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Largest trade show of the year in Las Vegas starts on Tuesday

Biggest trade show of the year in Las Vegas starts on Tuesday
Posted at 11:30 PM, Nov 01, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Specialty Equipment Market Association show has returned to the Las Vegas Convention Center after being canceled last year, it will be the largest trade show in the valley since January 2020.

Car manufacturers and buyers have waited for nearly two years to be able to return to one of the largest trade shows in the nation.

Truck Hero is just one of 1,300 exhibitors coming back to the Specialty Equipment Market Association show, also known as SEMA.

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Truck Hero brought in the latest trucks, Jeep brand vehicles, and cars customized with new accessories. Lee Riser, Senior Director of Marketing says it’s an essential event that will help strengthen their company.

“This is a perfect kick-off for 2022,” Riser said. “The SEMA show is all about showcasing new products, innovative things that people are going to want to use to customize their vehicles.”

Last year in August the SEMA show was canceled because of COVID. Mike Spagnola, Vice President of Product Development for SEMA, says while the show may be back, they are still taking precautions. They required face coverings upon entry and social distancing.

“Typically, we have a lot of people coming in from China, Europe, Canada, those areas, and unfortunately those buyers won’t be here this year,” Spagnola says.

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He says the SEMA show normally brings in around $275 million to our city, but because of COVID, those numbers may change this year. He says this health crisis is not the only issue, the supply chain is also making things difficult for many of these manufacturers and buyers.

“There aren’t as many new cars coming out, they estimate this year may be about 10 million new cars, normal years there is about 16 to 17 million cars,” Spagnola explained.

Lee Riser with Truck Hero says the demand from consumers during this pandemic has gone through the roof, but they have faced some issues with supply shipments and shortages.

“It has been a shortage of materials all around, even to produce things like our Bushwacker Fender Flares and AVS were affected because of the plastic shortages,” Riser explained.

Riser says the SEMA show is the one-time manufacturers can meet with buyers and get a better understanding of the status of their products and prevent issues related to these crises.

The show is not open to the public, but on Friday they will be hosting an after-party where hundreds of cars and trucks will parade out of the convention center and into the parking lot to allow people to see the newest products from the show.

Tickets are available online for $90.