The Specialty Equipment Market Association’s (SEMA) annual show is different than traditional auto shows. Although it is attended by many OEMs, it’s actually officially a trade show that is intended mainly for industry professionals. The organization now wants to find a way to welcome enthusiasts into the experience.
The group announced today that, starting next year, the show will be expanded into something called SEMA Week. That will preserve the industry and professional aspects of the show, while adding more festivities for automotive enthusiasts.
SEMA Week will include a number of different events in 2023, and will expand even further over the next five years. The centerpiece of the “week,” though, will still be the trade-only show that runs from Monday through Friday.
On the Friday and Saturday nights following the show, SEMA Fest will begin. Hosted at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, the new event will be open to any and all enthusiasts. The organization says that the event will bring regular people together with industry professionals in a “high-octane and immersive festival-like celebration of car culture.”
That will mean concerts and entertainment, a car show, a cruise, craft food, automotive celebrities and motorsports, as well as VIP events. It will run alongside the existing SEMA Ignited Cruise and the SEMA Show after-party, which occur on the final night of the show, and attract thousands of enthusiasts.
In addition, SEMA Week will also include an auction that features some of the best builds from the show, as well other vehicles. Whether or not you actually want to own some of the slapped-together builds that find their way onto the SEMA Show floor is another question entirely.
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“We have been watching the connection between enthusiasts and our industry grow for more than a decade and, as the industry’s trade association, have a responsibility to help facilitate that connection in new and meaningful ways,” said James Lawrence, SEMA Chairman of the Board. “By creating SEMA Week and SEMA Fest, we will be able to maintain the integrity of the trade show that makes it a must-attend event for automotive professionals, while introducing a new platform for enthusiasts and the industry to engage with one another.”
SEMA says it will continue to expand and refine the newly announced event over the next five years, rolling out new additions and activities throughout the city of Las Vegas as it goes. More details for the 2023 SEMA Show, Fest, and Week will be announced in the coming months.