10 min read
02 Nov

The SEMA Show is scheduled for October 31 - November 3, 2023, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. While the SEMA Show is an exclusive trade event accessible only to industry professionals, this year’s event brings together the worlds of music, motorsports, and car culture and is open to the general public. The 2023 SEMA Fest will kick off on November 3 – 4, 2023, at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds.

 It's a unique opportunity to witness a multitude of product innovations from both new and well-established exhibitors, explore the latest trends in custom vehicles, attend over 99 free professional educational sessions, and establish invaluable professional connections. 

Here, we guide you into the key features, events, and opportunities at the 2023 SEMA Show, while offering a preview of the myriad new products introduced by exhibitors. Whether you can make it to the show or not, this article brings you a preview of the halls and grounds of SEMA 2023. 

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2023 SEMA Show: What To Expect

SEMA Show 2023 - what to expect.

As usual, anticipation was high for the 2023 SEMA Show in Las Vegas scheduled for October 31 - November 3. This year's event estimated over 2,200 exhibitors representing numerous brands from both the United States and international markets. 

Among these, there will be over 400 first-time exhibitors eager to showcase their latest products, services, and innovations to an estimated 160,000 industry professionals. 

According to SEMA Vice President of Events Tom Gattuso, the Show's organizers feel privileged to serve a dedicated community that recognizes the significance of coming together annually. 

This gathering has consistently propelled the SEMA Show to the top of the nation's leading trade shows, establishing it as the premier global automotive trade event for the auto industry. 

It's an event you cannot afford to miss if you want to expand your business, discover new products, embrace emerging technologies, foster new connections, reinforce existing relationships, and elevate your professional career to new heights. 

Gattuso promised this year's event will introduce a transformed Show reflecting the automotive industry’s rapid evolution, ultimately helping participants from various sectors understand the future and harness the trends and innovations reshaping it. 

For example, participants will experience emerging opportunities in alternative vehicle propulsion, developments in internal combustion design and performance, alternative fuels, and the modification of vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), to name a few. 

Furthermore, you'll have the chance to explore new, updated, or expanded exhibits focusing on racing and performance, overlanding, repair and restyling, and other aftermarket categories. Also, Gattuso says SEMA has expanded the Show's educational program with over 99 sessions covering essential topics related to business, career, and industry, including a special keynote from star athlete and car enthusiast Tim Tebow. 

For many, though, the greatest benefit of the SEMA Show is the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with professionals from more than 140 countries and regions around the world. This face-to-face interaction is unparalleled. 

Lastly, this year brings the exciting debut of SEMA Fest, a fresh and consumer-oriented celebration of car culture, music, and lifestyle at the nearby Las Vegas Festival Grounds. 

Scheduled for November 3–4, this event will feature a car show, world-class musical entertainment, drifting, freestyle motorcycling, and other exhilarating activities for all enthusiasts passionate about automobiles. The Fest is separate (requiring a separate ticket) from the Show. 

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Overview Of The 2023 SEMA Show Features

SEMA Show 2023 features.

New Product Showcase (Location: North Hall – Booth #10061): 

Focus on innovative products, scan items via the mobile app, and discover trends. 

FutureTech Studio (Location: Central Hall, Booth #24401): 

Explore the latest technologies shaping the performance aftermarket. 

Shell "Performance Unbound" Experience (Location: Silver Lot - Booth #81059): 

Engage with Shell's premium gasoline, interact with experts, and win prizes. 

Optima Village (Location: Bronze Lot - South Hall): 

Enjoy celebrity driver appearances, demonstrations, and stunning project vehicles. 

Battle of the Builders Presented by Mothers (Location: North Hall - Booth #10967): 

Witness influential builders' techniques and trends documented for a TV program. 

Related Reading: Invicta The Invincible: SEMA 2023 Battle of the Builders Overall Champion Announced

Feature Vehicle Displays (Location: Across the SEMA Show campus): 

See innovative parts and accessories on display in real-world applications. 

SEMA Garage: ADAS, Emissions, Product Development (Location: Upper South Hall - Booth #36007): 

Explore tools and services related to technology, emissions, and product development. 

SEMA Central (Location: Grand Lobby): 

Experience top-tier vehicle builds and interviews with industry icons. 

Collision Repair & Refinish Stage (Location: Upper South Hall - Booth #32145): 

Witness hands-on welding demos, presentations, and the latest industry techniques. 

Overland Experience (Location: Diamond Lot - West Hall - Booth #71000): 

Discover overlanding products and customized vehicles in an outdoor setting. 

Art Walk (Location: North Hall - Booths #24857, #24957, #25057): 

Explore automotive art and the work of the legendary builder Chip Foose. 

What's New At The SEMA 2023: Tim Tebow To Highlight MAIN STAGE Experience

Tim Tebow at the SEMA Show 2023.

Renowned athlete and entrepreneur Tim Tebow is set to deliver his inspiring life message to attendees of the 2023 Show as part of the professional development series. 

Tebow will take the SEMA Show Main Stage as a keynote speaker at 1:00 p.m. on November 2 in an enhanced Show education program featuring iconic industry figures, thought leaders, and entertainers sharing fresh insights and strategies. 

"I'm eager to assist SEMA Show attendees in finding their mission and creating a purposeful life," Tebow expressed. "I hope my firsthand experiences and lessons will inspire them to achieve both personal and professional success." 

Pamela Brown-Matthis, SEMA director of education, said, "We're thrilled to have Tim Tebow on our Main Stage Experience as a subject-matter expert capable of inspiring change. His multigenerational message will resonate with all attendees." 

The Main Stage, located in the Show's West Hall, is just one facet of a comprehensive 2023 SEMA Show education program, featuring 99 learning sessions starting the Monday before the Show's commencement. 

It includes six highly focused SEMA Education tracks, the Dale Carnegie Leadership Essentials program, a Women in Automotive Symposium, and an on-site electric vehicle (EV) certification program. Most of these programs are included as part of participants’ registration benefits. 

What's New At SEMA 2023: Chip Foose Returns To The 2023 SEMA Show

Chip Foose returns to SEMA Show 2023.

The 2023 SEMA Show is thrilled to welcome back the Chip Foose Experience in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Central Hall. The legendary Foose returns as the Show's official artist, working on new and expanded signage and visual elements to enrich the event's thematic ambiance. 

Additionally, a variety of new SEMA Show digital content and display packages throughout the LVCC will spotlight the trade event's community hubs and facilitate connections between exhibitors and attendees. 

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SEMA Fest To Debut November 3–4

SEMA Fest 2023.

Tickets for the inaugural SEMA Fest, a two-day festival uniting car culture and music, are now available for purchase at www.semafest.com

Happening on November 3–4 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, SEMA Fest promises an unforgettable experience, open to the public, and featuring world-class musical acts including Imagine Dragons, Incubus, Wiz Khalifa, AJR, Third Eye Blind, Bush, Walk The Moon, Ludacris, and more. 

"We're thrilled to open the gates for the inaugural SEMA Fest and welcome car and music enthusiasts to enjoy this unique festival," stated Mike Spagnola, SEMA president and CEO. "Automotive enthusiasts worldwide have longed to be a part of the SEMA Show experience, and we're excited to extend our popular trade show with this new event. Separate from the trade show, it's open to all and promises an unparalleled experience." 

The Fest requires separate tickets from the SEMA Show and brings together car enthusiasts, music enthusiasts, and leading automotive brands in a grand festival format. You can expect a diverse range of immersive automotive lifestyle events, a consumer marketplace, world-class drifting, motorsports competitions, freestyle motocross, and more. 

In other words, you don’t want to miss the SEMA fest if you're a dedicated car enthusiast, a motorsports aficionado, a music lover, or just someone looking for a great time. "While distinct, the SEMA Show and SEMA Fest complement each other," explained Tom Gattuso. 

2023 SEMA Show Highlights

2023 SEMA highlights: Industry Awards Banquet.

The SEMA Show is an unparalleled experience that stands out in the world of trade shows. It's a shining chance to explore thousands of cutting-edge automotive performance products from both new and renowned exhibitors. Y

ou can also stay ahead of the curve by discovering the latest product and vehicle trends and enhancing your skills through dozens of free education sessions led by industry experts. 

Here's a quick overview of some notable features and events at the 2023 SEMA Show: 

1. SEMA Awards Presentation: Witness the SEMA Awards presentation, where the top-trending vehicle models in six categories got recognized on October 30. 

These awards highlight the partnership between automakers and aftermarket manufacturers who develop products to enhance vehicle performance, safety, convenience, appearance, and comfort. 

This year’s winners include the Ford Mustang (SEMA Car of the Year), Ford F-Series (SEMA Fullsize Truck of the Year), Toyota Tacoma (SEMA Midsize Truck of the Year), Ford Bronco (SEMA 4X4 SUV of the Year), Nissan Z (SEMA Sport Compact of the Year), and Ford Lightning (SEMA Electric Vehicle of the Year). 

2. SEMA Central: Located in the Grand Lobby, SEMA Central is your go-to place for immersive experiences and discussions with industry thought leaders. You can also shop for the latest SEMA Gear. 

3. SEMA Show Kick-Off Breakfast: Begin your Show experience with the latest innovations from New Product Award winners, along with the presentation of the Manufacturer of the Year and the Channel Partner of the Year awards. Enjoy a full breakfast and network with a global community. 

4. The New Products Showcase: Explore the SEMA Show's most popular exhibit, showcasing thousands of new and featured products in a 30,000 sq. ft. space in North Hall. The SEMA Show app makes it easy to connect with product information and locate exhibiting companies. 

5. Art Walk: The Art Walk in Central Hall showcases authentic artwork by popular industry artists, celebrating the automotive lifestyle. You can discover a wide selection of art pieces to complement your home or office. 

6. Feature Vehicle Displays: Throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center, both inside and outside, you'll find innovative parts and accessories displayed on show vehicles that represent various industry niches. Participants can use the SEMA Show app to gather such product and exhibitor information. 

7. SEMA Overland Experience: Explore products and vehicles specifically designed for overlanding in the Diamond Lot adjacent to West Hall. This exhibit features customized vehicles with popped-out tents, survival accessories, and portable kitchen systems, catering to the growing overlanding market. 

8. SEMA FUTURETECH STUDIO: Discover the latest in electric vehicle (EV) and alternative fuel technologies in the SEMA FutureTech Studio in Central Hall. Explore custom conversions and innovations shaping the performance aftermarket. 

9. SEMA Garage: ADAS, Emissions, Product Development: This area in Upper South Hall focuses on new product development and emissions technologies, offering knowledge exchange, hands-on experience with ADAS tools, and more. 

10. SEMA Industry Awards Banquet: Join the celebration of the specialty-equipment industry at the Westgate Paradise Event Center on November 2. This event features industry awards and entertainment. 

11. SEMA Battle of the Builders Presented by Mothers Polish: Witness the showcase of the builder's art, where the most creative builds are judged, leading to the finals in four distinct categories. The winning vehicles lead the SEMA Cruise presented by CTEK. 

12. SEMA Cruise Presented by CTEK: Enjoy the parade of vehicles from the 2023 SEMA Show as they exit the LVCC at the Show close on November 3. This event has become one of the Show's most anticipated and generates excitement worldwide. 

13. LVCC Loop: Maximize your efficiency during Show Week by using the LVCC Loop, a subway tunnel connecting West, Central, and South Halls. 

It can transport you from one end of the LVCC to another in about 4 minutes, and it's now extended to the Resorts World Passenger Station. The SEMA Show offers an incredible array of experiences and opportunities you won't want to miss. 

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Battle of the Builders Marks 10 Years At SEMA

2023 SEMA Battle of the Builders.

In 2023, the SEMA Battle of the Builders Presented by Mothers Polish celebrates its remarkable 10th year at the SEMA Show. This competition, often dubbed the ultimate vehicle showdown in the aftermarket industry, has become a prestigious stage for SEMA Show builders to flaunt their exceptional craftsmanship and skills to a global audience. 

RJ de Vera, SEMA vice president of marketing, emphasized, "The SEMA Show is synonymous with the most unique vehicles in the world, and for a decade now, the Battle of the Builders program offers builders the opportunity to showcase their imagination, creativity, and craftsmanship at an international level. This year's program will feature the top builders and brands exhibiting at the 2023 SEMA Show as we crown our 10th Battle of the Builders Champion." 

Since its inception in 2014, Battle of the Builders Presented by Mothers Polish has propelled SEMA Show builders into the spotlight through exposure in SEMA's communication and social channels, along with inclusion in a one-hour television special. 

The competition acknowledges outstanding builders in four distinct categories: Hot Rod & Hot Rod Truck, 4 Wheel Drive & Off-Road, Sport Compact, Import Performance, Luxury & Exotic, and Young Guns. The Young Guns category, tailored for builders 29 years and younger, aligns with SEMA's commitment to nurture and empower the next generation of industry builders. 

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SEMA Show 2023 Global Tire Expo

SEMA Show 2023 Global Tire Expo via Tire Review Magazine.

The Global Tire Expo—Powered by TIA—originated in 1997 through the merger of the International Tire Expo and the SEMA Show. Under the guidance of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), it has grown into one of the world's largest tire exhibitions. 

In the 2022 SEMA Show, over 130 companies participated in GTE, a substantial increase from the previous year when fewer than 100 companies were present. 

For 2023, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino will host TIA's pre-Show events preceding the opening of the SEMA Show, which is scheduled from October 31 to November 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). 

TIA's pre-Show activities, held on Monday, October 30, at the hotel, include the Annual Membership Meeting, Advisory Council Meeting, Cocktail Reception, and the Tire Industry Honors awards ceremony. 

These events are complimentary, but attendees must secure a ticket to join. Also, TIA offered its popular educational tracks at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. between October 31 and November 1. 

It Wasn't Always Called SEMA

SEMA Show history.

SEMA, originally "Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association," changed its name to "Specialty Equipment Market Association" in 1970 to improve its image due to government regulations. 

The change aimed to avoid associations with the term "speed" and to please bureaucrats. SEMA's formation was driven by Revell Models' efforts to address trade regulation gaps. Its first president was Ed Iskenderian, with founding members including Roy Richter, Willie Garner, and others. 

Since 2003, SEMA has presented GT awards at the SEMA Auto Convention, recognizing categories like Best in Show, Best Hot Rod, and Best European Import. The first SEMA Show took place in 1967 at Dodger Stadium's basement and later moved to Anaheim Stadium in 1974. 

The early shows were simple affairs, but by the early 1970s, they adopted sophisticated display and marketing techniques. Over time, the Show expanded, relocated to the Anaheim Convention Center, and developed a reputation as a hub for industry professionals to conduct business.

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