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Updated by John Huh on Aug 06, 2021
Headline for Ten Best Tips for the SEMA Show
John Huh John Huh
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Ten Best Tips for the SEMA Show

The SEMA Show is the largest automotive specialty products trade show in the world. Every year thousands of industry leading vendors and cutting edge products headline the huge auto trade show held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. If you are planning to attend the SEMA auto trade show, but don't know your way around the show or Las Vegas, our handy ten best tips for attending the SEMA show can help.

There are many things to do and people to meet at the 2015 SEMA Show, it's a unique chance to interact the newest minds and greatest products from automotive aftermarket leading companies.

With over 100 countries sending over 120,000 industry leaders to the show, it's an event with an unlimited potential to expanding your business, shop or exposure to your automotive product. It's also a place that can overwhelm you and turn what could be an awesome opportunity to expand your business's horizons into a miserable trip that you won't want to repeat anytime soon.

From transportation to booking, these are the ten best tips for the SEMA auto show can help you get the most out of your SEMA experience.


Sooner than Later

Sooner than Later

Do yourself and favor and get a jump on show registration, whether you are an exhibitor at SEMA or just an attendee. Registration is easy and straightforward, and there's no reason why you should be scrambling for your credentials when you arrive.

Registration for the SEMA Show goes through AAIW, who issues the badges that allow you to enter the SEMA trade show. You must have a registration completed and a badge issued for you to enter the SEMA Auto Show.

After you've registered and received your welcome packet, you can take a look at our next best tip for the SEMA Show.


SEMA Guides

SEMA Guides

After the cutoff date for all exhibitors, you'll be sent a packet has informational packets and maps that will help you if this is the first time you're attending SEMA. There's three critical pieces of documentation that you want on your person at all times.

SEMA MAP - This map helps you navigate three separate buildings, conference and meeting rooms and all the different sections that are most relevant to your business.

2015 SEMA Pocket Guide - Use this pamphlet to help you find the business, product or speaker you are looking for. Whether you are going to SEMA to see all the newest and greatest products, or as a member of the media, the 2015 SEMA Pocket Guide has everything you need to navigate through the madness.

2015 SEMA magazine - This small magazine style piece of media shows you all the newest exhibitors for the SEMA show, along with many of the awesome cars you'll find within the SEMA show halls or outside through "The Walk"


Public Transportation - Use it

Public Transportation - Use it

When attending the SEMA auto show, the added cost of a rental car isn't always the best idea. Parking around the Las Vegas Convention Center can be difficult and expensive, traffic around the strip can slow to a crawl for no good reason.

Here's a few highlights of Las Vegas public transportation, and how you can get access to it.

Monorail - Save yourself a ton of aggravation and time by taking the Monorail directly to the SEMA show. There's terminals located throughout the strip, all of which can take you to the SEMA show.

  • MGM Grand
  • Paris
  • Flamingo
  • Harrah's
  • Westgate Resort

There's a few options for tickets that you should entertain if you are staying in Las Vegas for an extended period of time. Single ride passes are 5 dollars, while 24 hour passes are just 12. Most people go for the thee day pass which costs just 24 dollars and gets you around town quick.

Taxis and Shuttles - If you have a special destination, take a taxi is easy and straightforward if not expensive. The SEMA Show offers a complimentary shuttle service that you'd be wise to take advantage of.

There's four shuttles that you should keep an eye on if you want a free ride to or from the show.

  • Tuesday - Thursday Shuttle - 7 AM - 10:30 AM
  • Evening Service - 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Friday Morning Shuttle - 7 AM - 10:30 AM - NO MID DAY SERVICE
  • Friday Evening Service - 2 PM - 5 PM

Find the SEMA informational desks

Find the SEMA informational desks

These desks and kiosks are placed throughout the SEMA show and have many services that can help the new SEMA Show attendee. Services like the lost and found, or locations of the ATM machines are just a few of the services that the informational desk can assist you with.

Best feature of all? the promotional pamphlet card which will allow you to scan each booth and each manufacturer, who in turn ships you the documentation that's at the booth in question. Leaves you lightweight and prevents you from carrying a hefty bag full of stuff around.


Wear Comfy Shoes

Wear Comfy Shoes

It's important to look your best when meeting perspective buyers and sellers, and as a business person you want to present yourself in a professional manner. Planning on going to SEMA? Do yourself a favor and skip over those expensive shoes in favor for more comfortable ones.

It's important to look good, but many new SEMA visitors make the mistake of style over comfort. You are going to be walking for long periods of time and spending most of the day on your feet, it's a good idea to have nice comfortable shoes that won't punish you.

If you are traveling to Las Vegas and attending SEMA for business, or even pleasure, do yourself a favor and wear comfortable shoes.


Plan your Meetings ahead of time

Plan your Meetings ahead of time

Attending the SEMA show for the first time? Don't miss out on the unique opportunity to mingle and expand the contact network for your business. How do you do this?

Show Directory - You can find this directory at the SEMA show website and coordinate your times for the meetings you can't miss. Are you a first time exhibitor or attendee?

Don't miss the SEMA Town Hall Meeting shown above for a great way to open your world up to the benefits the trade show can provide. The business networking possibilities are virtually limitless when you go to the SEMA show.


Remove your credentials outside of the show

Remove your credentials outside of the show

When you are leaving the Convention Center, it's a good idea to remove the credentials and passes from your person. These badges must be worn in order for you to get into the show, but outside all they do is attract the wrong kind of attention.

Predators, thieves and pickpockets will know you are a tourist, not to mention those annoying baseball card flappers. (psst....they aren't baseball cards)


Stay Hydrated

Stay Hydrated

Needless to say it's dry and very arid in the desert climate of Las Vegas. You'll be spending large amounts of time on your feet, walking from one display and car to another. Make sure to bring water of your own, and stay hydrated so that you don't fall ill or become dehydrated.

Ford Wins SEMA Show... Again

Fresh for the 2015 model year, Ford is establishing new and incredibly different variants of two popular customizable vehicles; the F-150 and Mustang. Ford has increased their coverage but for the 2015 SEMA show, they turned up the heat bringing a new stable of modifiable options and trims for their two breadwinners.




A fact lost on many newcomers to the SEMA auto show, is that the SEMA show helps you locate and find the best deals on lodging. When traveling to Las Vegas for the SEMA show, you will need to get a jump on this early as rooms can quickly sell out.


Plan your path

Plan your path

If you are new to the SEMA trade show and even if you are new to Las Vegas, use the floor plan provided by SEMA to see where and when you want go.

SEMA Floor Plan

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