every year and have never attended. Try signing up for this, it's free and all done by email. Maybe they will invite you.
  30. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 5,928

    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    Been to SEMA and PRI each once. As a chassis shop in business for almost 40 years I have no business getting in the way at these shows. I have my network of vendors and don't need more. I'll let the Big Dogs bark at these events!

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