2018 SEMA Wrap-Up
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Earlier this month, I attended my 17th straight SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show, and I can tell you a lot has changed over the years. The one thing that hasn’t changed? The desire of small business owners trying to better themselves by researching products and tools and making personal connections with manufacturers and vendors.
The show itself has grown roughly 40% since the first time I attended. The other thing that has noticeably grown is the number of detailers at the show. The first year I attended, I met Mike Philips. Aside from him, I didn’t know any detailers who were there (though I’m sure there were a few).
Fast forward to 2018. While walking the floor in the North Hall, I was constantly running into someone I knew, and many of the detailers I saw were ones I have met at SEMA and have become friends with through the years. Oddly enough, I usually only see these detailers once a year at this show or maybe at Mobile Tech Expo if I’m lucky.
There were several detailing meetups throughout the show, starting with the IDA Meet and Greet on Tuesday night. I have attended this event since the IDA began holding it a few years ago. The first year we had a decent showing of maybe 20-30 detailers. This year, the room was practically bursting at the seams, with well over 140 attendees.
On the show floor itself, it was nice to see so many IDA Supplier Members exhibiting and proudly displaying their new IDA membership plaques. Many new detailing products and tools are released at SEMA, so this is a chance for attendees to see and test those items before anyone else.
But SEMA is much more than just what is shiny and has bling. One of the most overlooked offerings is the 70+ educational seminars, with topics ranging from best business practices to marketing to financial tips and employee management, just to name a few. Those who attend always come away with new knowledge to bring back to their businesses.
The one thing that really stuck out to me this year was the number of attendees who were proudly wearing their IDA member and certification patches. This is great news for the IDA, as we are gaining momentum and recognition.
Mark your calendars for next year’s SEMA Show: November 5-8, 2019!
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the IDA.