As you have already seen or will be seeing later, this issue marks our annual presentation of the 2001 SEMA Show. For those readers not in the know, SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association. It's an annual four-day event, usually taking place during the last week of October or the first week of November, a sort of Who's Who in the aftermarket industry. It's by far the truck industry's largest trade show known to man and the third largest show to come into the bright lights of Las Vegas every year.
This year was no exception. However, given the circumstances surrounding September 11, there was some speculation that the show would be postponed or canceled entirely. Some of our editorial staffs would have loved this, especially when it came to crunch time and everyone was attempting to get project vehicles finished to be on display at SEMA. However, this show also lends a certain function, allowing many of us who communicate often on a daily basis through both telephone and e-mail to actually sit, talk, and put faces to names we hear so many times throughout the year.
So while the September 11th tragedy was still on everyone's minds and attendance was off somewhat mainly because of so many people's fears of flying, for those of us who were there, the show was even more eventful. In addition to meeting people, the staffs of all Primedia titles are generally making even more contacts and attempting to put together editorial stories on new products that have been recently released or will be released in the very near future. These editorial stories are what our readers will see a lot of in the coming year within the pages of Truckin'.
Encompassing nearly 3 million square feet of floor space, you can bet the staffs of all the magazines can become very tired just walking around this massive event. Yours truly was no exception. Each year, my feet literally blister up by the second day and I generally walk around with a limp the rest of the week, waiting for the blisters to pop. Do I love this? Well, yes and no. I hate the blisters, but I love the show. Do I have beefs with the show presentation and who is allowed into the event each and every year? Of course, but this will have to wait for a future editorial.
However, I think I got more accomplished this year because attendance was smaller, so the rest of the staff and I were able to spend more quality time talking to people than in years past. We also were able to present both the 2002 Truck of the Year and SUV of the Year trophies to General Motors who made it a clean sweep, as you have undoubtedly heard and read from our past two issues.
Guess what? The 2002 SEMA Show promises even more square footage than last year (great, my feet are already starting to feel it) with separate halls strictly for trucks and SUVs, (finally). The kicker to this event is that it is not open to the public (Why not, SEMA?). So about the only way to get into this epic event is to beg, borrow, or steal (although we discourage this sort of activity) a pass from a SEMA organization member. Trust me, it will be well worth the effort to get that pass, because once you are in, it becomes a virtual cornucopia of eye candy and fabulous truck and SUV parts and accessories. Let's see if SEMA reads this and takes us up on our idea of making the show open to the public so you all can see what we write about and talk about each year. Think SEMA will listen? Only time will tell.