First off, let me begin by saying that everything you read in this column will pertain to an annual event, that unless you belong to the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA), you will never be able to get into. SEMA is an organization that is squarely aimed at the automotive enthusiast who lives, eats, and breaths custom vehicles-similar to a Truckin' magazine reader.
SEMA is for the professional gearhead, shop owner, automotive parts manufacturer, auto manufacturer, and vehicle restyler. SEMA, in addition to putting on one heck of a show every year in Las Vegas, also employs numerous attorneys who work in Washington D.C. to fight pending legislation that can hurt the automotive industry. Legislation such as dropping the year on your old clunker or soon-to-be restored project vehicle, for proper smog certification, or attempting to eliminate oil companies from receiving credits for purchasing old junk cars and crushing them, thinking they are doing good deeds when the reality is quite the opposite. These are just two of hundreds of pieces of legislation SEMA creates to help out our automotive community. SEMA also offers scholarship programs designed to employ future automotive industry professionals, whether they are artists, mechanics, technicians, or manufacturers.
For us magazine guys, SEMA is an entirely different agenda. It's all about making new relationships with advertisers or parts vendors. It's about scoping out the new trucks that people have built, and it's where we line up future cover and feature trucks. It's also our chance to engage in conversation with people, whom we speak with during the course of the year regarding business-related items, who live back East, or the ones we know by voice and have never actually met face-to-face.
SEMA week is also a giant week from hell. A fun hell, but nonetheless hell. The show literally encompasses 3 million square feet of convention floor space and it was said that if an individual were to walk every aisle of every convention hall, it would be approximately 36 miles.
In addition to the toll one's feet receive, there are literally parties after parties every night for a variety of manufacturers and the guest lists are long and extensive. So, after walking around the show, holding meetings, and talking to vendors, it's a quick trip back to the room to shower, then dress for the night's festivities. Do I sound like I'm complaining? Quite the opposite. I love it, but come Friday at the close of the show, I am wiped out. So much so, when I actually return home, it takes me about two complete days to recover from sleep and food deprivation.
Why do we attend if the parties, the people, the trucks, and the event is an exhaustion? It's simple. We, as truck guys, love the show. Without it, we wouldn't be able to afford the opportunity to bring our readers all of the latest and greatest happenings out there. The SEMA show is basis for about 65 percent of the entire new editorial content one might read about in the coming year.
So, sit back and enjoy what our tired minds, bodies, and backs persevered through during the hell week. We did it just so our readers can be the most well-informed truck guys out there.