I just got back from the Specialty Equipment Market
Association (SEMA) trade show in Las
Vegas where I spent two full days walking and gawking.
The SEMA show was the week following the Intermountain
Snowmobile Show, which, as many of you know, is sponsored by SnoWest Magazine. We were at the SEMA
show because of one of our newest projects, Diesel
Tech Magazine. The SEMA show is all about aftermarket products from hop ups
to tires to, well, everything to do with a car, truck or SUV.
Just about the entire time I was at the SEMA show, I
couldn’t help but compare certain aspects of that show with the Intermountain
Snowmobile Show in South Jordan, UT.
The SEMA show is just a tad bigger than the snow show in South Jordan. Here are a few facts and figures that
illustrate just that.
The SEMA show attracts more than 125,000 people. A little
more than 6,000 snowmobile enthusiasts came to this year’s Intermountain
Snowmobile Show. The SEMA show takes place in the Las VegasConvention Center
and surrounding grounds, encompassing about one million square feet of exhibit
space. The Intermountain Snowmobile Show utilizes about 45,000 square feet of
Okay, so maybe the SEMA event is more than just a tab bigger
than the Intermountain Snow Show.
Then again, I know most everyone at the Intermountain Snow
Show or, at the very least, know something about every company that is there.
The Intermountain Snow Show is definitely more user friendly than trying to
cover one million square feet. It took me nearly one day to see all the
exhibits in just one building at the SEMA show. (There are three buildings and
two tents at SEMA.)
Here are some general observations comparing the two … SEMA
vs. the Intermountain Snowmobile Show.
but the WasatchMountains
beat Las Vegas
and the surrounding desert in the looks department. Vegas at night with all the
lights and such are almost a light overload. I’ll take the mountains any day
and never get tired of looking at them.
Apparently scantily clad women help sell more tires … those gals would freeze
to death in snow conditions.
Bling Yea, billet
wheels and even billet pull rope handles and gas caps are cool but the SEMA
show is bling with a capital B-L-I-N-G. A cruise through SEMA’s Hot Rod Alley
shows the automotive industry has a leg up on the snowmobile market when it
comes to eye candy. I will say there are some pretty impressive mod sleds at
the Mod Show … but you have to go to our Idaho Snowmobile Show to see those.
with the ever present $4.99 steak and eggs deal (which, of course, is available
from to ), Salt Lake City is a better bargain. Who ever
heard of anyone visiting Las Vegas
without dropping cash at any number of casinos or convenience stores or
restaurants or stores or just about anywhere in that city.
Win A New… This
might be a toss up. Anyone who paid to get into the Intermountain Snowmobile
Show was eligible to win a 2008 Polaris RMK snowmobile. Those attending the
SEMA show could register to win a Lexus. Okay, so maybe I wouldn’t take a new
RMK over a Lexus, but I might. And my odds of winning in Salt Lake City (1 in
about 6,000) were much better than Las
Vegas (1 in 125,000). I like my odds better in SLC.
There are far more snowmobile DVD/movie booths at the Intermountain Snowmobile
Show than there were DVD/movie booths of any kind at the SEMA show (maybe at
SEMA they realized they were competing with the scantily clad women). In fact,
I only saw one movie booth at SEMA. However, the greater number of exhibits at
SEMA had some sort of flat screen TV showing off their respective products.
Pretty high tech marketing going on there.
There were some stunning displays at the SEMA show. Snow shows have a handful
of really cool displays (Ski-Doo and Yamaha at the Intermountain Snow Show come
to mind) but the number at SEMA was almost overwhelming. We’re talking big
money displays. A couple of the car manufacturers (Ford and GM) had
displays/exhibits that would have covered the entire main floor at the SaltLakeCountyEventsCenter, home to the
Intermountain Snowmobile Show. Other booths at SEMA were smaller but equally as
Not Engaging It’s
amazing to me that some people (vendors) at both the Intermountain Snowmobile
Show and SEMA just sit in their booth and barely say a word when a potential
customer walks up to their booth. Why are you even there?
Visitors SEMA attracts people from all over the world, including Japan,
Korea, China, Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Germany and the
list goes on and on. I think we had someone from California come to the Intermountain
Snowmobile Show. That’s about as foreign as we get (okay, just kidding. Don’t
send me any letters about how mean I am).
Test Drive You
could test drive a new Toyota Tundra over some man-made rocks in a closed off
area in the parking lot that somewhat (but not really) resembled an off-road
obstacle course. We still haven’t figured out how to make enough snow so
sledders can test drive a snowmobile during the Intermountain Snowmobile Show.
It was definitely an eye-opening experience to attend the
SEMA show and I’ll probably go back some day. But if I had to pick, I would
take a snow show over a SEMA-type show any day.