If you’re like us, chances are you’ve been stalking C10 builds on Instagram for the last twelve months and can’t wait to see all the amazing trucks under the bright lights in Vegas. But, are you prepared? Surviving the chaos that is SEMA is tricky. That’s why we put together our SEMA Survival Guide. It will bring you up to speed on the Sema Show and hopefully help you better navigate through the endless isles of manufacture booths and make the best of your trip.
The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. it draws the industry’s brightest minds and the hottest products to one place, the Las Vegas Convention Center. It attracts more than 100,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries. Simply put, it’s the Superbowl of car shows.
First off, Sema is huge! The Las Vegas Convention Center encompasses 2 million square feet of exhibit space making it challenging to see it all in four days. You’ll want to go for a minimum of 2 days, but all 4 days is ideal if you want to try and see it all.
We’ve found that making a plan is the best option, especially if your time is limited. Map out the “must see” items first, then move onto less and less important ones. It’s a good idea to familiarize with the Floorplan, and downloading the SEMA Mobile App is a must. Plus, the turn by turn directions are invaluable.
SEMA SURVIVAL GUIDE CHECKLIST
1. SEMA PASSES: The SEMA Show is not open to the public, and your need to be pre-approved before you’ll even be granted access. Make sure your credentials are in order, so there’s no confusion at door. Check your status HERE.
2. GEAR TO BRING: Now this will vary depending on why you’re attending SEMA, but essentials include:
- Camera – be sure to bring a tripod and flash too, oh and extra batteries. While the convention center does have decent lighting, you may need more. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Water/Snacks – This one is always overlooked.Food and drink inside the Sema Show comes at a premium and you don’t want to spend anymore time standing in lunch lines than you need to.
- Map – While it’s great idea to pre-plan your day and make use of SEMA’s mobile app, a map is essential. Just watch how many attendees you see throughout the week standing at charging stations charging their phones. LOL!
- Tablet/Laptop – If you plan on updating your blog on the fly or uploading pictures to social media, then you’ll need your trusty iPad or laptop. Don’t forget your portable chargers for these too.
- Comfortable Shoes – This one should really be up there underneath your SEMA passes. Walking over 2 million square feet in four days takes it’s toll, so grab the most comfortable shoes you’ve got.
- Business Cards – Bring piles of your business cards. You’re going to run into tons of people, especially for a media outlet like us. In fact, we’ll place a “We Photographed Your Truck” card on every c10 or classic Chevy truck we photograph at this years show. It’s informative and a great way to get owners or sponsors to visit your site after the show.
3. MAKE A PLAN: We can;t stress this fact enough. One way to better ensure the your trip to SEMA goes smoothly is to create a plan and stick to it. Make a list of the vendors you want to visit or the vehicles you want to shoot. SEMA can and will be overwhelming, lots of people, products and cars everywhere. You plan will hopefully keep you from getting sidetracked.
4. HAVE FUN: Don’t forget this one. Yes, the majority of us are at SEMA to work, but that does not mean you can’t have a little fun too. There are not many other industries out there where you can enjoy your hobby and work at the same time. Let’s not forget, you’re in Vegas. You know what they say “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!”