THE SEMA CRUNCH IS REAL
Man—this year went by quickly, and as I write this, SEMA is only a couple months away. So much to do to get ready, so little time. This will be my 17th year attending the convention that brings in close to 200,000 attendees and covers an area of nearly 3.5 million square feet. It’s the largest gathering of automotive aftermarket companies in the world.
Around the time I first started going I remember someone did a study, or maybe better to call it an experiment. Either way, what they did is they looked at how many vendors that were at the show, the amount of time the show was open, and the amount of walking needed to get around it. What they found was if you were to go to the show, getting there as the gates opened every day, and you spent just five seconds at every booth moving from one to the next diligently, you still wouldn’t have enough time to see the everything. I believe it. It is a truly massive show.
Editors such as myself spend the week going from meeting to meeting, all while trying to select the best vehicles in attendance to secure for magazine features, also making sure we don’t miss any important new product releases... oh, and we have to cover the show itself at the same time. As much as I try to see everything, I always miss seeing the mass majority of the actual show. It kinda makes me miss the days when I was a mechanic. Back then, we went to the SEMA Show purely to see what was new, and for the most part we just wandered the show as we saw fit. Nowadays I generally have seven meetings a day, with at least one if not two or three afterhours. That goes on for four days and nights. The day after the show ends we take around 40 vehicles out to a secret spot for a huge photo shoot as the sun rises over the Nevada desert. So Friday night is a hectic rush to get out of the show, eat, get packed, and in bed so I can get up at 3 a.m. and out to the photo shoot by 4.
The photo shoot we do really is pretty cool to witness. A few people have told me I’m nuts for doing it—it’s a pretty large project—but I just love seeing 40+ of the best SEMA builds spread across the desert doing donuts, drifting, hitting small jumps, or crawling through the rocks all at once. While it’s a crazy busy morning, it’s sorta my treat to myself and the
Diesel World photographers after a long week at SEMA, although I’m sure my guys don’t see it that way. It really is a private and hand-picked truck show. And the funny thing is, it’s for sure the first time and probably the last time many of the show trucks ever see the dirt. SEMA Show coverage will be in the February issue of Diesel World, which will hit newsstands on December 12.