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2011 SEMA show

By: Garett On: November 8th, 2011

This was the first time I went to the SEMA show in 5 years. In years past the show was way too disorganized and at least 2/3's of the time was wasted walking and walking through aisles and aisles of spinning hubcaps. Simply something I didn't need to see.

I had heard that they finally decided to get organized so I got on the plane and visited Las Vegas. First off, I should let you know I really dislike everything about cities and Vegas has always been over the top in every way so it always gets my mood off to a bad start. This trip was no different in that respect and worse in many ways since I had last visited. The last time I was there it was all about gambling and everything else was pretty much a giveaway. When the hell did that change? Now everything about Las Vegas is expensive, no more $1.09 breakfasts' that were actually good, no more $1 beers to keep you hanging around. Thats all the old Vegas, in the new Vegas any meal is a minimum of $15 and a single beer is $8... Well, this isn't about the SEMA show so I will let it go...

The SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) show is all about anything automotive, anything!

They have now subdivided the show into many sub-sections that all have their own buildings. Of course the 4x4 & Offroad building was my first destination but I was a bit let down by what was considered show worthy. Yes, there were a ton of Rock Crawler and Desert Racing rigs but very few were attached to anything I was really interested in seeing. What I did see was big lift manufacturers for street trucks. Sure, all the Shock guys and the Wheel & Tire guys were there. Companies you see in the National Media were there in force but for the most part they are not really the innovators. I think that needs to change, perhaps we will have a booth next year. Another answer just might be that this is a wholesale only show and most of the smaller companies are retail only sellers.

Anyway I went on to and spent alot of time in the Tool building, mostly just learning how to do some new things I was interested in and pricing some new equipment. I had some good talks with Lincoln, Miller, & ESAB, all very good welding machines and we now have 8 welders in the building and all from different manufacturers so a little continuity is in order. I do remember in the not too distant past when just having 1 - 250 amp welder was a good thing and now we have 4 MIGS in daily use and 2 backups and a couple of big TIGS...

While I was wandering I had enrolled Garett (Our GM) in a couple of IT related classes and when we hooked up for lunch he was over flowing with new ideas so that was a success. We spent most of our free time talking with other company owners & managers, also quite a few of our wholesale customers. Over the next couple of days we took the time and saw the rest of the show and to be honest I am always impressed with the Hot Rods! This year was amazing and it always makes me wonder if I picked the wrong side of the business...