What a great experience – the buzz, the atmosphere, the enthusiasm and the all-round feeling that we were part of something particularly special. The 52nd SEMA Show was once again a record-breaking event.
It seemed like everyone and anything in the automotive industry was in Vegas – there were street cars, muscle cars, custom cars and some of the best designers and builders on the planet, many of whom competed for the Battle of the Builders – as we said last year ‘the cars are the stars’.
However, there were also more mechanical and collision parts on show than the eye could see – in fact you had to come here with a plan of attack because if you wanted to stop at every one of the approximately 2,500 exhibits, you would have less than a minute with each – and that doesn’t include time to move between the exhibits!
Fortunately for us there was ample time to get around the collision repair exhibits and all the big guns were out to impress. 3M showed of their latest collision repair technology and innovative paint protection film technology, while PPG, Axalta, BASF, Sherwin-Williams and AkzoNobel all showed off their latest coating innovations with numerous examples of some of the best presented cars on their stands.
As the name of the show suggests there was no shortage of collision repair equipment including Snap-on and Car-O-Liner sharing a stand for the first time and the key SAPE brands, Celette and GYS out in force.
Other prominent features were I-CAR with a full range of seminars and practical training demonstrations, Chevrolet showing off their latest vehicles, engines and accessories and Ford with a full range of road cars and off-road trucks.
However, SEMA would not be complete without education and training and it was the SCRS and their Collision Industry Repairer Driven Education program that stole the show. With over 20 seminars across the four days, culminating on three OEM Technology Summit sessions and the inaugural showcase event – IDEAS Collide.
The SEMA Show closed with the traditional SEMA Ignited, the official after-party, incorporating SEMA Cruise on the streets of Las Vegas around the convention centre and once again it was a mind-blowing event.