DIAMOND BAR, CA — Organizers for the 2004 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Spring Expo, have reported that this year’s show was the biggest regional show the association has held to date. The Expo took place March 5-6 at the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis. A day of seminars preceded the actual exhibit.
“Our record-breaking attendance numbers tell one part of our success story, but the compliments about the educational program, the diversity and pertinence of our exhibitors and our off-road proving ground previewing next year’s Off-Road Pavilion at the show tell a more important part of the story,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of marketing and communications. “Those compliments tell us that SEMA has developed the correct recipe for this event combining restyling, light-truck accessories, and automotive’s extreme sport — off-roading.”
New to the SEMA Spring Expo was the off-road proving ground where professional drivers demonstrated the skill of rockcrawling on an obstacle course constructed of dirt and rocks. Crowds surrounded the UROC (United Rockcrawling & Off-Road Challenge) obstacle course every time the buggies fired up for their demonstration. Automotive industry professionals who specialize in restyling and light-truck accessories heard explanations about the extreme sport, probably the most rapidly growing segment of the enthusiast world.
SEMA worked with UROC, ORBA (Off-Road Business Association), and the United Four Wheel Drive Association to introduce off-roading and its business opportunities to the several thousand people attending the Expo.
At the 2005 SEMA Spring Expo, scheduled for the same Indianapolis venue on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 4-5, there will be an Off-Road Pavilion with off-road equipment exhibitors in addition to the LTAA Light-Truck Accessory Expo and the PRO Restyling and Trim Expo.
“SEMA sees the current growth, and immense potential of this fledgling sport” said MacGillivray. “Off-roading is just beginning to be a major factor in the enthusiast mix. The opportunities for our members, and for companies who want to come into this business, are phenomenal. SEMA has pledged to provide introductions such as this proving ground, organize business education programs for off-roading companies, and nourish the activity. It’s part of our determination to help our member companies succeed and prosper.”
The SEMA Spring Expo also featured membership meetings, social events, and awards ceremonies for both PRO, the Professional Restylers Organization, and LTAA, the Light Truck Accessory Alliance.
This was SEMA’s third annual Spring Expo. The 2002 Expo was held in the Chicago area, and the 2003 Expo was located in Nashville.
Although attendance figures have not yet been audited, show organizers said preliminary reports show an increase of approximately 65 percent in buyer attendance, and 30 percent in total attendance from the SEMA Spring Expo in Nashville last February.
For more information about SEMA, visit: www.sema.org.
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